When you do a Google search with keywords “play in learning,” overwhelmingly you find play being utilized in childhood education. This lack of attention to play in higher education reflects the societal narrative that says, “play is for kids, not adults.” When play is associated with childhood or seen as trivial or a waste of time, utilizing play in “serious” adult learning can seem radical, scary, or reckless at most. The Professors at Play PlayBook challenges the idea that play is only for kids and presents a case for play and its value of play in adult learning. The PlayBook describes how the use of a playful pedagogy can reduce students’ barriers to learning, create connections, and awaken students’ interest and engagement in learning leading to deeper learning. The PlayBook tells an alternative story about play giving the reader permission to explore the possibility of a playful pedagogy in their teaching.
The PlayBook is an anthology of almost 100 play techniques from over 65 professors across a variety of disciplines. The collection of techniques is organized around four key themes: the playful professor, connection-former or icebreaker activities, play to teach content, and playful whole course design. The chapters of techniques are nestled within commentary and a review of the research to provide context and an argument for the value of play in academia. The book features an introduction by noted play scholar Peter Gray and an afterword by play researcher Alison James. The PlayBook is an extension of the Professors at Play community, an international network of higher education faculty, researchers, and instructional designers who are committed to the transformational power of play in adult learning. You can find out more about Professors at Play: http://professorsatplay.org