Saturday, 26 November 2016

Re-defining play and education

In Swedish we have two words... utbildning and bildning... for education... bildning is similar to the German word Bildung as well...
its not that often that the English language lacks compared to the Swedish... but in this instance it really does...
sometimes bildning is translated as cultivate... but I feel a bit iffy about that too...
UTbildning is the word used for education in school... "ut" means out... as if it comes from one person and is transmitted to another... bildning is about learning and can be done as a self process...

The word bläckfisk is the Swedish word for squid... it is also the Swedish word for octopus and cuttlefish...

It might seem like a big jump to go from education to squid in this way... but bare with me... 
The word PLAY is complex... and similar to "bäckfisk" it does not have just one meaning...
There are many forms of play... free play, role play, adult-lead play, child-lead play, playing with words, playing sports, musical instruments, risky play., digital play.. etc etc etc

I feel all forms of play are important and that there needs to be space and time for all forms too... and that there is not necessarily a hierarchy of what sort of play is the most important, but that having a combination, a varied play diet is what is important.

We have to expand what we mean by play... what we mean by education and not be limited by it...

Swedish is limited in its "bläckfisk" as a word for three different species, as English is limited by the word education... 

The word maybe does not reflect the sort of learning we need in schools for the learning we need TODAY...

So its up to all of us to re-define play...
we also need to redefine education

are people seeing education only as academics?
from the Free Dictionary









If education is being mistaken in the sense of academical as "conforming to set rules and traditions; conventional" which I feel it often is with standardisations and testing... then what are we learning, and how useful is this really to us as a society stepping ever further into the future?

Is education different from learning?
Play and learning... play IS learning... learning is play. 
Is play non-learning ever? Is play only for play's sake... or is it that we don't know the value of the play and how it can impact the future?






These are areas I will be exploring more in the new year. I have four weeks more working as an early years teacher and director. Then I will be devoting 6-8 months to researching and writing a book... exploring ideas and finding a way to support teachers to explore ideas, explore their role as an educator and as a team... with their co-workers and the children.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Children with autism and sleep research...


My husband is starting up some research into the sleep routines of children with autism. Sleep is an essential part of learning... and also social interaction... if we are tired it is harder to react appropriately to a given situation... and as I see with my own son, who has autism, he is depleted of his energy reserves sometimes rapidly by things that would hardly bother others... this means that good sleep hygiene is even more essential for my son.

Here is a note from my husband, and a link... please, if you have the time, could you fill in the form, or send the link to parents you know with children on the autistic spectrum who you feel would like to participate. This first part is a world wide search for information that will act as a basis for further research.

Suzanne Axelsson... mother of three - one with the diagnosis autism/ADHD



Are you a parent of a child with autism and have 15 minutes to spare?

Karolinska Institutet is currently conducting a study to explore the complex relation between autistic traits and sleep quality. 
While we know that sleep is often affected in this group, the underlying mechanisms remains largely unknown. 
If you have a child that has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or have autistic traits, you can contribute to this research by filling out a questionnaire about your child and his/her sleep, taking approximately 15 minutes. You will not be asked to provide any identifying information such as name or date of birth, meaning that your answers will remain strictly anonymous and confidential. The data will be used for developing better interventions to improve sleep quality and day time functioning in children with autism. 
 
Simply click on this link to participate (https://survey.ki.se/Survey/4695/en) but please make sure that you have 15 minutes to spend as you only can access the questionnaire once. 
Thank you very much for your time, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! 

Associate Prof. John Axelsson, 
Dept. Clinical Neuroscience
Karolinska Institutet