Saturday, December 15, 2007

Big fun

Like the Primary Review, a recent press release from the headteachers’ union (NAHT) suggests that education has become boring – that there’s no room anymore for fun. That resonated for me with what Jackie wrote about educational videogames being devoid of the fun element. And, whilst I’ve always been a great advocate of fun, serious fun, and subversive fun, I wanted to think again about fun and learning. Because most of the important things I’ve learnt actually haven’t been fun at all – they’ve been challenging and sometimes uncomfortable. This is not to argue for serious and repressive educational regimes – in fact I think learning spaces should have plenty of laughter and enjoyment, but when it comes to learning we’re often out of our comfort zone. The real fun in learning is the thrill of accomplishment – the buzz of success – the pride that comes with achievement (not the false satisfaction of meeting someone else’s idea of our learning goals or targets). The learning journey itself is more complex than that - it’s a rocky road – you need all the encouragement and support you can get. Perhaps this is best captured by Jim Gee who talks here about it being pleasantly frustrating.

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