Constructing a space for developing a rich understanding of science through play

Margery D. Osborne, David J. Brady
2001 Journal of Curriculum Studies  
When we think about the two activities of education and play, we tend to di erentiate them more by their purposes, end-points and goals than by their processes. It often seems that people are learning e ectively when they are'playing', and vice versa. But, most would agree that the point of play is di erent from that of learning, while there is more interplay between the two than we initially imagine. Learning is a component of playing, and playing is a component of learning, and both taken
more » ... ther constitute a process of coming to know. They are aspects of one epistemology. We want to say that this has something to do with conceptions of what it means to know something. To illustrate this, we quote from a grant proposal we recently wrote. In that paper we were proposing to change the graduate student experience of electrical engineering by constructing spaces where students would learn through case-based problem solving. To do this, we would construct case studies of multifaceted problems in which students could apply electrical engineering and information technologies. As an example of a potential case study, consider the following ®sh story. Fish play an unexpectedly central role in science and science education at the University of Illinois. Margery Osborne uses ®sh in science education workshops and classes to enable student participation in alternative, enhanced processes of observation. Students explore the ®sh with their hands and make'®sh prints' by stamping inked ®sh on paper. The ink-projections often expose a structure that
doi:10.1080/00220270120863 fatcat:rhxsrqxx55ebvnaheflrgk5l6u