How Come The Schools Aren't Driving Outdoor Play?

A Continuum of Play-Based Learning: The role of the Teacher in Play-Based Pedagogy and the Fear of Hijacking Play Angela Pyle & Erica Danniels.

Why we like this study

One of the questions we get asked a lot is: "If everyone agrees on the importance of outdoor play, how come schools aren't driving it?". The answer is that, while some countries are, it is just not an easy problem to solve.

This is a great paper that describes the challenges that "traditional" teachers have, and underlines the importance of supplementing a child's development through additional outdoor play. One of the key inhibitors in the adoption of “play-based learning" in schools, is an increased focus on measurable learnings, that focus purely on academic success. This pressure comes from parents as much as teachers, and our goal at Twigs is to help schools and parents to understand the benefits of outdoor play and to use our experience to help them execute it efficiently and effectively. The paper also mentions the work that the Canadian province of Ontario is doing to balance the benefits of play-based learning with the traditional academic curriculum.

Key Takeaways

  • Some countries are leading the way on play-based learning.

  • The academic and social-emotional benefits of play-based learning have been established by lots of peer-reviewed research.

  • The role of parents/ teachers in play-based learning is not binary. Depending on the age of the child, the number of children, the learning objective, the adult’s involvement, can be anywhere between the silent observer and the entertaining conductor.

Read the full paper >>