|Many thanks to those who continue to spread the word!
We have found that the language “joyful learning” resonates with people and has a lot of power. When we spend time with people talking about teaching, learning, and schools words like “joy”, “joyful”, “fun”, “passion”, and others start popping up more often. If you have not already tried to, see if you can work it into a conversation at a PTA meeting, with a teacher, with friends, or in another setting. Part of our goal is to change the discourse around learning and the school experience to more explicitly value joy.
This week we wanted to take a moment to highlight joyful learning through games. As Amy noted in her tweets, playing games can be an incredibly joyful learning experience. We believe that the card, board, and other games we have played with our boys have greatly influenced their intellectual, social, and emotional growth. At King Middle School, where Jason was principal, the 6th graders have a nine week class on the history of games, game strategy, and game design. The final project is for students to design their own game, and then play the games with each other in class. Now that is joyful learning!
Speaking of the power of games, Playworks, formerly Sports4Kids, started in the Bay Area and is now a national organization. They have done a tremendous job of promoting active games on school yards throughout the country. Whether or not a school chooses to partner with Playworks or another organization, paying attention to outside and inside play can help create a far more joyful school environment.
On the video front we wanted to take a moment to highlight another TED talk, this one on gamification (thanks Jane!). In the same vein we recommend a current book on the topic, Game Frame, which Jason read earlier this year. When we talk about games, play and engagement, we are often speaking to the issue of student motivation.
A new study from the Center on Education Policy takes student motivation head on in a new report pushing for more focus on student motivation in improvement planning. The fact that we need a report to make this explicit is strong evidence that we need the Joyful Learning Network!
Please stay active in sending us links and ideas - and don’t forget to talk about joyful learning with your friends and family. Think of it is a very large whisper campaign. Perhaps before too long advisors will be whispering “joy” into the ears of our elected officials - and then who knows what might happen?
With love and joy,
Jason and Amy
To Do List
1. Tweet a joyful moment to #JLNjoy
2. Post to the JLN Facebook page
3. Send in your favorite videos/books/organizations, tips, and ideas
4. Talk about joyful learning at least once a day for the next week
5. Tell a friend about the Joyful Learning Network ;)
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