Sunday, 8 June 2014

Let's Playwork

By Morgan

If you're a regular reader here, you've been hearing quite a bit about our recent US tour (blogposts here and here).  It was an amazing way for us to meet many of the people we've been corresponding with for years - independent organizers of pop-up adventure playgrounds, and students on our Playworker Development Course.

So far, we've had students from a dozen countries coming together online to read, listen, talk and explore this field together.
“This course is very complete, I want to congratulate the team for your hard work and for the happiness you transmit… I have enjoyed so much this course. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.” (Maria, Barranquilla)
Maria is a teacher in Colombia, wanting to bring more play into the classroom and recess.  Another student is a therapist in Seattle, while a third runs a youth centre in Uganda - both want to find ways to build community around play locally.  Many want to be more playful parents, prepared to advocate for better playgrounds in their children's schools and parks.  Others want to reach out from their daycare centers, community groups and museums into underserved neighborhoods beyond.  Our students are landscape gardeners, therapists, museum educators, all curious to learn more and to share stories about their lives.
“It never occurred to me play is so ancient, and it actually has people doing research on it…  I am enjoying the readings, but most of all, I am enjoying taking a course of something I am passionate about.” (Maria, Mexico City)
From diverse places around the world, we hear stories that sound remarkably familiar.  Academic pressure in Jamaica, car culture in Iran, fear of strangers in Bogota, lawsuits in Massachusetts.  Across vast differences of experience and perspective, we find people able to come together in support of play - to become playworkers.  Are you ready to be one too?

The course can be taken from anywhere in the world, so long as you have internet connection.  Carefully chosen readings draw from the best of playwork practice, while also demonstrating ways these ideas can be applied in other settings.  Each student is assigned a highly experienced playwork tutor who reads their work, comments carefully, and provides further context to help you explore your own developing needs and interests.  

Students are also linked to one another through our private online forum, where you can swap links to online videos and discuss the course so far.  All assignments encourage students to put these ideas into practice from the very beginning.  Tutors and fellow students provide the encouragement and community support necessary to develop your own style of playwork over time.

We believe that playwork offers wonderful tools to identify and push against the barriers children face to play.  But don't take our word for it!
“I so loved writing this assignment and appreciate being part of this class. I cannot tell you how inspiring this has all been, having a chance to read, reflect and knowing I am a part of something bigger. I feel like I’m riding one of those water slides that has a speed boost and your class is the boost.” (Jill, Houston, Houston, TX)
“This shared experience has provided such a strong framework for program development on so many levels and for personal/professional development for each of us.  The play sessions at HONAZ already feel different.  There is a confidence and sense of “knowing” and at the same time an intention to leave lots of space for “not knowing” and letting the great and delightful mysteries of children at play unfold.  That just feels so good.” (Elizabeth, Ithaca, NY)
We are committed to making this course available to all, regardless of financial circumstances.  Contact us for more information.

For more information on the course, please visit it's own special website. If you want to find out more about Morgan, please visit her personal blog. And of course, you can find out all about Pop-Up Adventure Play on our website www.popupadventureplay.org.

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