Affordances of play for student agency and student-centered pedagogy Documents
Noah S. Podolefsky,
Daniel Rehn, and
Katherine K. Perkins
While guided instruction can successfully focus students on concepts to be learned, this instructional approach can also reduce student agency and ownership of learning. Over the last two years, we have implemented PhET interactive computer simulations in middle school (MS) classrooms and found that "open play" can allow increased student agency and simultaneously lower barriers for student-centered pedagogy. In these MS classes, activities begin with 5-10 minutes of open play where students use the simulations without instruction. A moderately-guided, inquiry-based activity follows. In a study of classes with play versus no-play, we found that with play, the teacher focused on student ideas and science content, while without play the teacher employed more direct instruction.
- Download PERC2012_Podolefsky.pdf - 303kb Adobe PDF Document
Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified June 27, 2013