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Inventors use play as a strategy for learning within a conflict-rich environment.

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

Related Tools

Making Friends with Conflict

Use this tool to support children’s ability to work through conflict toward a satisfying resolution.

View PDF

Reinventing Rules in Outdoor Games

Use this tool to inspire children’s agency, collaboration, and systems thinking through whole-body play.

View PDF

Windows into Practice

Building Creativity and Complexity in Outdoor Play

4th- and 5th-graders play an outdoor game that inspires inventiveness and reflect on their play.
Classroom Video

① Inventiveness Emerges through the Tangles Found in Play ② Love, Play, and Mail

Kindergartners and 1st-graders discover and respond to the need for a post office.
① Blog Post ② Blog Post

This Practice is guided by Principles