George Lucas Educational Foundation

Sustaining a Schoolwide Culture of Playful Learning

Educators in this small town prioritized innovation, creativity, and wonder in every aspect of their school, and the message to students was clear—dream big, because anything is possible.

January 10, 2024

In Eminence, Kentucky, a small rural district has dedicated their entire school to reveling in the joy and excitement of learning. From makerspaces to interactive hallways to a slide that sends students from the top level to the ground, they have created a space that captures the imagination—and has become the pride of their economically challenged community. But the approach goes well beyond the physical building. Teachers are supported in professional development sessions that encourage them to inject a sense of “surprise and delight” into their lessons, as well as in guiding students through meaningful projects that connect to their community. So school becomes a place where academic rigor is accomplished in an active, collaborative, and engaging way.

To learn more about the research behind the practices seen in the video, check out the links below.

Schools That Work

Eminence Independent Schools

Public, Rural
Grades K–12
Eminence, KY

Edutopia developed the Making Learning More Playful series with support from The LEGO Foundation.

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