Tag Archives: Play as learning

Training Kids to Play?

I just read a Wall Street Journal article titled “Playing Nice: Teachers Learn to Help Kids Behave in School” which I find very disturbing. I feel it is one of those cases where the adults developing and implementing the programs highlighted in the article probably mean well, but in my mind as a parent, who believes strongly that a kid best understands and can best manage the direction and pace of their own development, and should be able to “play” without being carefully supervised and instructed by an adult. Continue reading →

Plastic Dinosaurs and the Tragedy of Jinx Island

Most of my posts lately have been related to the various paths forward for youth education in a more formal sense, but I feel that much (most?) profound learning takes place in more informal settings… like play. So rolling back the clock to revisit my own youth…

I am not sure what initially inspired me, at age five, to become obsessed with dinosaurs. Could be it was going to the University of Michigan natural history museum and seeing the big reconstructed T-Rex bones or the tableaus behind glass of small scale dinosaur models in the best guess of what their living environment looked like. Or maybe it was seeing the movie, “The Lost World” (the 1925 version) based on the book by Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame. The story was a wonderful tale about scientists and adventurers who travel to a previously uncharted plateau in South America and discover that the stories of living dinosaurs there were true (kind of the progenitor to “Jurassic Park”). Continue reading →