Practice: play as a strategy


Inventors use play as a strategy for learning within

a conflict-rich environment.

In a perfect world there would still be conflict – but people think a perfect world is no conflict.

Ginger, age 10

Children learn to negotiate conflict through play when adults…

  • are comfortable facilitating conflict and see the value of this practice
  • design daily experiences for children to work in small and large groups
  • support children to invent and practice a range of strategies to resolve conflict
  • emphasize the value of having ideas more than the value of having the best idea

Teachers learn to support children to collaborate and negotiate conflict through play when…

  • educational experiences and environments provide low-stakes opportunities for children to work through conflict and complexity
  • time is organized to allow for long blocks of instruction
  • they recognize and nurture the connections between cognitive and emotional development
  • they collaborate with colleagues by drawing on practices that mirror those they use to support children