Event Details

Play is central to how children learn: the way they make sense of their world; the way they form and explore friendships; the way they shape and test hypotheses about their intellectual, social, emotional, and physical environments. Yet incorporating play into a classroom or formal school setting isn’t a straightforward endeavor, as the nature of play and the nature of school are often at odds.
 
In this mini course, participants will consider some core principles and practices of playful learning.  Through hands-on activities, illustrations from classroom practice, and experimenting with playful learning and teaching tools, participants will explore ways to bring more playful learning into their contexts.  Key questions will include: What does learning through play look and feel like?  How can a shared understanding of learning through play enhance a learning experience?  How can educators create conditions in which playful learning can thrive?  Discussion will consider the opportunities and challenges of incorporating play into the classroom and will draw on teacher-researcher practices developed through the Pedagogy of Play research initiative at Project Zero and partnering educators in Denmark and South Africa.
 
The course is team-based and registration is for teams of 3-5 people.  We recommend that team participants work at the same school or organization; however, this is not a requirement for admission.  If you are an individual interested in participating in the course but you do not have colleagues who are able to join you, you may apply for limited spaces on “virtual teams.” All participants should be prepared to learn about some of the core principles and practices of playful learning and try out at least one playful learning approach in their own contexts.  Project Zero researchers will instruct the course and educators experienced in playful learning will serve as coaches for each team.
 
Participants in this online mini course should anticipate a time commitment of about 2-3 hours per week over the five weeks of the program.  This online mini course is not linked to a degree program, and academic credit is not available.  Participants will be eligible for a digital certificate representing 10 professional development hours upon successful completion of the mini course requirements.
 

Course Cost and How to Register

As noted above, registration is for teams of 3-5 people only.  Price per participant on a team is $130.  (For information about scholarship opportunities, see below.) We recommend that team participants work at the same school or organization; however, this is not a requirement for admission.  To register, complete a registration form.  Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration/payment deadline is Friday, December 13, 2019.

If you are an individual interested in participating in the course but you do not have colleagues who are able to join you, you may express your interest in being placed on a “virtual team” with 2-4 others in a similar position.  Please complete the registration form and also write an email to pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu with the subject: Let’s Play Virtual Team.  Include in the email the following:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Email
  • Geographic Location (city, state (if US), country)
  • 2-3 sentences explaining why participating as a member of a virtual team is necessary

 

Scholarships

Qualified educators whose primary work is with learners in these settings can apply for a limited number of Project Zero Professional Learning Scholarships to reduce the tuition cost of PZ’s institutes, online courses, off-site conferences, and other PZ professional development events and activities.

The eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • In the United States, public school educators working in schools with a free and reduced lunch rate of 35% or more OR educators working primarily with students who attend these schools.
  • Outside of the United States, educators whose schools or organizations serve 35% or more students whose families meet the country-defined standard for low-income or who receive financial assistance to attend.

Please note that scholarship funding is limited and not every individual or team meeting the above eligibility guidelines will receive a scholarship.


How to apply for a scholarship

Please completle The Let’s Play mini course scholarship application before registering for the mini course.