The education system worldwide experienced a series of fundamental changes from schools being available only to rich male students to modern-day classrooms with digital aids open for everyone. Disregarding the huge development and improvements made over the ages, it appears that nowadays there is a need for a much more playful learning experience. What triggered the need for the less conventional atmosphere within the classrooms and how would it contribute to students’ performance and the teachers’ ability to pass on the knowledge to their pupils is the topic of our current article.
Development of exploration and imagination
Most of the school systems in the world emphasize the value of testing and grading children’s knowledge. However, every time we take a test, the grade shows only our current level of understanding for a certain topic. This system compels students to focus on passing a test rather than gaining an applicable connection with the subject of study.
The example of EduScapes project and its implementation in several schools across the UK shows how playful student collaboration contributes to improved comprehension of abstract topics, enhances the kids’ desire to explore and work together on resolving the challenges. The project includes a group of pupils that have to solve a series of problems to “escape” from a locked room, which doesn’t have to be an actual locked space. The students at Cheadle Hulme High School and Manchester Metropolitan University had to use their knowledge to pass a resolve a series of puzzles through the collective endeavor. The key findings of this project included a notable improvement of teamwork, problem-solving skills, and resilience.
According to publication by OECD, there is a strong link between play and the conditions that form our natural ability to learn. The document shows that the founding stones of teaching and learning like motor, emotional, cognitive, and social skills are also the basic elements of any playful experience. The children’s ability to handle tasks doesn’t require any special motivation, one can always contact an agency that provides academic ghostwriting services and have an essay or research paper in no time. However, mastering a certain topic requires a strong motivation especially if the subject is not on the student’s list of favorites. With the introduction of competitive elements, encouragement of teamwork, use of gamified software and other edu-tech solutions can propel the motivation for learning.
Playful education supports teachers
Pedagogy is a crucial element and a necessary component of any teachers work. However, because the current academic practices put lessons and tests in the first line of priorities, there’s little time for educators to craft more personalized curriculum and devote to social and psychological aspects of their work that suffer under the supremacy of rigid information transfer-based classes.
Lively Minds, an organization dedicated to the improvement of education in under-developed countries, developed and implemented a three-year program funded by Comic Relief and UNICEF to improve the level of education in Ghana. The organization activists crafted a playful academic agenda that involved children, under-educated mothers, and teachers to improve the effects of schooling in this African country. The children used technological tools with educative or experimental components to take part in hands-on activities monitored by teachers and mothers that previously went through a specialized training course.
Apart from improving the children’s cognitive capabilities, teamwork, and social skills, the evaluation also showed that teachers had much more time to improve their work. As the students spent most of the time dealing with practical problem-solving situations and learning through the use of technology, the teachers were able to plan their lessons more carefully and get a better insight into the social behavior of their disciples. Furthermore, the teachers managed to develop collaborative teaching techniques that involve two or more teachers providing lessons to a single classroom. This new method allows teachers to provide more comprehensive knowledge, gain a better perspective of the children’s abilities and needs and provided a space to share ideas among teachers and improve their work.
The essence of education is the provision of tools and skills to explore, create, and innovate. As such, it’s only logical that schools should be the first place to accept changes and follow the flow of the current generation. We can see these changes taking place in controlled environments for evaluation and research purposes. Our goal should be to analyze the findings of these experiments and create a better educational system for future generations.
Robert Everett is a freelance content writer engaged with several online publishers dedicated to the improvement of education. Through his work, Robert aims to introduce the public with the latest shifts in the academic sphere and tech inventions that facilitate the learning experience. The author is also a regular contributor across various social media platforms where he shares his thoughts with his followers.