How playful learning can help leapfrog progress in education

Autor(es): Winthrop, Rebecca; Ziegler, Lauren; Handa, Rhea; Fakoya, Foluyinka

Organisation(s): Brookings Institution (USA). Center for Universal Education

Date: 2019

Pages: 12 p.

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This paper is the first in a series of Leapfrogging in Education snapshots that provide analyses of the Center's global catalog of education innovations. Of the nearly 3,000 innovations captured in the catalog, two-thirds involve playful learning, which represents the largest category of recordings. In reviewing the catalog of nearly 3,000 innovations, the authors found that playful learning innovations are implemented all over the world in varying contexts. They are happening in low- and high-income countries, in and out of the classroom, and with and without the use of technology. Playful learning is driven by student inquiry and needs, is meaningfully connected to students’ lives, and fosters experimentation and social interaction. This type of learning can occur through various pedagogical practices such as project-based learning, where children develop knowledge by exploring a real-world problem, as well as personal learning experiences, where students set their own goals and teachers act as facilitators and guides on the learning journey. Playful learning is appropriate for learners of all ages and goes beyond merely interactive activities to require students’ conscious engagement and reflection and allow room for investigation and iteration. Numerous studies show that these types of pedagogies result in better student outcomes than more traditional teaching practices.

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