In our society, we tend to build walls between play and serious acts like learning and working. This division makes no sense, for play is a serious act. It offers human beings learning experiences through which they can grow and emancipate themselves. Play is ‘also-learning’; it is a serious act that asks for a playful mind!

Together with my colleague Rosanne, I explored how play as a pedagogy could be practiced in art education at a primary school.

To reflect on our research, we created a series of audio files to invite you to join our conversations, as well as exercises related to the research project and its themes. Because of the context of the project, the conversations are in Dutch. I’m aware that this limits their accessibility, but you can find an overview of the topics of the audio files in the English version of my research project It’s More Like Playing within the MEIA Graduation Archive, which hopefully offers an insight as well.

It’s More Like Playing

Episode 1: It's more like playing

In this first file, I introduce you to the main subjects and questions of my research. We listen to an excerpt of a conversation with the children in which I ask them if they experience the project more like learning or like playing. My colleague, Rosanne and I discuss the position of play in education and I introduce the concept of play as also-learning. At the end, you are invited to join a small exercise to explore how play functions as also-learning.

For more about play as also-learning, please see pages 15–18 of It’s More Like Playing.

Children playing with masks at Park16hoven primary school. Photo: Gaby Jongenelen Photography