Play is a catalyst for learning at any age.
The science of play is validating what gifted educators such as Alice Meckley, Ph.D., Vivian Paley, Sharna Olfman and Kathy Hirsch-Pasek have long been practicing and advocating. When students have fun at learning, they continue to pursue it for its own sake. It is how nature assured us how to learn about the world and our places in it.
At any age, play acts to retain and enhance meaningful context, and optimizes the learning process. All gifted parents, master teachers, and wise executives know this.
There is general consensus that education is in trouble, that skills and drills – no child left behind, diminished recess, art and music curricular designs leave students and teachers unsatisfied and not having much fun.
Long-term studies under way indicate that play-based learning with playful teachers heightens overall long term performance.
With the help of our Council of Advisors, we expect to design and offer educators and parents a series of play based curricular alternatives.
For school age kids, we can graft our evidence and science-based knowledge of play and learning on to the experience of some remarkably successful play-based schools sprinkled throughout the country.
We plan to help develop a flexible educational policy that could improve educational performance and sustain motivation for lifelong learning.
And for teachers-in-training, we plan on approaching selected front-line schools of education to introduce the basics of play and its contributions to the learning process. No teacher need be left behind.
A transformation in education is possible. If we apply the understanding from the science of play – and provide our teachers the tools – the students will respond; they are primed for learning through play.