[Week 5 Reflection] Playful Quotes



I was lucky enough to be exposed to making / tinkering from an early age. Nothing techy, my gran was a seamstress, my mom loved using knitting, crochet, macrame etc… to make things and I got very interested as they made toys for me, better yet they taught me how to make toys.
I can’t pick only one quote!
I love the idea of Not all play is created equal and Playpen VS. Playground.

Having an artistic / creative side is lovely. I often come up with ideas how to solve a problem or create something.

Because I have plenty ideas at any given time, and do not always finish them I tend to have unfinished projects lying around, both in physical and in virtual space. When I consider decluttering by throwing something out or recycling it, I stop because I have lots of ideas on how to make it work.
I do decluttering somewhat but altogether I have some mess around.
Funny thing is, some friends think that I am organised!

**what is your experience with creativity, tinkering and mess?
Practical solutions? **


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and research. It is exciting to see many smaller movements on changing approach to teaching and learning spreading around the world.
I would like to add two more to share something inspiring, apart from fantastic MIT, regardless if it’s Lcl or sth else MIT themed :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

  • a fantastic display of tinkering to teach civics and so much more by a very inspiring teacher
  • Self Learning experiment which won a Ted grant

Would love to hear thoughts from professionals on this. TY.


"It’s also important to provide learners with sufficient time because some paths and styles take longer than others"
Time is a big issue, especially in private or public organization, they want everything quickly and they do not understand that people need time to play to be creative and assimilate changes, leaders need to understand that we are working with people, not machines, not computer that we can reprogram.


“Watch children on a playground, and you’ll inevitably see them making up their own activities and games. In the process, children develop as creative thinkers.”

I like this quote a lot. Kids have a lot of imagination and creativity. We need to take care to encourage their creativity during their schooling. I am happy to participate this course. It reminded me to give bigger role on play (also in math lessons).


“In my mind, not all types of play are created equal” I couldn’t agree more with this statement, and appreciated learning about Marina Bers metaphor regarding playpen environments and playground environments. Play-based learning is such a huge term in early education right now, and it’s difficult to convince parents that play is an important part of a child’s development and learning. In a Montessori teaching environment specifically, there tends to be several purist parents, who think materials should be presented and used in a very specific, single way to ensure mastery (of the rote variety). It’s quite a bone of contention when I talk about non-traditional use of materials. allowing for open exploration, tinkering, collaboration, creativity, and personal mastery.


The comparison between playpen and playground is a guideline for me when designing playful projects. Tinkering happens on playgrounds. “The tinkering process can be messy and meandering, but that is true of all creative processes. A careful plan can lead to efficient results, but you can not plan your way to creativity. Creative thinking grows out of creative tinkering.” Tinkerers are ready to take advantage of the unexpected. “Many paths many styles” is always a reminder for me, and so is “it is important to provide learners with sufficient time, because some paths and styles take longer than others”.

In practices, it is easy to set and assess with the same criteria for all learners. But as reminded by Mitch “learners differ from one another in many ways: some are patterners, others are dramatists; some are planners, others are tinkerers; some prefer to express themselves through text, others through images.”


I am also interested to learn and experiment how to incorporate story into the math and science classes. Kids (adults too) love stories, and math and science do have stories behind (either real stories or fictional stories), then why we forget to “teach” math and science in this naturally fun way. I am thinking we also could encourage kids to create their stories for math and science lessons.


agree…instead of thinking them as “failures”, take them as iterations or opportunities for new explorations which leads to creativity as in the example of Nicky, who took advantage of the unexpected (some people may see it as a failure)


i think, it is, in our culture, we stress too much on “success vs failure”, that we tend to think unexpected results as failures rather than opportunities for new explorations. So in education or parenting or in our own lives, we shall always motivate kids or ourselves to think what the unexpected situation implies for us and what we can do with it…when no fear of failure, we will tend to think creatively about the unexpected result/


I like the key concepts you presented here “draw upon personal experiences” “use heuristics” “think by analogy” to get inspiration…


Hi Luigi, I have same question as yours first one…after reading Dr. Resnick, I feel planning and tinkering do not have to be separate process…flexibility mixes them…One might start with planning, but when unexpected result comes out, it is flexibility that leads you to explore different path (which then becomes kind of a tinkering process)


This is also inspiring for me. I would also challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and try new things or do things in a new way.


"Our central thesis is that equal access to even the most basic elements of computation requires an epistemological pluralism, accepting the validity of multiple ways of knowing and thinking.

Over the years I have thought differently about how I was taught and how I actually learn. Sure, I could hear and then practice a few math concepts in class. I could even go home and dredge through some homework and hopefully recite it back on the quiz or test. To actually know when or why I might use the math I was “learning” was still so far off. I remember an example in a calculus course involving something about a wall and a ladder. I don’t think many people who use ladders go through a process involving calculus to paint the side of their house. You wouldn’t even need a calculator or computer to do so either. If I were to really know and understand mathematics we would have been in the world looking for math, using math, creating with math (as I try to do with students). I am not a math teacher by title, but we use math through programming digital art and making playful inventions with electronic construction kits and code. It all looks very fun and playful. I quite love it.

However, the existence of the epistemological pluralism that Papert and Harel advocate for is also a long way off. There is an underlying attitude that the ways in which students are learning in my courses is not serious enough. Sure, parents are happy that their child enjoys the course, but it isn’t enough to shift them from the tradition of explicitly being taught that is the basis of their understanding.


There were so many quotes in this week’s article and video I couldn’t pick just one. Several quotes serve as good reminders in the classroom.

In the Playful Learning video by Mitch Resnick, he says:

“But rather than seeing this as a failure, Nicky became intrigued with the idea of the vibration.”

This is a good reminder to continuously let kids know that it’s ok to make mistakes and that is how we learn. I’ve seen some great pictures/signs about failure. I need to find one and hang it up in my computer lab!

One of the quotes in the article from Week 5 that made an impression on me was:

In her book Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development, Marina explains that she uses the playpen “as a metaphor that conveys lack of freedom to experiment, lack of autonomy for exploration, lack of creative opportunities, and lack of risks.”

Not providing these things paints a stark picture for students, so this is definitely a good reminder to try to incorporate these into student experiences.

One final quote that summarizes everything perfectly is Mitch’s call to try to meet the varied needs of all learners:

Learners differ from one another in many ways: Some are patterners, others are dramatists; some are planners, others are tinkerers; some prefer to express themselves through text, others through images. Many people wonder whether these differences result from nature or nurture—that is, whether styles are inborn or based on experience in the world. For me, that’s not the most interesting or important issue. Rather, we should focus on figuring out ways to help all children, of all backgrounds and learning styles, reach their full potential. How can we develop technologies, activities, and courses that engage and support all different types of learners?


“True tinkerers know how to turn their initial explorations
(bottom) into a focused activity (up)”. Respect for true tinkerers who overcame the trivialities and opened their horizons for new adventures…
“Using familiar materials in unfamiliar ways” is an option with so many versions… And one can only imagine the cerebral processes and nerve endings that develop… That is evolution and revolution!
A big applause for all the creators of every day life…


“In one study of how children interact with their toys, Dennie Wolf and Howard Gardner identified two primary styles of play. They described some children as patterners and others as dramatists. Patterners are fascinated by structures and patterns, and they typically enjoy playing with blocks and puzzles. Dramatists are more interested in stories and social interaction, and they often play with dolls and stuffed animals.” I feel really silly for not noticing this earlier. I have never been a dramatists, but it explains so many things that I’ve seen in my classroom. This particular concept will change the way I react to certain students and how they approach concepts.


Not all types of play are equal. Some types lead to creative learning experiences; other don’t. We need to ask ourselves What types of play are most likely to help young people develop as creative thinkers?

This quote really made me think about the lessons that I incorporate into my classroom. Are they encouraging creative thinkers?
I am encouraged to incorporate lessons that do develop creative thinkers.


My favorite quote was “creative thinking grows out of creative tinkering” because it succinctly summarizes the thoughts and ideas of play, the last ‘P’ of the 4 P’s of creative learning.

For the activity this week, many of us engaged in creative tinkering with physical objects and materials. This made me wonder how we can we make tinkering accessible and interesting for all learners (by having wide walls), but also make it manageable in the point of view of a facilitator/educator.

How wide should the walls be? Should we experiment with different materials for the walls? What kind of walls would be interesting for dramatists? How about for patteners? And how about for adults who’ve forgotten how to play? :slight_smile:


True tinkerers know how to turn their initial explorations (bottom) into a focused activity (up)”.
This is interesting since it’s a very good way to start a bit messier and then focus on what you want to achieve a little bit at a time.
thank you


«Creative thinking grows out of creative tinkering.» Mitch Resnick.