The Process of Play in Learning in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Study

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David Thomas

May 31, 2021, 1:35:03 PMMay 31
to Professors at Play
Hello playful professors!

I am happy to share this new publication with you from the Journal of Teaching and Learning and authored by our own Lisa Forbes:

The Process of Play in Learning in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Study

I have copied the abstract below. And I would encourage anyone interested in playful pedagogy to take a look.  In addition to documenting, in detail, how students respond to playful pedagogy, Lisa presents a model that I think an important contribution for framing future research, enabling new designs and adding some thoughtful complexity to our understanding how how play actually works in the classroom.

Here's the abstract!

Higher education faculty strive to adopt pedagogical approaches that generate student engagement, motivation, and quality learning experiences. The literature on play has much to offer higher education. However, playful pedagogy remains an uncommon approach in education and is often represented in the literature as a practice utilized for a singular purpose and not as an underlying teaching philosophy. This phenomenological study examines the meaning of students’ experiences of play as a foundation to learning. The themes that emerge are: 1) play is underutilized and devalued in higher education, 2) play cultivates relational safety and a warm classroom environment, 3) play removes barriers to learning, 4) play awakens students’ positive affect and motivation, and 5) play ignites an open and engaged learning stance to enhance learning.

Maha Bali

May 31, 2021, 3:22:23 PMMay 31
to David Thomas, Professors at Play

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.


Maha Bali, PhD
Associate Professor of Practice, Center for Learning and Teaching, American University in Cairo
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