The State of Play

Was at a really interesting seminar in Glasgow this afternoon on the State of Children’s Play. I hope to write more about this later (or bore you all with it 😉 ) but it served only to reinforce my conviction that the play based ethos of a PLAYgroup is significantly beneficial to children. Children need self directed play experiences to allow their brains to develop. In a competitive society, however, where we rush to get children ready for school, we risk forcing education onto children before their brains have developed capacities such as reasoning and self-control. Without these basic skills teaching becomes much more difficult. The analogy of trying to build a house on sand comes to mind.

Soft Skills

At a training session a few months ago we discussed how the jobs of today will become obsolete in the future and how the majority of today’s children will spend their working lives in jobs that do not exist today.

The challenge of how to prepare children for such a life, when we have no idea what it will look like, is immense. When I think of the things I learned at school and how few of them are relevant to me today it only makes the problem seem more difficult. The answer, according to Jack Ma in this video, is to give children the soft skills that will make them adaptable, resilient, confident, that is, able to cope with the challenges their future will bring.