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Marc Andersen

Play, Reflection, and the Quest for Uncertainty

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Principles of alignment, predictability and certainty have become cornerstones in modern day conceptions of high-quality education. Yet, in recent years, educational progressives who argue for the importance of uncertainty in formal learning environments are increasingly getting support from developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In this chapter, we review evidence suggesting that play is characterised by agents naturally seeking or creating just-right amounts of uncertainty, which in turn has profound effects on their motivation, curiosity, enjoyment and learning. Extending on these findings, we argue for an increased focus on playful approaches in formal educational settings, placing emphasis on learners’ agency and natural tendency to optimise learning strategies through the creation of manageable niches of uncertainty. We draw on examples from existing educational settings to illustrate how such approaches could be realised and identify important implications for the role of the teacher in facilitating uncertain environments and supportive reflective practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUncertainty: A Catalyst for Creativity, Learning and Development
EditorsRonald A Beghetto, Garrett J Jaeger
PublisherSpringer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

    Research areas

  • play, learning, reflection, playful learning, uncertainty, Predictive processing

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