Children learn differently. In the same way we all look different our brains are uniquely wired and created through an interplay of genetics, nurture and environmental experiences. What is also wonderful about the human brain is that it has what is known as plasticity, it constantly changes. Dependent on the input different pathways will be wired and these can be changed throughout the lifespan. The most malleable time as recognised by the WHO is the first 1000 days but there is always scope for change in the human brain and that is a cause for hope. What needs to be considered however is that not all brains are the same to start off with, the example of the autistic brain is a case in point, there are less mirror neurons and the corpus collasum is thicker so messages pass around the brain in different ways. The more we understand this the more we should be able to appreciate neuro-diversity and make accommodations for it in education and development.
This week the LEGO Foundation brought out an exciting paper that highlighted how learning through play reduced inequality in the classroom. Bringing together evidence from 18 countries across the world it shows how play can help close achievement gaps with children from different socio-economic backgrounds. This paper has further implications for children who learn differently.
The Developmental Play Model has particular relevance for how play can be used for inclusion as it shows how children develop capacities for learning through foundational skills in their bodies and their relationships. It is not a model for imposition but a model that helps us as adults understand what children are telling us about their learning styles through pre-verbal play. How they use their bodies, what their emotions tell us, how safe they feel and the multiple ways they make meaning.
If you want to find out more about how the Developmental Play Model can support inclusive classrooms do tune into this upcoming webinar on Friday 12th February by joining the Facebook live event hosted by ECDF