I have had this hunch for some time: middle school should be run like summer camp, and now I have a very smart scientist who might back me up. Watch this TED talk about important work of ‘play.” So while we’re testing, testing, testing our young charges, are we really putting on cat “smelling” collars on rats? Are we allowing this to happen to us adults? What are we doing in the name of “rigor” versus in the name of transformative, creative, growth of intelligence?
The day, (work, school, family, friends, creative time, etc.) is so much more enjoyable, and so much more learning happens, when we mentally play. Students take this activity by hostage: they doodle, they pass notes (yes, still) or use the technology given them to do anything but what’s in front of them. I’m not suggesting we serve brain candy instead of mental broccoli, I am suggesting that we have more hands-on, more projects, more time to enjoy the moment. “Life becomes infused….with…transformational kinds of play” — Stuart Brown
At the end of this presentation, I mentally checked out because the questioner/questions kind of missed the point. If you’ve been a human, and have ever felt that something was missing, lacking, or dull – you know exactly what Stuart Brown is saying: play, and all its manifestations, is who we are. Toy with that idea for awhile.