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Old 07.04.2011, 13:27
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Learning through play. Anybody heard of Ludocreative?

During the 3-4 grade in our school system there is one class that provides a different teaching method than the 'traditional' method (I leave a little bit in the middle what traditional is) . It is focused on learning through play and goes by the name 'Ludocreative' . It means that I have to make a choice on whether to send my son to this class or send him to a class with a more 'traditional' method.

The idea of Ludocreative is to work in groups on problems that involve construction, exploration and play.

Personally I like this approach as working in teams, communication and creativity are important in life. However the position of the school seems to be one of ambivalence and it is not clear if they support it. It is also difficult to find any statistics or studies w.r.t. such an approach to teaching.

Some teachers say such a class is for children that have problems with learning (it is also taught at several special-ed schools).

Does anybody has any experience with this particular method or with other teaching methods that focus on learning through play and exploration?

Are there any other schools that use such an approach in Switzerland?

Data
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:58
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Re: Learning through play. Anybody heard of Ludocreative?

Hi,

I had a look on Google and I think you might be looking for this.

Unfortunately it's quite complicated French... and Google Translate mangles it so badly I can't make head nor tail of it... but perhaps someone else might be able to give the gist?

I taught for two years in the Foundation Stage in England, which has a basis of learning through play. In some ways, it's great - there's a real freedom to engage the children, to use imaginative and fun activities in the classroom. And if you pick the right stimuli, the children really respond. Teaching takes place through skilful intervention, as well as meticulous planning beforehand (i.e. learning through play does not mean a teacher will be sitting doing nothing). Assessment is done through observation and interaction with pupils as they play.

However, it can be taken too far, in my opinion. I was being told that 80% of my assessments should be based on 'child initiated' activities. Only 20% of the time should they be based on activities when I had sat down with a child (or a group of children) and said 'Lets do X'. It didn't matter how play based an activity X was, if it was 'adult initiated', it was less 'valuable'.

The problem is, there are some things that (most) children are never going to naturally gravitate towards in a classroom. Like writing. If the only way writing is promoted in the classroom is through a writing corner, or a writing activity (among other activities), then in my experience about 98% of the children will not write that day. Believe me, I spent hours coming up with interesting and meaningful 'prompts' for writing... and most of the kids just acted as if that table wasn't there.

Of course, this was with young children (the Foundation Stage in England is from birth to 5). But still... it was a problem.

So what I would suggest that you ask the school questions like:
  • What is the teacher's role during learning through play?
  • What methods of assessment are used?
  • How does learning through play link in with teaching key skills (reading, writing, maths)?
  • How is the learning through play organised - is it free choice activities or adult-led play based exploration?
  • If it is free choice, what will teachers do if my child does not choose, on a regular basis, to engage in activities which develop a particular skill?

One more thing - I'm afraid I don't know enough about the system in Vaud to work out how old your son is... but there has been research in England to indicate that the Foundation Stage model should be extended further - in Wales they have now expanded it to all children up to 7.

Last edited by Vlh22; 07.04.2011 at 19:59. Reason: Spotted a formatting error
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Old 07.04.2011, 20:57
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Re: Learning through play. Anybody heard of Ludocreative?

Thanks,

I already went to this website (but that is the only decent website I could find). But I was wondering if there is more information. E.g. if I look for Montessori I get a lot of useful information. With Ludocreative it is very limited (but perhaps there is an English search term equivalent that I am not aware of like the one you mentioned).


My son is 7 and this will be for 2 years when he is 8 and 9 years old.

Data
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:07
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Re: Learning through play. Anybody heard of Ludocreative?

I don't think it's as widespread a methodology as Montessori. If you look at the 'Locations' part of the site, it's all in Suisse Romande (apart from one in Brazil). I doubt there is an English equivalent... I searched in Wikipedia and found articles in French and Spanish. A search in Wikipedia for Montessori finds articles in several languages...

I tried Googling for Dr. Prof. Raimundo Dinello (who is credited with writing the pedagological article), and found a lot of information in Spanish... but that's not really going to help you, I guess.

My impression is it's quite a small and 'new' development educationally, in that it has been developed by this professor in the last decade (although his background goes back further, it's not until 2003-4 that he seems to have been speaking / writing about the 'Ludocréative' method of pedagology). In contrast to this, the Montessori method goes back to the early 1900s. So there will be more information available for the one than for the other!

Could you maybe ask the school if there are parents whose children have been through the class before? They might be able to share some experiences with you.

Also, looking at the 'Locations' page again... I think I can identify which school your son is at (although I won't mention it here as I see you have your location simply as Vaud), and there is one other school which seems to have classes which include your son's age group. I know of several expat yahoo groups which cover both areas, and if you send me a PM I'll give them to you (or I'll post them on here... whichever you prefer). You could sign up for them and ask if any parents there have experience of this system.

Of course, the lack of information doesn't mean it's educationally invalid. It just means it's new, in my opinion. Not that that helps you trying to find out if it's right for your son, of course..
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