The Seed of Play

Barbara Clark

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Painting by Barbara Clark, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo by Roy Temple

Aesthetic pedagogy places an emphasis on the concept of ‘playful thinking’ for teacher candidates to investigate in depth various generative topics and aesthetic curriculum design. Through the medium of role-taking as a generative exercise teacher candidates develop new solutions to problem-based learning. Generative topics such as power are critically unwrapped and investigated. The causes and authentic faces of homelessness are introduced through a variety of perspectives for teacher candidates to address and apply critical thinking. Critical thinking through playful actions can then be transferred in the development of curriculum for children. Playful actions and problem-solving promotes spontaneous thinking and the urgency to embrace diverse perspectives and possibilities in the moment. Play through aesthetic pedagogy allows teacher candidates to socially interact and provide instant feedback to one another. The concept of playing out ideas with teacher candidates promotes divergent thinking. Being in the moment with a myriad of ideas to “play” with reveals a multiverse of realities necessary for a compassionate learning community.  In this video clip the teacher candidates present a dance and rap they choreographed for children to promote peace and a compassionate community message. Picasso often expressed that his greatest creative achievements were the result of playful action when working with parts of the whole and experimenting with various mediums. This playful nature of artists is an innovative process that play promotes. Like Picasso researchers have suggested the profound affects of play and the significant contributions of playful actions on our cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being. From the earliest of human stages we are drawn to play in search of meaning to life’s many mysteries. Teacher candidates began to perceive themselves as innovative teacher leaders.


All references to outside sources can be found in the bibliography sections of our published work.