Saturday, 17 March 2018

Play play play - why I hold play-workshops

Today we played a lot... and I mean a lot...

And I know now, that I am not going to be able to upload the photos that I want to in order to write the post I want to right now about today... so I will write some other reflections instead...

About how we have reflected on the importance of joy rather than fun...
The idea is that we want to create a sense of joy within each child ... in their play and also in their learning - because then the learning will be genuine, rich, deep and more likely to be long-lasting...
Learning that is made fun (and then often called play) is not going to have the same effect - in a way its more like sugar... it gives you a high but the learning is not going to last as long.

What we want is slow learning - that the children have time to process it, they have time to explore it, they have time to see it from other perspectives and share ideas with others... they have time to repeat and test out theories they have already tried and add new ideas to it in order to see what happens...
If learning is made fun then there is more likely to be an agenda... less likely for the learning to happen in multiple ways, less likely for the children to discover new perspectives... less likely to come to a new conclusion than the one the teacher has already thought up...

The workshops I hold for educators are designed to get the teachers thinking on many levels... not just exploring play, but also exploring what it is like to collaborate with others like children do (in large numbers) - explore what it is like to have free range of materials and what to do with them... and then some activities are designed to be done in a specific way. Various forms of communication are given space to be used... hence the first activity was done in silence, so that they communicated with body language.
Some items are only given to one educators... as a test of how does it feel when not all get to try...
so it is an exploration of emotions as well.
Of course there is time to talk about all of this, reflect and return to the activity...

For instance today was the third time one of the groups worked with shadows and light... each time I have added something new... either new material or a new thought/direction... each time they have discovered something new about what they thought they had already fully explored.

It is so important that we as educators play with materials... explore how they work, how they interact with other materials, their relationship with other materials and the world around us - what learning can be found within this play. But it is equally important to do this with others and to reflect together with others... as alone we see with just our own perspective... but together we see so much more...

Original learning is for adults too... not just children...

I so long to share images from the workshop... but I realise this will be best done when i return home, as the on-off on-off internet makes it so hard to upload photos on my blog.

I guess it is about patience

light and shadows... and how different coloured lights make different coloured shadows... more about this in an up and coming post

bringing the sunlight in... in the end it took four mirrors to bend the sunlight to find me...

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