Getting Serious about Play

It seems Scotland public schools are in for an overhaul according to a recent BBC News article, School lessons to focus on play.

Schools will still use traditional methods when necessary to teach pupils to read, write and count. But the Scottish Executive also wants teachers to use play-based techniques.

Isn’t this a refreshing change?  I wonder how many students in the US will have to fall on the sword of external motivation and come up swinging or apathetic before the balance shifts toward valuing children over scores?  I continue to  be impressed and influenced by the work of Edward Deci and  Richard Ryan on intrinsic motivation.  Read their paper Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being  (downloadable from their Web site).  While there, view what should be mandatory reading for every politician making educational legislation: The High-Stakes Testing Controversy: “Higher Standards” Can Prompt Poorer Education.

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