Let play perish and innovation will follow
Tom Barrett
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I see a similar issue here with the idea that we have to “create” playful environments for children instead of letting them explore their own questions about the world in their own way. I highly recommend subscribing to Teacher Tom’s Blog. It is a master’s course in play-based education. Tom is the teacher at the Woodland Park Cooperative Preschool in Seattle, Washington. He doesn’t write about how to “teach” children to be creative, but about what the children teach him…and how he has learned how to interact with the children without interfering with their play. Also suggest Peter Gray’s book Free to Learn. We must recognize that play is not the opposite of work, but rather the free exploration of the world driven by the natural tendency every child has to learn. The current trend toward piling on more academics in “early childhood education” at the expense of free play is not only the antithesis of research on authentic learning (and the development of creativity), but is, at its worst, educational malpractice.

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