Sample Education Paper on practical applications of play philosophies


Your quest is to explore and enhance YOUR play life by experimenting and making practical applications of play philosophies, understandings, questions,  and research. Further, the purpose of this assignment is to act as a vehicle to develop as a “player” by making connections and producing new thoughts that are new and valuable to you. The course readings should inform your play, you will make sense of the play with the readings – BUT also – that your play informs your theories of play. Three goals : 1) development of your play skills, deepen your play skills 2) deepening your theoretical understandings of play 3)  make connections to your life.


The purpose of this assignment is to provide time and support (in a unique moment of your life/during this course) to focus a self-selected personal play quest and to learn from your experiences,  and in and from the process. Your mission is to choose, design, implement, and reflect upon a play quest.  This quest is about you and your relationship with play and should be tailored to your needs/interests/skills.  This is a very “open” invitation. The parameters are listed here in the assignment outline, but it is up to you to create the constraints, as appropriate, that fuel the goals of your quest.


Important Things to Consider and Guidelines


1) Provide an introduction to your Quest Portfolio by providing a brief outline of your play narrative, as appropriate for our professional setting and with which you feel comfortable. Outline your quest plan as developed with your mentor and based on your personal interests and motivations.


2) Pedagogical Documentation: On-going Documentation of your Play with 5 to 7 portfolio entries are expected along with a summative reflection. Each class (more or less) should result in one portfolio entry which consists of two parts: 1) one artifact and 2) an associated reflection. Do NOT leave this all at the end of the PlayQuest period, the purpose is to document your growth.


3) Purpose of the artifacts: A growth portfolio contains multiple artifacts that symbolize, represent, or capture a moment in time of your evidence of engagement. Artifacts can take on many forms: they might be photographs, videos, sketches, and the “stuff” and “things” of the play, creativity or art. How will you capture moments along your journey?


4) Writing your “reflections”. Reflective writing should provide you with the opportunity to “think” – document your questions, your critique, your creative thinking,  new ideas and new questions.. Push for the metacognitive process! Parts may be up-close and personal, other parts will present a distanced analytic view. They should also tap into the theory and elements/ features/ aspects/issues of play or art, as discussed in class (and from your own additional reading, as appropriate.  Consider how you demonstrate your ability to raise new questions, how entries might build upon one another. You might include the learning from your mentor meetings. Learning from challenges, struggles, openings, breakthroughs and celebrations are important to include.  The reflection might discuss why the artifact[1] is important to you, why you chose it, or what learning or ideas it represents;  We think and learn when we write; use this writing to explore and sort out your ideas.  I encourage you to be creative and playful with your product. The goal of reflection: This is where you deepen your understanding of yourself, your relationship with  play, and play itself. 


5) The Final Summative Reflection in your portfolio (not associated with a particular artifact)  reflects on the portfolio process and your own learning, growth, process. Demonstrating your metacognition. Make links to the literature.  What have you learned about Play? What has the assignment meant to you personally, and as an educator? Significance of your learning? Next steps?



[1]I find it interesting that artifact has the word art in it. Do you think it is a coincidence? or do you think there could be something to that?