Friday, November 2, 2007

I love doing Friday recess!

Today on the playground I saw intense digging, sculpting, and engineering in the sandbox. I saw a game that involved vampires, zombies, and bow-and arrows, and lots of discussion in a huddle. There is a group who practices intensely on the monkey bars and rings. Sometimes they fall (there is a thick, cushy layer of wood chips to fall on!) The ultimate challenge seems to be to skip to every other ring - not easy. There were also some chase games that I really couldn't tell you the rules for.

This past weekend I went to a workshop at Emma Willard with author Daniel Pink. Parker faculty read his book, "A Whole New Mind" this summer. His ideas have lots of implications for education. The lecture and discussion affirmed how we teach at Parker. We are giving children experiences that will lead to success in a massively changing world.

One of things we discussed was that play is so important for children. Laughter, humor, games, experimentation, negotiation, and imagination all develop critical skills. Failure can happen on the playground, and failure is crucial for mastery. It's like the old saying "if at first you don't succeed..."

Daniel Pink says that the very most important things for schools to cultivate in children are curiosity and persistence. Then, they can use their strengths to make a difference in the world.

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