Posted by: carlsumner | September 10, 2010

Fun to learn?

Making learning fun – the postulated theme for #ukedchat on Twitter 9/09/10 provoked an interesting debate on the variety of methods/resources that could aid to achieve this , but perhaps more significantly, on the seeming necessity in society today for educators to ‘perform’ and create a fun environment for learners to learn.

It is very easy to get caught up in the semantics of education – what to one person is ‘fun’ is another’s idea of noise, or rowdiness and a lack of control.  The very word ‘fun’ provoked debate on what is expected in a school and what the role of an educator should entail.

General acknowledgement appeared to focus upon the need to create learning opportunities that are challenging and engaging and that allow the learner to develop their own sense of fun from the activities undertaken.  To catch them unaware at their learning was popular – although at some point we must surely recognise when we are, so that we understand the value in discovering something new or becoming better at a skill and making progress?

Life isn’t a constant, fun-filled arena for most people, so is it unfair to present children with education that only focuses upon learning when we are happy or attempting something we like? Are there situations or topics and skills to learn, whereby ‘fun’ isn’t appropriate as a tool for learning?  And yet it was generally agreed that in situations where people have fun and enjoy they are very positive towards learning and are likely to engage more.

Finding the balance is key, identifying individual needs and understanding the environments and situations that children learn best in is an essential requirement for all educators.  ‘Fun’ isn’t always required, but is certainly a required tool.


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