CHANGEd: What if we scaled “playing school?” 60-60-60 #39

In our vocabulary and parlance, we play sports and we play instruments, but we go to school. The action and agency of those verbs are very different. When young children simulate school, however, we say that they are playing school. Many times an older sibling wrangles younger siblings or neighbors to sit in rows and columns of desks to take lessons from a chalk board or white board. The organizer almost always plays the role of teacher – the one in charge, the creator of the lessons. What if we scaled playing school and empowered more students to stay in those roles of being in charge and creating lessons? What if instead of saying, “I go to school,”which can sound so passive, we talked of playing school? And what if folks began to speak of playing school with the fervor and excitement with which we talk of playing sports and playing instruments? In the long term, such a shift in the way we talk could lead us to value teachers more like we value professional athletes and musicians…don’t you think?

CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained

4 thoughts on “CHANGEd: What if we scaled “playing school?” 60-60-60 #39

  1. Pingback: PROCESS POST: Organizing and Annotating – #MustRead from Tony Wagner: “Graduating All Students Innovation-Ready” #EdWeek | it's about learning

  2. Pingback: CHANGEd 60-60-60: ANOTHER PLAYER’S WORDS / CREATING SCHOOL « Toward Wide-Awakeness

  3. A phrase I have been playing with lately is a different way that we “play” school, meaning that we don’t take it seriously. I like your idea of playing school the way we play sports. That means coming to practice ready to go and with the proper equipment, so we make the most of our practice time.

  4. One of my biggest “ah-hah”moments in education came in 1984 when I realized that the primary driver in meaningful education was when students actually care about what they are learning. I think we could substitute “creating” for “playing” in Bo’s post and it would lead us to that same place we want students to be, and where they want to be! Maybe this is another way to free up time for teachers: spend less time creating FOR the students and let them create for themselves in ways that generate personal investment.

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