School Playgrounds as a Place of Learning



The concept of learning for life suggests that learning continues throughout the lifespan and is not just the realm of childhood. Importantly, learning for life suggests that not all the skills needed for life are learned in the classroom. The skills of negotiation, bargaining, sharing, tolerance and the basic skills of democracy are thought by many to be learned in the playground, when students are playing, away from the restrictions and interference of adults. Playground activities can provide a mechanism for allowing students to move from what they already know and can master to more advanced knowledge and how students can control what happens and use what they know in their own unique ways to further their understandings and development. A student’s social development can grow through interaction with peers to build social understandings and relationships, to each new situation, bringing what they already know about being with others. Students can engage in rich and meaningful playground activities, apply judgement, get to know and enjoy the power of choice and can experience autonomy, mastery and competence. If students are unable to experience a range of emotions, students’ emotional development could be jeopardised. The cognitive skills that students learn to use as they engage in playground activities are necessary prerequisites for later academic learning. This chapter highlights for school playground researchers how playground activities can enable students to have more resources to draw on and meet curricular objectives to enhance their school learning.


Playgrounds Learning School Cognitive development 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationSouthern Cross UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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