Project Zero (PZ) mini-courses are asynchronous (2-3 hrs/week) professional learning experiences that allow educators to practice what they are learning within their own context, receive feedback from both coaches and PZ researchers, and exchange ideas with other practitioners from around the world.
Let’s Play Course Description:
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.