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The Line Between Play and Learning

At this morning's NECC keynote discussion Elizabeth Streb noted that students who come to her workshops have time to play before the lessons start but that the line between when play ends and learning begins is very often blurred.  
Mitchel Resnick at the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten talks about the same thing - for example what kindergarten children learn playing with blocks.
And yet it seems as though all too often we try to suck all the fun and play out of education. We act as if learning only happens when we are serious and that it is almost better if "learning" is painful and boring. And then we wonder why kids just can't wait to get out of school. Am I one of the few who sees a problem here?

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  • lajoneslajones

    The title is thought provoking.  Is there a line between learning and play?  What makes us think that just because a student looks serious while we are teaching that they are really learning (synthesizing) anything?  Many times I've found that a student is actually learning quite a bit about the concept I was trying to teach when I thought from their behaviour that they were goofing off. 

    I began to understand not to be so quick to judge based on my own perceptions of what learning should look like. (Those have changed over the years anyway)   And honestly, when I remember back to my own schooling experiences, I think the classes I learned the most in were more relaxed and not so serious. 

    Relax techie's, just go with it. Smiley 

    Learning to transition children between activities takes alot of skill, and it's not taught in most colleges.  This ability is something that should be valued as it has developed in some of our veteran teachers.

  • lajoneslajones

    The title is thought provoking.  Is there a line between learning and play?  What makes us think that just because a student looks serious while we are teaching that they are really learning (synthesizing) anything?  Many times I've found that a student is actually learning quite a bit about the concept I was trying to teach when I thought from their behaviour that they were goofing off. 

    I began to understand not to be so quick to judge based on my own perceptions of what learning should look like. (Those have changed over the years anyway)   And honestly, when I remember back to my own schooling experiences, I think the classes I learned the most in were more relaxed and not so serious. 

    Relax techie's, just go with it. Smiley 

    Learning to transition children between activities takes alot of skill, and it's not taught in most colleges.  This ability is something that should be valued as it has developed in some of our veteran teachers.

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