Play is an increasingly popular process for working with groups of adults in a range of contexts. We are increasingly sophisticated in our ability to integrate creative forms of play into our facilitated work with groups, often with excellent outcomes. Experience and research have deepened our understanding of how to design and implement powerful and effective playful scenarios in connection to objectives for adult learning and performance. We are convinced, intuitively and experientially, about the value of play. However, our confidence in the efficacy of play seems not to be matched by clear insights into why and how play actually achieves results. This conceptual article builds a case for the importance of understanding the nature of the influence play has on psychosocial spaces and group energy in the interest of better informing our application of play as a learning intervention. It advocates for designing ways of systematically and qualitatively researching the influence of play as it unfolds in real time. A brief case study of a simple experiment undertaken by the author at a session of the 2016 Playful Learning Conference is described here as a thought-starter for ways we might explore the psychosocial and energetic dynamics fostered when we introduce play as a way of purposefully engaging adult learners.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology