Focused Play

Download the presentation.

As seen at MCCAA San Antonio 2014 Panel: Foundation, the original interdisciplinary program.

Abstract

Focused Play: Five Foundational Funtivities to try in a MakerSpace

It’s time to get serious about play in the foundation year. In most foundation programs, we teach our students to think broadly about the context, purpose and definition of art. We've expanded our language to rightfully include design, making, and crafting in the art conversation. We've broadened the format of critique, analyzed the prevalence of privilege and importance of diversity. We've dabbled with curricular language and structure and written/rewritten learning objectives to death and still, we've failed to address a simple and basic truth about creative people: they play to learn!

If you're looking for a metaphor of interdisciplinarity, look no further than the good old fashioned playground. There's equipment to hang from, to climb on, to get dizzy with. There's dirt to dig in, flowers to pick, maybe basketballs to shoot. Children are free to embrace and explore what they’re interested in and dismiss what they are not. Well, I think that’s what we want our students to do with foundation curriculum, to freely but authentically explore and push the limits of their own imagination and observation, so why not center our approach around that? 

I'm curious about not only the role of free play in a foundation year but about the ways we can structure and focus the play of our students, not only as ornament, but as a central, critical, measurable learning objective. And anyway, a hands-on, discovery-based art playground designed for young adults, I mean, what’s better than that? 

Links from the presentation

Coming soon: Download Funtivity Project Sheets!