Pedagogy of Play

About

Much is known about the importance of play in children’s development, yet little research has explored what it might mean to put play at the heart of schooling. In 2015, the Pedagogy of Play (PoP) research project began exploring just that.

Paradoxes

Perhaps the simplest way to understand PoP is through these paradoxes. ISB is a school and, as such, must be safe and orderly. At the same time, we want our students (and teachers) to play! Figuring out how to walk this line – that is the point of PoP.

Indicators

At ISB, we want learning to be playful. But how do we know when we’re succeeding? One of the first developments to come out of PoP was the “indicators of playful learning,” a graphic overview of what we’re hoping to see (and feel) in the classroom.  It’s the basis for almost everything we do.

Principles

The foundational values driving our work with PoP.

  1. Play with an educational purpose
  2. Learners leading their own learning
  3. Experiencing choice, wonder, and delight
  4. Connecting life inside and outside the classroom
  5. Learners reflecting on playful experiences
  6. Cultivating a culture of playful learning for adults
  7. Fostering trust and welcoming negotiation
  8. Collectively studying the paradoxes between play and school

Teacher toolbox

These tools for playful practitioners have been created by ISB teachers. We also use a variety of other tools for reflection, documentation, and discussion, created by our friends at Project Zero. You can find them here.