ERIC Number: EJ1075002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
From Plato to Erikson: How the War on "Bad Play" Has Impoverished Higher Education
Carnes, Mark C.
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, v14 n4 p383-397 Oct 2015
For centuries, the titans of educational reform--Plato, Rousseau, Dewey, Piaget, Erikson, Csikszentmihalyi and others--have championed the educational benefits of play. Yet many professors and administrators are boggled by the idea of playing academic games in college. They instantly dismiss faculty initiatives like "Reacting to the Past", where students play complex role-playing games set in the past, their roles informed by classic texts. This article maintains that skepticism towards such forms of play derives from the ideas of the chief proponents of educational play: their "endorsement" of play has also included a powerful denunciation of competitive role-playing games. This centuries-old philosophical predisposition against such modes of play has impeded pedagogical innovation at the college level. That such games can revitalize higher education is demonstrated by the extraordinary response at the over 350 colleges and universities where faculty have adopted "Reacting" during the past decade.
Descriptors: Play, Educational Change, Higher Education, Educational Benefits, Educational Games, Role Playing, Competition, Barriers, Educational Innovation, Educational History, Educational Theories, Imagination, Criticism, Electronic Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A