Fun in the Classroom

Here’s an interesting follow up to the article I posted a couple of days ago about being prepared to teach ‘outrageous lessons’.

Washington Post Blog on Fun

This piece talks about the proven neurological benefits of fun. There are some interesting follow up comments at the bottom, especially the one about Flow. Incidentally, i can thoroughly recommend the book mentioned there – “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

I remember going through a time when I couldn’t understand how or why some apparently really fun, amusing, entertaining people became so deadly serious and sometimes downright dull when they walked in front of a class of students. Somewhere along the way I realised that one of their biggest fears causing thisa was the fear of losing control – children having fun cannot be ‘controlled’ as rigidly.

I think there is one genuine downside and that is that one child’s fun can be another child’s distraction. There are also all the challenges about children struggling to understand limits and boundaries. However, rather than teachers becoming fun-less deadly serious task masters, the answer lies in balance, variety and teachers having the confidence to know that children in the classroom want boundaries and want to respect them. It’s also vitally important that teachers ensure an atmosphere in which the fun is inclusive, not targeted or aimed at anyone and sensitive.

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