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Playwork Theory

This is all about the thinking behind what we do as playworkers. From the classic playwork theories of play types, play cycle, compound flexibility, loose parts to more complex joining up of ides that incorporate ideology and environment


5) IMEE, reflection, playwork and parents

Sarah Turton

A look at reflection and how this impacts on a persons playworker-ness and an exploration as to how we can use reflection to encourage parents and other adults' playworker-ness to emerge. This session will focus on looking at IMEE and how as playworkers we use our Intuition, Memories, Experiences and Evidence  within our day to day practice and then consider ways that we could get parents and other adults who may have forgotten how to play or what it was like to be a child to be more playful or understanding of the play process.

Time: 9:45 - 11:15 Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Aimed at: For Anyone

Relevant to Playwork Principle 6

the focus of this session will be on the use of reflection

6) Ins and outs of play in a Dutch nature playground

Martin Hup

With a surface of 3 hectares (7,4 acre) nature playground Het Woeste Westen in the city of Amsterdam is the biggest nature playground within an urban area in the Netherlands. Kids can romp around, explore nature, climb trees as well as catch little (water) animals. Remarkable is that children really cut loose at this place and play with almost ‘nothing’. How is this possible? What’s going on?

In my presentation I will give an inside in how the playground looks like and I'll discuss results from research on the different play types observed in our playground. I also will talk about the organizational part and the reasons behind our organized activities. There will be plenty time for discussion and Q&A.

Time: 11:45 - 13:15 Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Aimed at: For Anyone

Relevant to Playwork Principle 2

When adults are involved, it is no longer playing, but just another form of doing games. It is different in comparison with playing with friends. Parents going out with there kids often seem to miss a certain educational or game-related component.C hildren however, are not bothered by such questions. They just go out and play with everyone and everything.’And when, as in our nature playground, they play in nature it looks like an extra stimulance. They play for our at a time leaving the parents behind with a thought “are they still oke?” But they are perfectly oke because they become themselfes; children, play and nature fit together as the Holy Trinity.

7) A situated ethos of playwork

Gordon Sturrock & Adrian Voce

Discourse about the status of playwork tends to focus on its struggle for recognition as a new profession. We will offer a novel perspective, suggesting that playwork is primarily ethical, political and emergent, redefining terms like ‘profession’.

We will consider an ethos of playwork, situating it in the ‘precariat’ – an awakening class of society that is:

Reclaiming the concept of education from the patriarchal designs and industrial-age demands of the pervading but exhausted hegemony;

Enacting a more conscious, non-binary relationship with the natural world and our species’ evolution within it;

Resisting the annexation of the commons and the monetisation of the public realm by corporate wealth;

Demonstrating a radical curriculum for communities, bringing learning back to the play space;

Promoting a rebirth of human culture, privileging creativity, connectedness and cooperation over competition and economic growth

We will explore and share ways in which our practice contributes to a redistribution of power, a reordering of ideological norms and a reimagining of our shared life on earth, through developments of practice that strengthen our field and broaden our reach.

Time: 13:30 - 15:00 Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Aimed at: Wanting more

Relevant to Playwork Principle 4

This session will aim to provoke and contribute to a review of these principles; reframing them for the current political context.

8) Knitting together playwork theory

Mick Conway

In this session Mick will look at how theories and models like the playwork curriculum, play types, the play cycle, loose parts, and the Playwork Principles, and  understandings from neuroscience along with rights-based approaches like the Manchester Circles and the General Comment 17 on Article 31 can be knitted together into a coherent whole to help us do playwork better.

Time: 15:30 - 17:00 Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Aimed at: Getting there

Relevant to Playwork Principle 1

All of them

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