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Nerantzi, C., Baylis-Green, C., Thomas, R., 2016.

Playing with the everyday

Output Type:Presentation
Venue:Manchester Metropolitan University

James (2014) talks about creative reflection consisting of a cocktail of criticality, imagination, playfulness and creativity. Recognising that learning doesn't exclusively happen in the head through reflection but also through experiencing using our heart and hands (HHH model, Sipos et al., 2008) can be valuable reminders. We will use the Playground framework (Author1, 2015) to put the puzzle pieces together and experience playful learning in action.
This contribution is a playshop for individuals with a wide open mind. You will have the opportunity through a series of playful activities to explore new ways of looking at how you engage students with your discipline and help them grasp challenging concepts to make learning stimulating and memorable.
Consider bringing few usual and unusual objects with you from your office or home. Don't worry if this is not possible. We will have a box of goodies you can choose from. Also, in preparation for the playshop, reflect on a recent teaching situation where you tried to explain something challenging to your students and it just didn't work. Create a visual of your failed activity and be prepared to share this with at least one more person during the playshop.
When we meet, we will explore how we can through sharing and engaging in playful collaborative and inquiry-based activities, troubleshoot, generate ideas and learn from practices we would normally brush quickly under the carpet. Together, we will identify playful ways to spice up our teaching in ways that will provide powerful hooks for our students that have the potential to help them connect the known with the unknown, uncover and discover the power of playful learning to make learning stick.
Who says play is a no-no for higher education? Let's explore, experiment and experience together the power of play in this playshop!
James, A. & Brookfield S. (2014) Engaging Imagination. Helping Students become creative and reflective thinkers, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Nerazzi, C. (2015) The Playground Model for Creative Professional Development, In: Nerazzi, C. & James, A. (eds.) (2015) Exploring Play in Higher Education, Creative Academic Magazine, Issue 2A, June 2015, pp. 40-50, available at
Sipos, Y., Battisti, B., & Grimm, K. (2008). Achieving transformative sustainability learning: Engaging head, hands and heart. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9, 68-86.