Event Details

Registration for the April 2022 term of Let's Play is full. Please submit our interest form for updates on the next Let's Play offering, as well as other new professional development opportunities.

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. The “Let’s Play” five-week mini course, based on the research and frameworks developed in the Lego Foundation-funded PZ project “Pedagogy of Play” is an introduction to some of the core principles and practices of playful learning and gives participants opportunities to design and try out at least one playful learning approach in their own contexts. The course has been revised to support educators to learn about how to facilitate playful learning online, in a classroom and in hybrid learning contexts.


Through virtual hands-on activities, illustrations from classroom and online practice, and experimenting with playful learning and teaching tools both online and in-person (when possible), participants will explore ways to bring more playful learning into their contexts. Whether participants are on an organization-based team or virtual team of individuals coming together to learn, the course’s team-based structure provides educators with important opportunities for peer feedback and collaboration. Teams work in small study groups with other teams facilitated by a coach experienced in teaching playful learning approaches.

The course will explore the following key questions: 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.

Course Details

  • The course is designed for team-based learning, with educators individually engaging in the material and trying out ideas in their classrooms and also working as part of a team to share and reflect on their experiences in classrooms with the ideas and concepts and complete team assignments.
    • Individual educators who register for the course on their own will be placed on a team of 3-4 other educators who have also registered for the course as individuals.
    • Educators who are signing up with other colleagues, sign up as a team and work individually and together in the course.
  • During each of the 4 sessions, educators should anticipate spending 2.5-3 hrs on the course including a required 75 - 90 mins team meeting. Non-team meeting time will involve brief readings, preparation for the meeting, completing 1 individual and 1 team assignment per session and posting to the course site, and reviewing/responding to other teams of teachers learning in the same online study group.
  • Participants are supported by facilitators experienced in pedagogy of play concepts and ideas and using these in their teaching. Facilitators respond to assignments and questions and support the overall team learning throughout each session. The course instructors work with facilitators to support the learning of all teams and, after each session, provide a reflection to clarify overall concepts and ideas and support teams as they push their learning further. (5) Participants who complete the course will receive certification of 12 hours of professional development hours.

What past participants are saying:

“After taking this course, I believe children learn better through play. I would like play to be the cornerstone of my teaching.”

February 2021 Participant

“The course’s indicators of play gave me a fresh perspective on my teaching and will inform my educational practice.”

February 2021 Participant

“Taking the course really heightened my awareness of the power of play in learning; building empathy, cultivating the imagination, and using laughter and creativity to fuel connection.”

February 2021 Participant

“As we began to pilot principles from the course, we saw the joy of learning come to life. I was able to see so many skills I had been helping my students develop, and many more I didn't even know they had.”

February 2021 Participant

 

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