Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fourth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Giving Permission to Play in Higher Education
Andrew Walsh

Last modified: 08-05-2018


Playing in public, including within education, is a political act, one that is loaded with potential disapproval by others, and hence becomes difficult for potential players to do. Even so, play has many potential benefits within Higher Education. This paper describes some of the benefits to play and describes the social difficulty of playing through the lens of Goffman’s frames. It goes onto describe some ways in which playful learning can be introduced to increase the social acceptability and impact of play within Higher Education. These are steps towards constructing a playful frame in which students and staff can view Higher Education. No absolute guidelines could be produced, as both play and acceptability of it are socially constructed and are so completely contextual, but an overall approach is suggest to increase the understanding, acceptability, and effectiveness of play.

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