Serious about Play
Learning Through Play at School – A Framework for Policy and Practice by Rachel Parker, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, and Amy Berry
Frontiers in Education, February 17, 2022
Parker, Thompson, and Berry analyze learning through play as a framework to help implement policy and practices to engage students in joyful, meaningful, and socially interactive activities. In doing so, they place an important emphasis on the benefits of learning through play for students in early childhood and elementary school environments, not just preschool. Research shows that school environments that encourage students to learn through play cultivate cognitive, social, emotional, creative, and physical skills leading to deeper, more enduring, and transferable learning. Based on this research, the authors' Framework for Quality LTP (Learning through Play) incorporates the student experience, learning experience design and facilitation, and learning outcomes for all students. Schools might use this framework to understand, evaluate, and apply playful practices in their communities. Though there can be limitations to such practices, the plethora of benefits for students should drive teachers and administrators to consider how they might show up in our schools in intentional and authentic ways.