Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Play and learning

I have been mulling over comments made about games and learning at a recent meeting.  Games were laughed at as being a waste of time, not professional and certainly not connected with learning. This has left me scratching my head because it flies in the face of what I know about the brain and learning.  In the monograph I wrote on creating deep learning experiences, I contrasted surface and deep learning.  One of the contrasts was this. Deep learners "are mindful; play and create with new ideas, relate theory to everyday life. Learners enjoy learning, the process flows "  Surface learners "take a mindless approach; entrapped in old ideas, the content is devoid of significance. Learners find learning to be unpleasant."

I plan to do more thinking and research on this perspective.  Maybe it is merely a semantic issue. I have recently listened to some great presentations from TEDD on this topic.
  1. Tim Brown on Creativity and Playhttp://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html
    At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).
  2. Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond

    http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_keil_a_manifesto_for_play_for_bulgaria_and_beyond.htmlAt TEDxBG in Sofia, Steve Keil fights the "serious meme" that has infected his home of Bulgaria -- and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.
  3. Stuart Brown says play is more than fun

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital.htmlA pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults -- and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.