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Which clippings match 'Risk-taking' keyword pg.1 of 3
17 NOVEMBER 2014

Mapping the geography of childhood playscapes

"In 1972, the British–born geography student Roger Hart settled on an unusual project for his dissertation. He moved to a rural New England town and, for two years, tracked the movements of 86 children in the local elementary school, to create what he called a 'geography of children,' including actual maps that would show where and how far the children typically roamed away from home. Usually research on children is conducted by interviewing parents, but Hart decided he would go straight to the source. The principal of the school lent him a room, which became known as 'Roger's room,' and he slowly got to know the children. Hart asked them questions about where they went each day and how they felt about those places, but mostly he just wandered around with them. Even now, as a father and a settled academic, Hart has a dreamy, puckish air. Children were comfortable with him and loved to share their moments of pride, their secrets. Often they took him to places adults had never seen before–playhouses or forts the kids had made just for themselves.

Hart's methodology was novel, but he didn't think he was recording anything radical. Many of his observations must have seemed mundane at the time. For example: 'I was struck by the large amount of time children spend modifying the landscape in order to make places for themselves and for their play.' But reading his dissertation today feels like coming upon a lost civilization, a child culture with its own ways of playing and thinking and feeling that seems utterly foreign now. The children spent immense amounts of time on their own, creating imaginary landscapes their parents sometimes knew nothing about. The parents played no role in their coming together–'it is through cycling around that the older boys chance to fall into games with each other,' Hart observed. The forts they built were not praised and cooed over by their parents, because their parents almost never saw them.

Through his maps, Hart discovered broad patterns: between second and third grade, for instance, the children's 'free range'–the distance they were allowed to travel away from home without checking in first–tended to expand significantly, because they were permitted to ride bikes alone to a friend's house or to a ball field. By fifth grade, the boys especially gained a 'dramatic new freedom' and could go pretty much wherever they wanted without checking in at all. (The girls were more restricted because they often helped their mothers with chores or errands, or stayed behind to look after younger siblings.) To the children, each little addition to their free range–being allowed to cross a paved road, or go to the center of town–was a sign of growing up. The kids took special pride, Hart noted, in 'knowing how to get places,' and in finding shortcuts that adults wouldn't normally use."

(Hanna Rosin, April 2014, The Atlantic)

Roger Hart (1979). "Children's Experience of Place", Irvington.

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1972 • ad-hoc geographies • alone but not lonely • being allowed • childhood agency • creating imaginary landscapes • dissertation project • elementary school • environmental psychology • environments for children • fifth grade • free range playgrowing upHanna Rosin • how children learn • how children play • kid-oriented experienceslearning by doing • making places • modifying landscape • New England • observation (data collection) • open spacesopen-ended play spaces • overprotection • patterns of usepersonal autonomypersonal freedompersonal responsibility • places for children • play fort • playhouses • playscapes • riding bikes • risk-taking • Roger Hart • route mapscriptible spaces • second grade • smooth phenomenal spacesocial constructionismsocial geographysocial researchspaces for childrenthird gradeurban mapping

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2014

The Land: documentary about the nature of play, risk and hazard

"The Land is a forthcoming documentary film about the nature of play, risk and hazard set in The Land, a Welsh 'adventure' playground. At The Land children climb trees, light fires and use hammers and nails in a play–space rooted in the belief that kids are empowered when they learn to manage risks on their own."

(Erin Davis)

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adventure playgroundagency of access and engagement • Erin Davis • exposure to risk • film documentary • Hanna Rosin • hazard • junk playgroundjunk playgroundsLady Allen of Hurtwoodmake-do playgrounds • nature of play • open-ended play spacesplace for children • playworker • risk-takingscriptible spacesspaces for children • The Land (forthcoming) • Wales

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2014

The school which encourages risk-taking through open-ended play

"It sounds like a child's dream and a parent's nightmare – a school with no rules. But at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, a blind eye is turned at break time while the kids run amok outside. Dani Isdale joins the children as they climb trees, skid around on bikes and fire makeshift weapons – it's all allowed and even encouraged.

'The need to wrap up our kids in cotton wool and not give them an opportunity to hurt themselves – you are actually taking away a lot of learning opportunities,' says principal Bruce McLachlan. When playtime ends, serious learning begins and he says the children are much more receptive, confident and cooperative after their 'free range' play. But he does admit to Dani that there is just one rule – the kids aren't allowed to kill each other. They love it, but do parents think he's gone too far?"

(Dani Isdale, 21 October 2014, SBS Dateline)

[Bruce McLachlan, the principal of Swanson School in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand believes that 'wrapping children in cotton wool' is more risky in the long–term than giving them the freedom to set their own rules in the playground]

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Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) • ad-hocagency of access and engagementanarchic freedomAotearoa New ZealandAuckland • breaktime • Bruce McLachlan • climbing trees • cobbled togetherexploration of unfolding possibilitiesexposure to riskfree range play • Grant Schofield • health and safety cultureimpromptu playimprovisationjerry-builtjunk playgroundlearning by doingmake-do playgroundsmakeshift • makeshift weapons • no rules • open spacesopen-ended play spacesparticipatory processpersonal responsibilityplace for childrenplay spacesplayscapesplaytimerisk-taking • SBS • SBS Dateline • school principal • scriptible spacessmooth phenomenal spacesocial constructionismspaces for children • Swanson School • turning a blind eye • universal no-fault personal accident injury scheme • wrapping children in cotton woo

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 SEPTEMBER 2014

Engaging learners through uncertain rewards

"Uncertainty may be an important component of the motivation provided by learning games, especially when associated with gaming rather than learning. Three studies are reported that explore the influence of gaming uncertainty on engagement with computer– based learning games. In the first study, children (10–11 years) played a simple maths quiz. Participants chose their preferred reward for a correct answer prior to seeing each question. They could either receive a single point or toss an animated coin to receive 2 points for heads or none for tails. A preference for the uncertain option was revealed and this increased during the quiz. The second study explored the discourse around learning when pairs of participants (13–14 years) competed against the computer in a science quiz. Progress depended on the acquisition of facts but also on the outcomes of throwing dice. Discourse was characterised by a close intermingling of learning and gaming talk without salient problematic constructions regarding fairness when losing points due to gaming uncertainty. A final experiment explored whether, in this type of game, the uncertainty provided by the gaming component could influence players' affective response to the learning component. Electrodermal activity (EDA) of 16 adults was measured while they played the quiz with and without the element of chance provided by the dice. Results showed EDA when answering questions was increased by inclusion of gaming uncertainty. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential benefits of combining gaming uncertainty with learning and directions for further research in this area are outlined."

(Howard–Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou, 2009)

1). Howard–Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou (2009). "Uncertainty and Engagement with Learning Games." Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences 37(6): 519–536.

2). Paul Howard–Jones, 2014, radio programme, BBC Radio 4 – The Educators, episode 5 of 8, first broadcast: 10 September 2014.

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2009 • acquisition of facts • affective response • BBC Radio 4 • chance • chance outcome • coin toss • compelling engagement • competitioncomputer games • computer-based learning games • dopamine • educational neuroscience • educational psychologyeducational research • effective teaching • Electrodermal Activity (EDA) • fairnessgamblinggame-based learninggamificationgamifying learning and teaching • gaming uncertainty • learning and reward • learning and successlearning engagement • learning games • magnetic effect • memorymotivational needsneuroscience • neuroscience and education • our ability to learn • Paul Howard-Jones • prize • reward system • risk-taking • roulette wheel • running score • Skevi Demetriou • skill • sleep • The Educators (radio series) • throwing dice • transcranial electrical stimulation • uncertain options • uncertain rewards • uncertaintyvideo games

CONTRIBUTOR

Christa Van Raalte
24 AUGUST 2013

Kevin Spacey: television has entered a new golden age

"He said Netflix ... had proved one thing: 'The audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge–as they've been doing on House of Cards–then we should let them binge.

'We have learned the lesson that the music industry didn't learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I believe this new model can take a bite out of piracy.'

But if the medium was to continue in this rich vein, TV executives would have to adapt to the way viewers want to binge on their favourite programmes on the internet or by watching DVD box sets, Spacey said.

Younger viewers no longer saw any difference between watching TV and online. 'For kids growing up, there's no difference between watching Avatar on an iPad or watching YouTube on a TV and watching Game of Thrones on their computer. It's all content. It's all story,' he said."

(John Plunkett and Jason Deans, 22 August 2013, The Guardian)

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1950s1980s • Aaron Paul • AMC • AMC Networks • American Beauty • American Movie Classics (AMC) • art formaudience • binge • Breaking Bad (television) • broadcasterbroadcasting • Bryan Cranston • cable channel • cable televisioncharacter-driven stories • cliff-hanger • complex characterisation • control • David Fincher • demassificationdemassified media • DVD box set • Edinburgh Television Festival • Game of Thrones (television) • golden age • HBO • Hill Street Blues • Home Box Office (HBO) • Homeland (television) • House of Cards • iPad • Jack Lemmon • Kevin Spacey • Mad Menmusic industryNetflixOrson Wellespilot episode • programme maker • risk averserisk-taking • sense of total abandon • small screenstorytellingtechnological changetelevision channeltelevision networktelevision programming • The Sopranos (television) • The Usual Suspects • TV • video-streaming service • YouTube

CONTRIBUTOR

Alex Shutti
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