Reflection from Claudia

We’ve been considering the connections between play and learning in the Ako whare. This conversation kicked off with a concept game about what learning is. The children were given scenarios of things that have happened during their first couple of weeks at Ako this year, and tasked to classify each scenario as either ‘learning’, ‘not learning’, or ‘not sure’. The children went through the scenarios one at a time, and some were very sure that, reading is learning, making robots is learning and ordering numbers is learning.

Interesting conversations arose when the scenario was ‘Josh found a slug and looked at it’. Is that learning? Two children were not sure. Another responded by stating, ‘Finding a slug is learning because you can look at the slug and find out what it does.’ A scenario about using the slackline prompted someone to put this scenario in the ‘learning’ category, because ‘If you’re using the slackline, you’re learning to do something new.’

A last curious scenario was, ‘Playing a unicorn game.’ The word ‘play’ in the statement sparked discussion where one person said, ‘Play isn’t learning.’ We then considered what a definition of learning could be, and our definition, actually includes play. One child said, ‘It’s a whole bunch of stuff. Learning is playing, it’s cool. You can do new things.’ We ended the game with all scenarios in the ‘learning’ category. I am curious to see if the same scenarios will be considered as play as well.

Sabrina Nagel