Professor Carrie Winstanley, Portrait Room, Grove House, 5pm for 5.30pm
The 'serious play' movement is garnering attention in Higher Education. 'Serious play' uses immersive and creative approaches to learning, harnessing techniques from the entertainment industries, heritage and museum sectors, and from early years education and primary classroom practice. Yet although some detractors dismiss play as trivial, educational theorists and educators have been able to show the value of entertaining and engaging experiences to enhance learning.
Currently, in Higher Education, improving the quality of student engagement is a priority. Universities are developing schemes and strategies to ensure their offerings foster regular attendance and an ethos in which students are absorbed in their studies and active in university life more widely. Whilst agreeing that playful learning can be helpful in this regard, a potentially more fundamental aspect of successful engagement is pitching apposite levels of challenge in the lecture hall, seminar classroom and beyond.
In this presentation, the links between playful learning and effective education are explored. Set against a backdrop of current agendas to improve student engagement, both 'serious play' and Equality of Challenge will be considered.