THE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF PLAY: 2 STORIES PAT KANE WWW.THEPLAYETHIC.COM LTS ‘PLAY AND ACTIVE LEARNING CONFERENCE, GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, OCT 3, 2009
My definition of play: “ play is taking reality lightly” (distilled from Plato, Schiller, Sartre, Huizinga, Erikson, Winnicott, Baudrillard, many others…)
Two big stories about the power and potential of play in our society and culture Play is the most natural thing we do Play is the strangest thing we do
Play is the most natural thing we do (1) http://www. youtube .com/watch? v=XKQxpJRHGec
Play is the most natural thing we do (2) http://www. youtube .com/watch? v=cXXm696UbKY
Play is the most natural thing we do… … because play is core to our development as social, cognitive and emotional beings … it’s a zone where we test out potential scenarios for living, without cost, without fear/with joy, because we want to
Play’s the most natural thing we do - sports and the arts - creativity in organisations - family & communal festivity - irony, jokes, flirtation - daydreaming, visualisation ..we constantly “take reality lightly” - all day, every day
From “Building the curriculum - active learning” … Play as way of realising our true nature as healthy, sociable, capable human beings
Another story about play…. Play is the strangest thing we do When we think about who is a “player” (other than sports)… Not very positive connotations… For masculinity, politics or business…
Another story about play…. Play is the strangest thing we do Information and bio-technology - making our fantasies into realities… Will they be good fantasies? Who shapes the soul of the player?
Do we need a “ play ethic ?” Only one story about play - like sleep or nutrition, it functions to generate human adaptability through potentialising… what happens when we have tools to make those potentials real?
‘ Active learning’ should be about shaping and forging that play ethic But you must be aware of the complex, ambiguous nature of play…
The challenge of play to active learning ‘ rough-and-tumble-play’ (boys), ‘mean girls’ (girls), bullying <ul><li>how to distinguish between… </li></ul><ul><li>the necessary turbulence and negotiation and social learning of rough play </li></ul><ul><li>- and hurtful dominance (see Stuart Brown, Play ) </li></ul>
The challenge of play to active learning A school - or a ‘shkole’? Shkole did not just mean “having time”, but also a certain relation to time: a person living an academic life could organise one’s time oneself - the person could combine work and leisure the way they wanted --- Pekka Himanen
The challenge of play to active learning It’s not so idealistic…take ‘ s 20% rule A ‘ground of play’ at the heart of their organisation… Shouldn’t we prepare kids for this future? Play for all stages of learning, not just “early” learning… why should it stop?
THE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF PLAY PAT KANE WWW.THEPLAYETHIC.COM [email_address] Thank You!!!