Some Myths about Play-based Learning

Learning through play or play-based learning comes in many shapes and forms which vary greatly from school to school. Here are some common myths about PBL that you may hear.
Myth #1
Literacy and Maths are not taught well or not frequently enough because of PBL.
PBL in our setting is over and above our daily reading, writing and maths programme. Children’s understanding from PBL flows back into our more structured learning, making teaching and learning more pleasant. Children understand the need to respect the other learners in the classroom because they have practised it during PBL. They often take their literacy and maths learning into PBL because they want to. We often notice children sitting somewhere, writing a story or a play instead of joining in the play with others.
Myth# 2
Anything goes – there are no rules. Children can do whatever they want.
We have three rules overarching our PBL: to be respectful, responsible and safe. This teaches children to respect other learners and equipment in the space. Children are reminded of our expectations if there is a need to. If there are continuous issues, there will be consequences such as being removed from an area, losing a privilege or equipment being taken away.
Myth #3
Children play in an unsupervised manner with little or no learning happening.
We observe children in their play and identify when to engage in their play to encourage deeper learning and when to just observe from a distance. We take note of children’s interests and urges and use them to reflectively plan our next session.