Take some moments to re-imagine our education system… what would it look like? How would it be a place that embraced learning at a deeper level, and prepared our children to be resilient innovators, collaborators, flexible thinkers, and creative problem solvers?
In today’s episode, I share an invaluable chat with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen, the Vice President and Chair of Learning Through Play at the LEGO Foundation in Denmark. He spent 9 years building the research agenda and organizational expertise on children’s development, play, and learning to enable the LEGO Foundation to be the leading authority on Learning Through Play.
First, he was the Director of the LEGO Learning Institute. Later, Head of the Centre for Creativity, Play, and Learning. And lastly, as the Global Head of Research, leading the research partners of international projects on the role and impact of play on creativity and life-long learning. Bo has published widely on creativity, play, and learning, most recently, on the role of play for children’s learning in schools, and he has presented the work across various international platforms. He completed his PhD on Performative Learning Environments and worked 10 years developing learning environments and technology applications across four continents.
Tune in to the chat with Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen and learn:
- How the LEGO Foundation came to be and his passion about play
- The objective of the LEGO Foundation and what ‘learning through play’ means
- His view on how playing has become structured and formalized, and its repercussions
- The image or vision that comes into his mind when hears the word ‘play’
- Some words of wisdom to help people chip away from the negative mindset about play
- The importance of play for children
- His say about parents’ common mindset of playing as a complex and costly thing
- The picture of an education system that embodies the value of play
- The progress of society in reimagining education and redefining play
- Strategies for parents, teachers, carers on how to welcome play in daily life
- His version of ‘play’ and how it applies within his own family
Top Strategies for Parents & Carers to Welcome Play into Daily Life:
- We need to equip children to make decisions and learn. We cannot do it for our children.
- Always reflect and say, ‘How could we do it?’… Sometimes, they need that time and opening from structure to be able to ask questions, reflect, and contribute.
Top Strategies for Educators to Welcome Play into Daily Life:
- First and foremost, the pedagogy—the way you teach; it is to balance the instruction with more guidance, project based learning and free play.
- Work with the school leadership to embed playful learning as part of longer sessions. Stitch topics together and you can embed collaboration and creativity and the knowledge into that.
- Think about the resources you have, not only in the school but in the community.
Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen’s Take Home Message for Parents & Carers:
- Think about the experiences provided right now for children; they are literally shaping their brains and how they become in the future.
- Be present right now and allow these moments to be together and ask them questions.
Dr. Bo Stjerne Thomsen’s Take Home Message for Educators:
- Embed much more flexibility and creativity in your work.
- Be less concerned about failing as instructors, and just show the source of knowledge.
- Invite students to think about creative problems, projects, and collaborations. Allow them to assess what they are doing.
“Play is really a state of mind. It’s about being playful, where you are actively engaged and open to test and try out things.”
“Make sure that the joy of doing things is always the most important.”
Dr. Bo’s wise advice to parents during their children’s playtime: “Do not set your expectations, always to be the one who knows everything, but instead acknowledge uncertainty and help to ask questions, reflect and explore ideas.”
LEGO Foundation – https://www.legofoundation.com/en/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/legofoundation/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LEGOfoundation
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