How (NOT) to Learn through Play

Freeing the Angel

“Play: to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”

According to Ofsted, this is what learning through play looks like. In the first video, the teacher presents the children with ready made police hats, then she takes them outside to search for animal pictures on cards. When they find the animals, they must sound out the word: sh – ee – p. The teacher plans the direction the learning will take; the children do not have any input. The teacher takes all the decisions; the children do not make any choices of their own. The teacher has a predetermined outcome for the activity; the children cannot move laterally from this objective. The teacher speaks a great deal; the children hardly talk at all. The children, we are told, do this to please the teacher (rather than to please themselves.)

This, then, is not…

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