ERIC Number: ED201552
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Haha, Aha, Ah: A Model for Playful Curricular Inquiry and Evaluation.
Iverson, Barbara K.
This paper discusses playfulness and creativity and draws educational implications. The suggestions in the paper are intended to provide a rationale for incorporating foolish interludes, humor, flexibility, and the playful side of human nature into classrooms to stimulate creative thinking in young people today. Play is described as a mode of being or a way of looking at the world. The biological side of play is first briefly explored. Researchers have observed that playing tends to provide strong motivation and to reduce frustration among those who are learning or doing something. Because our society is one in which change is rapid and pervasive, schools need to deal with the way in which individuals create adaptive strategies in response to their environment. The research of ethnologists suggests that play is one mechanism for developing adaptive strategies, as well as being an integral part of the creative process. The paper examines the link between play, playful outlook, and creativity. Manifestations of creativity in humor, science, and art are discussed. Four states of creativity are proposed (the preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification stages). The role of play in these four stages is discussed. In order to examine play and playfulness in classrooms, observations of five suburban, racially and sexually integrated classes were conducted. A kindergarten, first, fifth, sixth grades and a reading lab were each observed for one full day. Techniques used to evaluate the playfulness of these classrooms are discussed. Interspersed through this discussion are comments about the observations made. For example, by looking around the room, an observer can note much about playful or serious nature of the classroom. Most teachers have admonitions, in the form of posters or bulletin boards, posted in the classroom. "Be Quiet, Be Neat, Work at Your Seat" are some examples which were observed in the five classrooms. Other phenomena studied include observations of facial expressions, patterns of student congregation, and the kinds of classroom activities in which students are involved. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, 1981). Some pages may not reproduce clearly from EDRS in microfiche due to fading ink throughout original document.