Dr. Sherri Brown, Associate Professor for Science Education from the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development, brought out six future teachers as part of of a Science Methods class to visit Playcosystem on April 12, 2022. Their goal was to use Playcosystem as a laboratory to explore methods of teaching science through play. It was a damp morning so there were not many children around to observe but there was plenty of evidence of past play in the form of constructions, object collections, and the remnants of creative problem solving.
“The experience of seeing future elementary teachers explore Bernheim’s Playcosystem Zone 1 did not disappoint. They engaged with the physical terrain by drawing certain areas of play and determining how children’s unstructured play could align with learning science and other content (e.g., literacy, P.E., art, reading, writing, mathematics, music, drama). This type of learning would be an authentic connection to the KY academic standards. The rain showers dissipated prior to our visit and the sun emerged just when Mr. Stephens was discussing evolutionary and historical contexts of human brains and play. Although this was not my first visit to the Placosystem, it was my first and only time to see Zone 1 with a modest stream of water running throughout the pitched terrain. Thus, I was able to observe first-hand evidence of erosion.”
Here are some of the Next Generation Science Standards that the future teachers were exploring through Playcosystem: