Session Title: Building Playgrounds

Your Name: Tim Wilhelmus

Work Title: Innovation, Curriculum and Technology Specialist

School or Organization Name: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Co-Presenter Name(s): N/A

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: United States

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Educators

Short Session Description (one line): 

Bring the elements of playground learning into the classroom to inspire and engage.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

When we’re young, learning comes naturally. The limits of our creativity and discovery are our own imaginations and the perimeters of our playgrounds. So why should learning be different as we grow older? The qualities that make a playground a compelling learning environment (universally designed, collaborative, self-directed, stimulus-rich, creative and fun), are the same qualities that ought to enrich our classrooms at all levels.

Instead, the pattern of education tends to progressively remove playgrounds (literally and figuratively) from a students’ day throughout the educational process, so that by the time a student is a senior in high school, very little of the student’s learning looks anything like the curiosity-driven, joyous learning of the playground. In fact, instead of high school looking more like kindergarten, kindergarten is beginning to look alarmingly more like high school to the detriment of our children.

If we want our students to be passionate about their learning, we need to create learning playgrounds in which they can explore, imagine and create their own experiences and learning. In this session, participants learn more about how to create these experiences in their classrooms and how to encourage kids to create their own.

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