The Progressive Education Network devoted its biannual national conference to play. The 2013 theme was “Play Hard”. Educators gathered in Los Angeles to share what is being learned about the importance of play to human development…
This coming October 2015 conference on the East Coast will be devoted to social justice.
Play is not just for kids! Play is key throughout all ages and stages of human cognitive development. Yet….
Play time has been diminishing in the lives of children at home and at school at an alarming rate. Standardized testing, rubrics, outcomes, data gathering to assess standardized teaching has been replacing research based developmental practice and education theory in teacher preparation programs as well as in our children’s classrooms. A race to the top education reform trajectory, a lean and mean corporate market based model has been advancing.
Well..we are here to tell you what cutting edge research informs us; that the traditonal school model is not only inefficient, but pretty darn harmful in terms of the future for all of us. We need thinkers, imaginers and explorers…not obedient test takers.
Several months ago I heard from a small school in the UK that is just starting up. They plan to be outdoors with the children much of the time because they understand the importance of exploration, movement and play to the development of grounded, thoughtful and inquisitive young people. They are striving to create a democratic and rich environment, and their fledgling community is composed of people from all over the world…..Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Iceland, Venezuela, California, France,Thailand, Russia, Zambia… and so this essential conversation becomes an international one
more info here: https://www.facebook.com/SmallAcresSchool
I am looking forward to learning more about this school. I am dreaming about visits to schools outside the US…
And now… for your review… the latest research from Cambridge University about when to start formal lessons and the value of free play….
An informative article about current research and play from the UK Guardian…. a good read.