Play-based learning takes centre stage

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Play-based learning takes centre stage

The Play Conference, Johannesburg, 12 – 14 July 2016

The critical need for training and the implementation of play-based learning has been highlighted as priorities at a three day conference held in Johannesburg.

The Department of Basic Education, early childhood experts Cotlands and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), supported by The LEGO Foundation, hosted the PLAY conference to address the need for play-based learning particularly in early childhood focusing on children from birth to nine years.

“Teachers, practitioners, and toy librarians shared their experiences and challenges in pursuing play-based learning which highlights for us, the crucial need for training in play-based learning practices,” said Monica Stach, the Chief Operations Officer of Cotlands.Marie-Louise Samuels – Department of Basic Education – Director Early Childhood Development

At the conference, organisers announced a multi-year partnership between Cotlands, UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education that will see 150 000 teachers and ECD practitioners being trained nationally on play-based learning, packaged as an in-service training module which will eventually be incorporated in accredited the early childhood development degree that will be offered by higher education institutions in years to come..

Cotlands, who have developed the content for this training will be using top trending training modalities such as web based training, gamification and leveraging on the power of community learning by employing social media such as Facebook. Implementing training which is web-based in the early childhood development sector is ground-breaking and has never been done before in a South African context. The project will create a platform that will increase computer literacy enabling access to information which is critical in the 21st century. Communities formed via Facebook will be a powerful tool to sustain and support the implementation of play-based learning.

The project forms part of a multi stakeholder initiative promoting the power of play as a learning tool, spearheaded by Cotlands, Department of Basic Education, UNICEF and is supported by The LEGO Foundation.

For more information about the Play Conference or to set up an interview with any of the speakers please contact:

Cotlands: Lois Moodley on 011 683 7201 / 072 4401519 / lois@brandplay.co.za

DBE: Elijah Mhlanga 012 357 3773 / 083 580 8275 Mhlanga.E@dbe.gov.za

UNICEF: Sudeshan Reddy 012 425 4712/ 082 561 3970 or sureddy@unicef.org