“Learning should be fun!”: Lessons From The ECTA Conference 2017

Chalkboard image: Children jumping

When I attended the annual ECTA (Early Childhood Teacher’s Association) Conference on the 24th June 2017, I listened with much interest to the Keynote speaker: Professor Pieter Roussow as he presented his address on “Building brain capacity – the implications of the new paradigm in neuro-science.” Later, that day, I attended his workshop: “The neuro-science of fun and laughter in learning for early childhood.”

Earlier that week during Italian lessons at school, I asked the Year 5/6 students to think about what they would need to do to plan, create and organise an Italian restaurant in their class. There was a busy hum in the class as the students discussed their ideas and drafted their plans. At the end of the lesson, one of the students looked up from her planning and smiled as she said: “That was a lot of fun!”

These are my notes from Pieter’s presentations that interested me most:

“Learning should be fun – Efficacy of fun in learning. Learning is memory. Learning is about navigating life. We are our memories.  Memories are physical. BEST Learning happens when we make connections. EINSTEIN – time and matter acre connected In Scandinavia and Holland – Everything is learning from welcoming students with a smile. Process-based learning – Are you having fun? What colours did you use? What’s happening in your picture? Sound, action and imagery (stories) – fun and laughter – essential to learning.”

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