Play is at the heart of childhood. Through play, children learn how to collaborate; how to negotiate rules and relationships; and how to imagine, create, and dream. They learn to solve problems, think flexibly and critically, and communicate effectively. Whether playing with objects, engaging in pretend play, or tinkering with ideas and testing theories, children’s play is essential to their social, intellectual, physical, and emotional growth. Join researchers from the Pedagogy of Play initiative in this two-part workshop, exploring why we need a pedagogy of play and discussing how to make play a central feature of teaching and learning. The workshops will feature examples from playful classrooms from preschool to middle school, strategies for supporting playful learning, and tips for cultivating a whole school pedagogy of play.
Ben Mardell:
Ben Mardell is a principle investigator at Project Zero. He works on the Pedagogy of Play, Children are Citizens and Inspiring Agents of Change projects. Ben has been associated with Project Zero since 1999, initially as a researcher on the Making Learning Visible (MLV) project and helped co-author Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners. After continuing his work as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, Ben returned as a researcher on MLV and co-authored Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools. Ben's publications include: From Basketball to the Beatles: In Search of Compelling Early Childhood Curriculum and Growing Up in Child Care: A Case For Quality Early Education. When not at PZ, Ben enjoys playing with his family (hiking, swimming and games) and participating in triathlons.
Jennifer Oxman Ryan:
Jennifer Oxman Ryan is a researcher and senior project manager at Project Zero (PZ), a research organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Her current work on the Pedagogy of Play initiative explores how to cultivate school cultures that value and support learning through play. She has been with Project Zero since 2006, having researched and published previously on maker-centered teaching and learning, trust, young people's digital lives, and arts education. Jennifer has co-designed and instructed two PZ-HGSE online courses, one exploring learning through play and the other exploring teaching and learning in the maker-centered classroom. She is co-author of the recently published book, Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds. Prior to working at PZ, Jennifer was a museum educator, professional development leader, and director of education for school/community partnerships. She lives with a family of makers and players, ages 11 through 46.
Megina Baker:
Megina Baker is a Lecturer in the Early Childhood Education program at Boston University's Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, and a researcher on the Pedagogy of Play project at Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero. She holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, where she studied bilingualism, teacher education, and practitioner inquiry. A graduate of Tufts University and Cornell University, she has taught preschool, Pre-K, and kindergarten in both public and private settings for over ten years, in the United States and in Sweden. Megina collaborated in writing the integrated,play-based Focus on K2 curriculum for the Boston Public Schools kindergarten programs, now being used across Boston and beyond. She is a co-author of two recently published books: Children at the Center: Transforming Early Childhood Education in the Boston Public Schools, and Reclaiming Accountability in Teacher Education. Megina isco-leader of the Early Childhood Leaders Inquiry Group, based out of the BU Wheelock Documentation Studio, and was involved in coordinating numerous professional development opportunities for local educators in conjunction with the Wonder of Learning exhibition from Reggio Emilia, Italy during its stay in Boston in 2018. Megina is also the mother of two young emergent bilingual children.

20th - 21st January 2021
EST 11:00 am | London 4:00 pm | Zurich 5:00 pm | Dubai 8:00 pm | India 9:30 pm | Hong Kong 12:00 am
Each Session will be for 90 minutes
These sessions will be recorded.
USD 120
INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 3 Professional Development hours
Upcoming Workshops
Online Workshop: Agency in the Early Years during Face to Face,
Distance and Blended Learning: More Than Easy Choices
- By Anne Van Dam
6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March 2021
Pedagogical Listening in Early Childhood: Developing Creative Reflective Practice
- By Debi Keyte Hartland
7th & 14th March 2021