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Research shows that taking a more playful approach in the classroom could benefit students. But what does it mean to bring learning and play together, for students of all ages? For the Making Learning More Playful video series, we traveled to six schools in four countries to discover some of the characteristics of playful learning. Along the way, we saw a lot of great examples: students engaged in meaningful, hands-on projects; dancing and moving during active, energetic lessons; learning in the outdoors; collaborating to do great iterative work, driven by curiosity and passion; and even playful assessment. The common thread was clear—when more play is intentionally built into teaching and learning, students are enthusiastic and focused, agency and ownership soars, and the classroom environment is a joyful one.
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)
- Jennifer M. Zosh, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Emily J. Hopkins, Hanne Jensen, Claire Liu, Dave Neale, S. Lynneth Solis, and David Whitebread’s literature review on redefining play as a spectrum (2018)