“The Children Must Play” from The New Republic

The New Republic, in a January 28th article,  “The Children Must Play:
What the United States could learn from Finland about education reform
” compares the differing  approaches of Finland and the United States to education reform. From the article:

“Not only do Finnish educational authorities provide students with far more recess than their U.S. counterparts—75 minutes a day in Finnish elementary schools versus an average of 27 minutes in the U.S.—but they also mandate lots of arts and crafts, more learning by doing, rigorous standards for teacher certification, higher teacher pay, and attractive working conditions.”

Share your thoughts and stories about play, and learning through play in the comments section.

One Comment

  1. Elise Schmelzkopf says:

    As we all know, play is extremely important for children’s development, especially “free play” – an unstructured amount of time where children have free reign to play. Just watching my kindergartners in their 25 minute yard time, I can see the benefits of this free play. First, they are physically active, stretching out their bodies after spending all morning at work in the classroom. They are free to run, shout, and be really silly. This is also when I see their creativity come out the most. They find anything and everything to make into a game, story, adventure. There are often so many different games going on at once, with children that are entangled in a few at a time. To me, it is confusing and hard to follow, to the children it is clear which game they are playing and what role they are playing in each game. At this time, the children are strengthening their social skills as well as their creativity and problem solving skills. To understand the enormous benefits of play you have to actually pay attention and listen to children’s play, not just watch from the sidelines.

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