This article and your analysis of it touch on a point that is very near and dear to my heart — work/education and play should not be separate spheres, especially for young children. Kids want to be playing, not learning, so why haven’t we thought about ways to incorporate the two to engage kids in education?
Here’s what you wrote:
“When you think about how play and learning are segregated in school or work environments, you realize that these things almost take away from one another. If we maybe took the time to realize how we could tie the two together, we might have a more productive work force and a more enthusiastic learning environment.”
YES! Absolutely! And this actually isn’t a novel idea, but I don’t think many have taken the time to really look at it! Only now, with the popularity of video games and educational video games is society beginning to tie education and play together. But it doesn’t have to be tied to video games only! I’m going to go hard into nerd mode for a second:
I attended a Waldorf school in Austin, and it was the best 12 years of schooling I could have received. Waldorf schools were started in Germany by a guy named Rudolf (yep, like the reindeer) Steiner who looked at children’s developmental stages and planned an education around them. So to learn my 3 times tables (3, 6, 9…), I jumped rope and only said out loud every third number (work + play = I know my 3s). We didn’t get textbooks to read in our classes, we listened to our teachers, took notes and created our own textbook pages as homework. I don’t ever remember studying for tests or exams in school because the incorporation of activities and hands-on play in learning actually taught me the material.
I think video games can do this, and I think that they will be an amazing tool for children if the games are developed properly, but I also think it’s really interesting to be talking about an idea that was the basis of my schooling for 12 years that’s now suddenly becoming popular.
Nerd session over. Thanks for letting me rant :)