Friday, 27 November 2015

Freedom to play

At a  recent workshop in Queenstown we discussed this idea of parent free play. We all thought about what memories we had as children regarding play - what did we enjoy. I think everyone said that it was the outdoor play experiences that they remember from their childhood. A couple of teachers took our thinking further by reminding us it was also the uninterrupted time to create their own play. Away from well meaning adults in a space where we could make our own decisions, use our imaginations and as David Perkins said it was about not only problem solving but about problem finding that made the learning through play meaningful. 

What does this mean for teaching practice?  Do teachers hover unnecessarily around children - does without interference look different in ECE and home?  Children need time to be bored that's how creativity is born.  Rather than fill children's day with activities or entertainment what would happen if we stopped and allowed creative thoughts to simmer?
I remember reading or hearing Guy Claxton say that just because a child is busy does not mean that they are learning anything, a very paraphrased version of his words.  We can fill children's days with busyness but this does not mean that they engaged in any real learning expect maybe learning about who is in control  of their days!

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