But I’m going to be that guy. I’m going to talk about something that I’m already on board with. It’s the idea that playing is learning. At its simplest, the theory is that people become what they pretend to be.
Cas Holman, in her Personal Story on the CLA website writes, “We don’t know what future jobs are going to be. Students are going to graduate into a world that contains roles we haven’t seen before.” Because of this ever-evolving job marketplace, it becomes more and more important to teach students how to think, rather than specific skills. If students have the ability to be creative, to see new ways to use the tools that are given to them, then they are able to develop as learners as career fields change. A key for this, one of the key takeaways that Cas notes, is not giving your students directions on how to use the tools that they’re given.
Many times students will figure out the tool’s intended uses, but sometimes they’ll surprise you with the ways that they adapt them for new purposes. As a lifelong fan of Lego, I can attest to this. Anytime I had the instruction book in front of me it was just too tempting to build what was on the front of the box. But take the instructions away and mix the boxes together, and whole new worlds were ready to be created at my fingertips.