Social Innovation Mapping: Entrepreneurial Patterns for the Future of Learning

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“Whole child” Development is Undervalued. Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older--such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning. PLAYWORKS UNITED STATES

SOLUTION EXAMPLE: In 1996, Jill Vialet noticed that the culture of play in the schools where she was working California had changed dramatically. Kids were coming to school without the basic skills needed to get games going, keep games going, and resolve conflicts. As a result, recess was a time filled with discipline problems, contributing to a negative school climate which interfered with teaching and learning. Vialet founded Playworks to maximize the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. By focusing on this time of day that had previously been so detrimental to the school experience, and consciously norming empathy, teamwork, leadership and inclusion as essential play values, she found that the program was able to have a measurable and dramatic impact on the overall school climate. Integrating directly into the school day, Playworks builds a culture of inclusion, respect, and fun starting before the first morning bell. The direct service model places full-time, trained adults at low-income schools to provide play and physical activity to students throughout the day and Playworks training program works nationwide offering technical assistance to schools, districts and other youth-serving organizations. As a result, students come to class feeling safer and ready to learn, administrators cut down on discipline problems, and teachers have more instructional time to focus on the important work of teaching and learning. No longer tied to the false tension between physical health and academic achievement, principals and teachers cite Playworks as one of the most indispensable programs in their schools.

IMPACT: > Playworks will reach 185,000 students through direct services in 23 cities around the nation in the 2013-14 school year (this includes over 8,000 4th and 5th grade students trained as Junior Coaches for their peers), and an additional 300,000 students through training.

Jill Vialet |

“We’re seeing a growing amount of demand and recognition from educators that the times in the day that are set aside for kids to play have real value to the school environment.”

“To build schools that work, you need both formal and informal education fused into the environment so that kids feel safe, included and heard. They need experiences of choice and control, the opportunity to know and be known by others, and to feel like they have a voice.”

>89% of staff nationwide7 report an increased ability of students to focus on class activities, 85% report a decrease in the amount of class time spent resolving conflicts, and 98% report an increase in the number of students that are physically active; these effects on the school climate are also confirmed by independent research8. Additional Patterns: *Everyone an Imagineer! Equip Adults to Drive Change in Learning (Design Principle 1) *Wired for Learning: Put Children in Charge (Design Principle 4)


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