PlayFutures’ LEGO Foundation Meets Embodied Learning

by | May 15, 2017 | Case Study, Education

An Interview with Lego Foundation’s Think Tank “PlayFutures”

I’m very honored to see Embodied Learning being part of LEGO’s international think tank about the future of learning through play

PlayFutures is the global, invitation-only research and innovation LEGO Foundation community that brings together participants from diverse backgrounds to deepen the understanding of Learning through Play.

I’m a very proud community member and contributor at PlayFutures since July 2016. On May 10, 2017, PlayFutures interviewed me about my background and visions on education as a teaching artist and educator trainer. Thank you to PlayFutures and to Heidi Gore for the amazing profile!

Building community is one of our many passions in PlayFutures and one way we want to continue doing this is by introducing you to each other. We have so many talented, inspirational and creative participants in the community and this week we are introducing you to one of them – Tommaso!

We got to know Tommaso recently and wanted to share his work and experiences with you below. In the meantime, here is a picture of Tommaso whilst teaching about playful learning…

What is your background in relation to Learning through Play?

In the 1870s in Milan, Italy, a group of German-speaking young children who attended the school of the local German and Swiss community happened to learn Italian and the Milanese dialect. They did this by hanging over their schoolyard’s wall during recess and interacting with passers-by. Parents had instructed teachers to prohibit this strictly. But there’s no adult who can stop a child from playing and learning. I wrote my MA thesis in social history about this story and children’s natural potential of enabling inclusive learning pathways through play.

Why do you love Learning through Play?

Playing is the natural pathway a young person follows to discover herself, her own body, her pace, her peers, and her emotions. Far beyond any given instructions, learning is a self-guided ongoing activity, which increases new layers of complexity in each developmental growth stage. In fact, how do science and pedagogy measure development? Through play!

What is one of your favorite Learning through Play projects you have worked on?

In 2014 The Preschool Museum Berlin-Falkensee invited me to curate the exhibit Learning Outdoors in the surrounding yard of the museum. The museum’s director had no budget, so I used my childhood memory, the observation stories I collected in the past years of work as a teaching artist, and everyday-life materials I found in the garden and in the museum’s basement to design and invent inspiring prepared environments to foster play-learning experiences for children in the age 2-8 and their educators. Learning Outdoors focuses on motion, social-emotional learning, literacy, and numeracy in nature. There, children can freely experiment and learn through play.

Do you have a favorite Learning through Play resource?

Just a quote by poet Novalis: “If there were a theory of the fantastic as there is for logic, then we would be able to discover the art of invention.” The magic of learning through play lies in enjoying a broader space of action without being trapped in the limits of logical thinking.

How would you like to be more involved in PlayFutures?

Frankly, since I have recently moved to the US, I’d love to meet people there who are looking for specific professionals to start up real large-scale educational projects that embody the culture of ‘learning through play’, or seek to reframe the meaning and the practices of learning keeping in mind children’s needs and potential.

Thanks again for your time Tommaso! We hope you all enjoy getting to know your fellow participants as much as we do. If you have more questions for Tommaso, pop them in the comments below or reach out to him via his profile here if you are up for a chat. We will be featuring more participants soon so stay tuned.

This post was originally published under the title “Meet Tommaso – Our Featured Participant!” on: www.playfutures.net

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