Pre-Conference Workshop 2: Designing Playful Learning Cities: The Learning Landscapes Initiative in Philadelphia and Beyond
Loews Hotel Philadelphia, June 30th 2018, 08:30 – 16:00
Brenna Hassinger-Das, Pace University
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University & Roberta Golinkoff, University of Delaware: Overview of Learning Landscapes
Martha Zapata, Amanda Morris & Amy Treat, Oklahoma State University: Talking is Teaching in Supermarkets
Brenna Hassinger-Das, Pace University: Urban Thinkscape
Andres Bustamante, Temple University: Parkopolis
Jeremy Sawyer, Temple University: Philadelphia Playful Learning City Project
By 2050, over 70% of the world’s children will live in cities. Yet, many urban public spaces are underutilized and lack opportunities for families to partake in play and playful learning. With less opportunity to read or play spatial/mathematical games with caregivers, young children from underresourced neighborhoods enter school far behind their more affluent peers in reading and mathematics. In this context, public spaces hold immense potential to provide needed learning opportunities for children from infancy onwards.
To help realize such possibilities, this workshop will showcase an innovative line of research transforming public spaces in Philadelphia and beyond into hubs for playful learning. By embedding playful learning within public spaces (e.g., bus stops, stores, and laundromats), the Learning Landscapes initiative supports meaningful interactions between children and families in traditionally underserved communities. Attendees will learn about the social and educational backdrop to Learning Landscapes through presentations about the 21st century skills children need in today’s rapidly changing world. The overall workshop objective is to give attendees the inspiration and practical knowledge necessary to execute their own playful learning projects.
To this end, the morning portion of the workshop includes a guided tour of Philadelphia’s Learning Landscape sites via trolley. The tour will stop at Urban Thinkscape, Parkopolis, and Playbraries—all part of the Philadelphia Playful Learning City project. Attendees will gain insight into how to transform a city into a playful learning hub by directly experiencing urban playful learning installations. Afterward, we will return to the conference site to discuss the playful learning sites we have visited. This will deepen attendees’ practical understanding of how to transform their own local landscapes.