In this EdSurge article “Make Your Classroom More Like a Playground Than a Playpen Using ‘Hard Fun’”, our Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. Marina Bers, discusses a more playful environment where kids can become resilient, creative, problem-solvers, in a controlled, safe space like a playground.
The article reads in part:
“I often use the metaphor of “playgrounds versus playpens” to distinguish between learning experiences that are likely to have a wealth of benefits and those that are less useful. In my latest book, “Coding as a Playground,” I discuss how playpens keep children safe, but they also keep them isolated. They limit their options, eliminate creative opportunities, cut off any chance of real exploration and erect physical barriers to collaboration with other children.
Playgrounds, on the other hand, allow children a much greater deal of autonomy and choice. Playgrounds encourage kids to explore and play together, and create new games alone or collaborate with their peers.
The ultimate goal of classroom play is to help children express themselves. Each child expresses themselves in different ways. The teacher’s role is to facilitate that rather than direct it, hopefully even orchestrating it so that the students look to one another for help, instead of their teacher.”