Friday, September 19, 2014

Is the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? We think so and this is why

A few recent and very inspiring trends are taking place in front of our eyes: 1) Organizations like the International Play Association with support from others, are advocating for the adoption of a general comment on article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bringing centrality to children’s right to play, 2) There is growing understanding that learning and play are not incompatible, and 3) Technology has made possible to learn anything, anytime, anywhere; forcing education to change from a system that encourages discipline, individuality and repetition (important during the industrial revolution), to a system that aims at developing the necessary skills to access and process information, think critically, question, analyze, synthesize, make connections, develop autonomous conclusions, collaborate, be comfortable with the uncertainty and complexity of the world we live in, live peacefully and protect the environment (important in the 21st century).
30 years later, we are excited to see that a paradigm change has finally taken place, making it possible to rethink schooling, education, play and learning. This is a great moment for us, one that inspires us to continue to work with more conviction and energy than ever, fueled by the support, encouragement and drive of our fellow pacesetters and strengthened by the commitment of international organizations and foundation with global reach, to rethink and transform learning.
Evidence that the world is ready for a change comes from two additional observations. One, the fact that 617 entries were submitted to the Re-imagine learning competition, with over 300 pacesetters already working to change the way the world learns. Second, when we first started talking about play and learning, play and literacy, play in schools, bringing learning outside of the schools, we found much resistance as teachers and parents alike thought that these were antagonistic processes. Parents in particular, insisted that children will not learn anything if they were playing. Later, they were able to discover that children using our learning games learned to read and write quicker than their counterparts and were more enthusiastic about learning and going to school than others.

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