What Is Playful Inquiry?

Inquiry is the science, art and spirit of imagination. We naturally associate Inquiry with the logical mind’s intent to satisfy curiosity, solve problems, and explore ideas. Inquiry helps us connect our prior understanding to new experiences, modify and accommodate our previously held beliefs and conceptual models, and construct new knowledge.

Antonyms found in the dictionary: Answer, reply


Playful describes a state of surrender. It involves being open, letting go, and embracing unexpected direction or results. Being playful has positive effects on the body and the brain. Problem solving ability increases after a person has spent some time laughing. This works because laughter turns off the posterior hypothalamus and allows the cerebral cortex to focus on a given task.

Antonyms found in the dictionary: Earnest, serious-minded, sober, humorless, serious, working


Taking Play Seriously with Truly Amazing People:
An Interview with Chris Haskell

Last week Chris presented at the Serious Play Conference near Seattle, Washington, with a talk titled “The Game-Based Classroom” and he agreed to an on camera interview.  Here is a preview for you while the video is edited!

Interview Team: Lori Sortino and Emily Swift
This is one in a series of interviews being conducted on the topic of Serious Play, Serious Gaming -- using games, simulation and virtual worlds to help stimulate learning in innovative new ways and find real world solutions.

Q:  Where do you see the greatest potential in gaming as a part of the future of learning?
A:  I recognize the duality in gaming for learning.  The traditional understanding, well-established in the literature, is using games as learning experiences.  I have spent much more time in the pursuit of using game-based feedback, organization, structures, and tropes as a means of supporting learning.  In essence, I believe the greatest potential in gaming is not just using games to learn, but make learning more like a game.
Q:  When do games and simulations have the most impact on students?
A:  When students have choice, refection opportunities, and can make these spaces personal, social spaces
Q:  What experience do you have using serious games or simulations for collaborative purposes?
A:  I teach a number of classes situated in virtual environments and games spaces.  These digital classrooms quickly emulate the collaborative spaces we occupy in the physical world by with myriad tools and toys to amplify the experience.
Q:  In what ways do you think gaming can not only utilize, but also promote or foster collaboration?
A:  Most often, collaboration ceases when requirements for game-play and learning are so ridged that it becomes didactic.
Q:  How do you assess the effectiveness of using games?
A:  In student responses and artifacts related to the standards.
Q:  In what ways have you seen gaming enhance communication, learning, and engagement?
A:  I have lots of research I would be happy to share and discuss with you.
Q:  Where do you see pockets of expertise, and in what aspect of serious games, worldwide?
A:  Often, gamers and aficionados of gaming culture serve as embedded experts.

TrulyAmazingPeople.com is an organization devoted to helping individuals, families and communities seeking meaningful work, whole system change, and talent integration ecosystems. TrulyAmazingPeople.com would like to thank the Serious Games Association, The Bohle Company, and the Future Working Together community for their assistance with our research.

Lori Sortino, Lyn Wiltse, and Emily Swift are Truly Amazing People. Lori and Lyn are Creative Solutions Consultants who host Playful Inquiry events. Emily Swift is a technical writer with a BS in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies.

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