Whilst reading yesterday’s letter to the The Telegraph from leading educationists I was pleased to see their call for a more play based curriculum.
Inevitably the media has focused on the call for children to start school later, this has meant the call for more play based learning has been overshadowed. This letter and most studies have focused on play based learning for the under 5s. I believe play based learning has a role at all ages. When we have a good experience whilst learning we retain the knowledge better. We have something to ground that knowledge to. For instance <blog_break>when I’m in schools telling our Chest of Dreams story there is a section where the characters follow the points of a compass to lead them to the treasure. So whilst I’m telling the story or just after I get the kids to follow the directions in the book. As the children have experience of using the compass points during the game they remember them. Should later on they need to recall the information they can go back in their minds to that experience.
Play based learning is also valuable for dyslexics as they learn best through a multi sensory approach. If they were to read the same information about the compass points, they may struggle to understand it as their concentration will be on reading the words rather than understanding the meaning. However if they learn through experience they are more receptive and can easily understand the meaning. As dyslexia is massively under diagnosed there maybe many undiagnosed children in a class.
So I think Mr Gove’s dismissal of the letter mean that he is missing a great opportunity to give kids a lasting education rather than just equipping children to past tests and putting a whole group of kids at a disadvantage.