After a storm took a few trees down in their yard, Dyce Primary School in Aberdeen, Scotland, asked the city to leave them untouched in order to create a wild space for their students to explore, take risks, and play freely—and the results exceeded expectations. Students built up their resilience, as they had the chance to fail and practice iterating on their work, developed key social skills like ability to negotiate and solve problems both independently and collaboratively, and came back into the classroom more focused.
To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ report on how play enhances development in young children (2018)
- Kayleigh Skene, Christine M. O’Farrelly, Elizabeth M. Byrne, Natalie Kirby, Eloise C. Stevens, and Paul G. Ramchandani’s meta-analysis and review on whether guidance during play can enhance children’s learning and development in educational contexts (2022)
- Rachel Parker, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, and Amy Berry’s article on learning through play at school (2022)
- Tanmay Sinha and Manu Kapur’s research on productive failure and why problem-solving followed by instruction works (2021)
- Janet Metcalfe’s article on learning from errors (2017)
- Caitlin Brez and Virgil Sheets’ study on the classroom benefits of recess (2017)
- The CDC and SHAPE America’s report on strategies for recess in schools (2017)
- Helen Hadani, Garrett Jaeger, Katie Kennedy, Elizabeth Rood, and Sandra Russ’ trend report on emotion, play, and creative problem solving (2017)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on the critical role of recess in school (2013)
- Jane Fortson, Susanne James-Burdumy, Martha Bleeker, Nicholas Beyler, Rebecca A. London, Lisa Westrich, Katie Stokes-Guinan, and Sebastian Castrechini’s evaluation of the Playworks program’s effect on school climate, academic learning, student social skills, and behavior (2013)
- Mariana Brussoni, Lise L. Olsen, Ian Pike, and David A. Sleet’s paper on balancing risky play with children’s safety for optimal child development (2012)