Tuesday, August 05, 2003

The Play Ethic

The Play Ethic...there's something very compelling about this site. I found it through Robert Paterson's excellent blog, where he pulled out some wonderful quotes from Pat Kane's writing:

"Children should leave schools feeling motivated, in command of their faculties, and capable of expressing themselves in forms and behaviours which both please themselves and others. Why would such a child choose the temporary utopia of drugs, over the actual joys of skilful self-creation? Why would they not choose to play?"
It's utopian, for sure, but rings so true for me. He's defining play in much the same way as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi does when he talks about flow theory. Challenge, expression, creativity, problem-solving because you want to...why are those things not more prevalent in education?

And who is this Pat Kane? I guess he's an author who's started a "cultural consultancy"...what a cool career. This article from the Observer covers the basic tenets of his philosophy, and I find it so refreshing, even though he labels people like me as Lifestyle Militants: Play for Today.

One more note on play in education: last year, this article by Lloyd Rieber rocked my world. He works with groups of kids to design and develop video games, but the product is less important than the process: Designing Learning Environments That Excite Serious Play (the detested pdf crashed my browser, so this is the google conversion instead).

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