Insights in the Pedagogical Practices: Play and Dance | as featured at the ECLD 2023 conference

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Angus Gorrie & Trina Bourke

Angus Gorrie – The Outsiders Play Advocates

As a playworker and play advocate, Angus Gorrie is passionate about providing authentic play opportunities for children, wherever they may be, and pushing back against increased play deprivation and play bias. Angus has qualifications in Behavioural Sciences and Psychology, Playwork and is currently working towards a Masters of Medical Research investigating how play (in the broadest sense) supports the mental health of children. He also spends his day as a practitioner working in a large OSHC Adventure Playground. It is this experience and the stories that come with working in a practical setting, combined with the theory and knowledge of study that shapes and guides Angus’s perspectives and points of view..

Loose parts have become quite the buzz word and this has very mixed outcomes. On one hand it supports their exposure and likelihood they may be harnessed in play spaces dramatically improving the play value for children. On the other hand, it also increases the likelihood that they may be implemented superficially, without deeper appreciation for the theory (yes there is a theory) of loose parts and their importance as a play resource. This session will bust some myths about loose parts and discuss, from a theoretical and practical perspective how they are best provided to children.

Trina Bourke – But I can’t dance

Dance is innate in children; they are compelled by expression of emotions. They are intrinsically motivated to move to express thought, feelings, wonder, and to experience the pure joy of their bodies in motion. With an increasing body of research about the benefits of dance, not only for physical development, but also so for mental wellbeing, it is time to reframe dance as creative playful movement and understand how it can be available for everyone.

Learning Outcomes:

Angus Gorrie – The Outsiders Play Advocates
  • Why play?
  • History of play
  • Liminal Space
  • Connection to education, learning and the classroom
  • The play types
  • Why: Unpacking the tough ones
  • Why: Flow theory
  • Barriers and Barrier Mitigation
  • The Risk Paradox
  • What are loose parts?
  • The theory of loose parts
  • What is playwork and what is a playworker
  • What are some significant playwork theories, and how might they inform playwork practice?
  • Bringing it all together.
Trina Bourke – But I can’t dance
  • What we think we know about dance
  • What we might know
  • Telling stories through dance
  • What else we should know

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