Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Declaration of Educational Goals: Play

MCEETYA are seeking input on the new National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians for the next decade. See previous post.

The draft document emphasizes the importance in times of rapid change and with current global challenges of having creative and curious learners who can think in new ways, embrace opportunity and innovate.

One powerful way to promote creativity and innovation is to create educational environments that allow learners the mental, emotional and physical space to safely play, explore possibilities and take risks - and not just for very young learners.

Play for learning does much to maintain engagement, promote well-being and create opportunities for transformation in understanding. Play can also bridge formal and informal learning and break down barriers to learning. The serious games initiative for example is one way education can use online games to enhance learning.

The importance of play for learning is a little hard to find in the current draft that validly highlights the need for skilling in essential literacy and numeracy, building foundational knowledge and skills in all learning areas, and achieving excellence.

As well as talking about how we as a community can achieve these educational goals "with support and hard work - from children and young people and their parents..." perhaps we also need to say something about playfulness, imagination and celebration.

All work and no play makes for a dull declaration of educational goals :-)

There may be other things we can do to promote creativity, imagination and innovation. Ken Robinson asked if schools kill creativity at TED two years ago and his message has been reverberating around the globe ever since.

Should there also be something in the declaration about students following their passion and developing personal interests and talents?


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At 8:29 AM, Blogger dean said...

Excellent post. I've been integrating a lot of games into literacies of late, many are free online games such as Tribal Wars for mathematics. Seeking alternate uses if ICTs in the classroom - other than 'seeking' and pasting activities works really well, when tied to other literacy based activities such as reflective writing. If only people would look beyond the word game, and realise that kids learn through play. Its just a matter or re-adapting your thinking. Great post!


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