Playful learning describes a range of approaches to learning that produce knowledge in ways that are not only fun but also social and collaborative, multifocal, divergent, synthesizing, and exploratory. Play is an activity that is player initiated and player directed and entails some level of pretense, such as children’s pretend activity with dolls in a doll house, with avatars in a video game, or with building blocks in a construction playset. The connection between play and learning has been theorized and researched in multiple ways—as a schema-building mental process, as a bridge to cultural participation, as critical engagement, or as a virtual space. This entry looks at several assumptions or principles that are found across approaches to playful learning.

Playful learning is fun, voluntary, and synergistic.

Players ...

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