Screen Playing – Penny Wilson

https://theinternationale.com/pennywilson/2020/05/01/screen-playing/

This is glorious.

If you understand anything about play you will understand that children’s play is the mechanism by which we become human (Battram, Eastbourne play conference 201x).

If you have any interest in the development of humans, you owe it to yourself to download the free PDFs in the right hand margin.

Sri Lanka, proud Island nation with rich culture going back thousands of years, annual turnover less than one branch of Sports Direct. Sri Lanka is now a wholly owned subsidiary of China PLC.

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka cancels school exams over paper shortage

Official sources said the move could effectively hold up tests for about two-thirds of the country’s 4.5 million students.

Students wearing protective face masks practice keeping a one meter distance as they attend a maths lesson inside a class room on the first day at Vidyakara college, which re-opened after almost two months of lock-down amidst concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 6, 2020.
Education authorities said exams were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948 [File: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Published On 19 Mar 202219 Mar 2022

Sri Lanka has cancelled exams for millions of school students in the Western Province as the country ran out of printing paper with Colombo short on dollars to finance imports, according to officials.

Education authorities said the term tests, scheduled a week from Monday, were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948.

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Sri Lankan protesters demand president quit over economic crisis

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Sri Lanka reverses course, seeks financial support from IMF

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Photos: Power cuts in Sri Lanka have hit all walks of life

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“School principals cannot hold the tests as printers are unable to secure foreign exchange to import necessary paper and ink,” the Department of Education of the Western Province, home to nearly six million people, said.

Term tests for classes 9, 10 and 11 are part of a continuous assessment process to decide if students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the year.

A debilitating economic crisis brought on by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves to finance essential imports has seen the country run low on food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

IMF bailout

The cash-strapped South Asian nation of 22 million announced this week that it will seek an IMF bailout to resolve its worsening foreign debt crisis and shore up external reserves.

The International Monetary Fund on Friday confirmed it was considering President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s surprise Wednesday request to discuss a bailout.

The island nation secured a $1bn credit line from India to buy urgently needed food and medicine, officials said, after Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi.

About $6.9bn of Colombo’s debt needs to be serviced this year but its foreign currency reserves stood at about $2.3bn at the end of February.

Long queues have formed across the country for groceries and oil with the government instituting rolling electricity blackouts and rationing of milk powder, sugar, lentils and rice.Sign up for Al JazeeraWeekly Newsletter

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Sri Lanka earlier this year asked China, one of its main creditors, to help put off debt payments but there has been no official response yet from Beijing.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

Where is the edge? There is only one way to find it: you have to go a tiny bit too far…

Beautiful wise observation…

As the girl receded farther along the walkway, I wondered how far she would go. As a boy, we often roamed just beyond the limits that our parents had imposed. When I was this girl’s age, we were expected to stay on our street, but often stepped just beyond that limit, hearts pounding. That’s where the adventure was and it called us despite our parents’ admonitions. For instance, there was a new house being constructed one street over. How could we resist the lure of a partially constructed house? Today, it would be called an “attractive nuisance,” but as a kid, these unfenced sites were impromptu playgrounds. The best places always seemed to be just beyond the limits.

There is a point where the greenbelt walkway turns. Would the girl take the corner? If she did, she would have been out of sight. When she got to there, however, she stopped, waited for the dog to relieve itself, then started heading back. It was at this moment that her father emerged. He stepped cautiously from the door, craning to look along the walkway, peering toward his daughter. Then suddenly he hopped back out of sight, obviously not wanting her to see him.

Now click the link to understand what’s going on here…

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2022/01/just-beyond-limits.html

We always knew Tory rewilding subsidies would destroy poor Welsh farmers, here’s how…

“As with the debate about rewilding, Glyn fears that carbon offsetting will accelerate a move away from food production and traditional livelihoods in Wales. He doesn’t want to sell carbon credits from planting trees or sequestered carbon in his soils if it replaces rearing sheep and cattle.”

““It would be interesting if the world did come to that, but whether it’s right is another thing. Agriculture is just the recycling of carbon, isn’t it? Whereas the companies that are buying carbon credits are just burning fossil fuels, aren’t they, which is just a one-way system.””

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/28/agriculture-recycling-carbon-farmers-reframe-rewilding-debate

Jah das ist güt and other Germanic clichés… Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds | Germany | The Guardian

Lofty climbing towers are part of trend away from total safety and towards teaching children to navigate difficult situations
— Read on www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/24/why-germany-is-building-risk-into-its-playgrounds

Blah blah blah.

An item about play that doesn’t mention Playwork? Why not? Because Playwork is dead. But, huzzah! It doesn’t mention Tim Gill either! Yay! Unfortunately, it didn’t mention Rob Wheway of the CPAS, or, ho ho ho, PlayEngland, PlayScotchland, PlayboredNI, or PllayWhails! Nor did it mention our glorious leader, Sir Adrian of Voce!

Nor Arthur Battram, Wendy Russell, the deceased Stuart Lester, Gordon Sturrock or Perry Else. It completely overlooked Sir Bib Hughes, aka Saint Bob, who invented play in 1902.

Not Lady Allen of Hurtknee, nor her protégé, Lady Penelope of Wilson.

I could go on. I usually do.

But seriously though, the article reads like a clever pressrelease and wudav bean put together by an interner or offspring of Grauniad journo, probably editor Kath Viber’s daughter on the occasion of Take Your Daughter To The Slaughter Day, when posho media ponces are encouraged to give their vile privately educated weasels a day in the office so they can learn the ways of Waitrose, my child.

But I digress.

Message found in a bottle of snake oil, in the Sargasso sea…

A friend of mine said, in a lovely,erudite presentation to some very smart folk:

“a weakness of my current thinking is a lack of explicitly encompassing the group, the social.”

Totally agree, we all lack this.

Re-examine page 49 of ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, written by myself.

Then think about that botanical nostrum – Early Years textbooks teach that there are three kinds of play in young humans and many mammals: 

  • individual play
  • parallel play
  • social play

Know that this is botany – classifying plants by the shape of their leaves. We observe the spots of a leopard, but what is the mechanism that creates them?

What are the primitives, the atomic irreducible processes that underly the phenomena?

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups. I  suspect they are incommensurable, like weather prediction after Lorenz.

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups.

This has hamstrung playwork, education, professional football, orchestral performance, NASA budgetary oversight inquiries, Air Accident Investigation, Corporate Fraud Investigation, etcetera etcetera.

There are clues in the Miles Davis approach to group play.

There are clues in Taoism, and Zen.

But as Sapir, Whof and Wittgenstein, and probably Gibson (JJ not W) would tell you, language shapes thought and we do not have the language. 

Try explaining how to put oil into a car without using any car-related, or engine-related words. Go on, try it. Write it down, now go through it and strike out any car-related and engine-related words that crept in. We don’t have a big enough RAM, our short-term memory, to hold even one sentence of the resulting tedious arm-waving stuttering verbiage.

Why doesn’t the world move when I shake my head?

~~~~~~



M’learned friend also said:

“This has many implications, but that main one is that we should judge education by the value created for stakeholders (laudate Tom) – this is fittingly complex and circular. 

NO NO NO, NO!

Very pleased that you rate teecha Tom.

Not stakeholders, feck stakeholders. Leave that to the Tory Goovey Gradgrindians.

I  think you might mean participants? If so then I‘ll semi-agree.

How would you judge a Beth Chatto garden? Answer that and you’ll know how to judge education .

~~~

Read Seedstock by Frank Herbert… full text here… https://momentoftime.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/seed-stock-frank-herbert/

I  cannot link to that story without rereading it, and when I  reread it, I  cannot help but be moved to tears.

~~~

Koan for you: “how can we value things without judging them?” asked the abbot.

Answers on a postcard to my fastness by Ruabon mountain, please, or via ‘e-mail’.

~~~

Excluded Containers: out of sight, out of mind: county lines-child trafficking

TL:DR –black children enslaved by drug dealers because they are outside all the bourgeois systems of survival.

Yeah, the thing you should take from this is ‘complexity’. Not, ooh it’s ‘complicated’, rather, this is ‘complex’— interconnected emergent, evolving… VUCA PICA whatever-acronymity. Yada.

Here’s how to do it…

1. Allow a trader culture to infest the guardian culture of school provision (Jane Jacobs – Systems of Survival)


2. Obsess on exam results (Long-term aim – gaming educational futures at Lloyds – I kid you not, google ‘charter schools and Wall St, the real story’ or whatever, dig deep)


3. allow schools to inappropriately and fraudently deploy commercial confidentiality

4. Allow schools to exclude pupils to improve results.

5. by redefining ‘our pupils’ and focussing only on your ‘bounded container’ (Wassex County Council is a container as is Sizewelldown Unitary, as is Vastco Academy MAAT) the problem goes away.

Now read this and come back…

All the answers to this problem are staring government, councils, agencies, whoever in the face (read my book ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, LOL)

But instead, funders want to approve your diversity targets and your theory of change WITHIN YOUR CONTAINER.

“There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”


Excluded containers.

I miss the gifts they bring for me, the special leaves, the bouquet of dandelions crushed lovingly in a fist, the portrait they made of me last night before going to bed.

“I miss the gifts they bring for me, the special leaves, the bouquet of dandelions crushed lovingly in a fist, the portrait they made of me last night before going to bed.

“I miss trusting them and to have that trust justified.
“I miss spontaneous debates over our own rights and responsibilities and how to balance them with the rights and responsibilities of others.
“I miss liberating them for a few hours each day in a world that is forever telling them what to do.”

future geography student

Teacher Tom: Isn’t This Belittling to Children?

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/isnt-this-belittling-to-children.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TeacherTom+(Teacher+Tom)&m=1

Do you know what this is, children?

Yes sir, we do, so please stop annihilating our playframe with your bolx teachable moment!

Nearly half of the children of the greatest nation on earth live in poverty.

https://newrepublic.com/article/160701/operation-santa-christmas-horror-story-american-poverty

Dear Santa, I want one thing. (sic) I been a good girl and I want to ask you if you please get me a power wheelchair. My wheelchair is very old and it does not want to work. I am very sad. Please Santa, bring me a power wheelchair. I don’t want nothing else.

Dear Santa … My wish is money for my (sic) perents. $100 dollars would help us a lot. They are having a rough time with the bills.” 

Dear Santa, how are you and your reindeer? It must be cool riding a sled in the sky…. this year for Christmas I would really like a couch that is also a bed. The reason I would like a couch with a bed is because I have a[n] apartment that only has one room. My parents sleep in the living room on the couch and they always wake up with back pain. My dad works a lot, so his back pain stresses him out.” 

Even prior to the pandemic, the United States lagged other developed nations in child poverty levels. More than one out of every five American children lives in poverty, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate the underlying crisis of American poverty, 45 percent of all children now live in households that have recently struggled with routine expenses, according to a report out this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP. Black and Latino households have been especially impacted by the economic starvation that the mishandling of this pandemic has wrought, and these populations were already disproportionately likely to grow up poor.

Fire all the teachers

 “…fire all the teachers and replace them with cooks and gardeners and artists and woodworkers and scientists, all pursuing their interests in the company of the neighborhood kids who would spend their days pursuing their own.”

Another superb blog from the man in the superhero suit:

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2020/06/what-if-everyone-understood-play.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TeacherTom+%28Teacher+Tom%29

Humans are betweeners

Donny knows it’s the inbetween not the things.

The material of playwork is relationships, connections. Between humans and between humans and things. It’s not about things. It’s not about Lou Spartz, it’s about our relationship with them. It’s all just junk if you think it is. That’s what that bloke Gibson is on about: affordances are the possibilities that you can see, observe, grasp.

Who are you when you are alone? Less human. That’s not a judgement, it’s an observation. I nearly wrote ‘just an observation’ as if a judgement is a bigger thing then an observation, which it isn’t. We get bigger, wider, deeper, when we are connected. Which is not to say that alone is less. It’s different.

https://psyche.co/ideas/for-donald-winnicott-the-psyche-is-not-inside-us-but-between-us

Sheepplay

Sheep turn playground merry-go-round into their treadmill

https://nypost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/nypost.com/video/sheep-turn-playground-merry-go-round-into-their-treadmill/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D

These sheep are having a field day. A flock of sheep took over an empty playground in Preston, UK, and hopped on the carousel. Watch as the wooly animals run in place as the roundabout spins in this funny video.

© 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Some Playwork Resources

Given how rapidly things get lost on the interweb, it might be helpful if I park these here.

playwork_primer
The Playwork Primer by Penny Wilson (Alliance for Childhood 2009)

The very best introduction to playwork, and what it isn’t.

makingsense-playwork in practice

A lost classic, a companion piece to Best Play, containing some gorgeous stories that really give you a feel for the playworkers mindset.

best-play

What play provision should do for children. If your ‘space’ doesn’t do these, it’s not playwork provision, even if it is lovely.

jackieKilvington onThePlayworkPrinciplesPowerpointPDF2.pdf

An excellent overview for beginners

The Playwork Principles

Here they are, and in the poster below. The key one in these endtimes for playwork is #4:

For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult-led agendas.

TPP

And finally, for now, some thoughts from Professor Play himself on what makes Playwork unique:

What Is Unique about Playwork? Fraser Brown

The Unique Elements of Playwork

  • A conceptualisation of the child that actively resists dominant and subordinating narratives and practices
  • A belief that while playing, the ‘being’ child is far more important than the ‘becoming’ child
  • An adherence to the principle that the vital outcomes of playing are derived by children in inverse proportion to the degree of adult involvement in the process
  • A non-judgemental acceptance of the children as they really are, running hand in hand with an attitude, when relating to the children, of ‘unconditional positive regard’
  • An approach to practice that involves a willingness to relinquish adult power, suspend any preconceptions, and work to the children’s agenda
  • The provision of environments that are characterised by flexibility, so that the children are able to create (and possibly destroy and recreate) their own play environments according to their own needs
  • A general acceptance that risky play can be beneficial, and that intervention is not necessary unless a safety or safeguarding issue arises
  • A continuous commitment to deep personal reflection that manages the internal relationship between their present and former child-self, and the effects of that relationship on their current practice