I was just thinking how I sometimes take games (computer, card or any other kind) far too seriously and I really perform better when I can try my best and at the same time not care so much about defeat.
Interestingly the research going on behind the motivation for playful behaviour seems to suggest that failure is the whole purpose for games. It’s a safe environment where losing doesn’t endanger the animal, where challengers don’t risk life to competitors and where happiness about achievement can reinforce good tactics and strategy even after losing.
This actually makes a lot of sense for community based animals where young are taken care of by a parent or group of adults; think of how long human children spend learning. Most of the learning I did successfully came from play, even so far as my social skills improving as soon as I was allowed to fail and not be too critically rebuffed from those mistakes. In fact I’ve heard it many times that people learned far more once they left typical educational settings than they did while attending.
Perhaps something I should be more attentive to as I write these lesson plans and other materials. So my current thoughts are: Description, Demonstration, Playful Attempts, Homework Challenges.
This makes the first two teacher driven, the third student driven with teacher supervision and support and the fourth a student only activity. What are your thoughts?
P.S. Aesop: So remember kids, play to win but accept losing victoriously. There is always next time.