“We emphasize learning through play, as it contributes to the psychological development of children, which will help them become quality citizens.”

Sakila Yesmin,

Senior Lecturer and Research Lead, BRAC IED

Learning through Play (LtP) is crucial for children’s educational development, promoting the integration of play to enhance cognitive, social, and emotional growth. It enables educators to create more engaging and effective learning experiences that foster academic skills, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. However, it is critical to understand how children learn when they are playing. In this context, a standardized tool would be useful that can help teachers measure to what extent children are learning through play. The Teacher RePlay tool, developed by the PALICE (Play and Learning through Children’s Eyes) initiative was designed for educators to address this need.

As part of the PALICE initiative, the Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) held an Uptake Workshop on Fostering Play-Based Learning with the ‘Teacher RePlay’ Tool at Hotel Bengal Blueberry, Dhaka. This initiative, in collaboration with a global consortium led by FHI 360 and supported by The LEGO Foundation, is dedicated to exploring the critical connection between play and learning from children’s perspectives.

The goal of this workshop was to check the feasibility of the Teacher RePlay tool by consulting with educators and development practitioners and exploring further possibilities for integration within different existing LtP initiatives in Bangladesh. In this vein, during the workshop, participants engaged in interactive sessions that explored the theoretical and practical aspects of LtP, enhancing their understanding of how play can be systematically integrated into learning environments and how the Teacher RePlay tool can be used to measure the learning in this context.

Areefa Zafar, Lead, ECD Intervention in Mainstream at BRAC IED, expressed her appreciation for the initiative: “As BRAC IED already has an existing LtP structure, it was privileged to be part of this research on developing the Techer RePlay tool as well as gain valuable insights from the findings shared in this uptake event. This knowledge will significantly enhance the quality of our initiatives.”

Kazi Ferdous Pavel, Joint Director at IID, emphasized the need to understand children’s learning patterns when they are playing: “If the teachers are able to measure how the children learn when they are playing and are able to recognize the pattern, they can come up with a better game design for the classroom to ensure a better learning experience for the children. The Teacher RePlay tool has been developed to assist them in this context.”

Waliullah Bhuiyan, CEO of Light of Hope, sees significant potential in the tool, “The Teacher RePlay tool has the promise in terms of enhancing the capacity of teachers.” He also saw the potential for integrating the tool into their future training initiatives.

Subhankar Das Shuvo, Founder of Inventor’s Puppet, commented on the tool’s broader impacts: “Learning through play helps to develop children’s communication skills. This tool will also help to strengthen communication between teachers and students.”

Rita Rani Gowala, speaking from her experience in teaching underprivileged children at the garden, added, “We want to provide a joyful learning experience for our children at the ECD center, and the Teacher RePlay tool will help us to enhance the quality of our teaching approach in this regard.”

Among others, Arifur Rahman and Rahul Chandra Shaha from the Institute of Education and Research (IER) at the University of Dhaka, Iffat Farhana from UNICEF, and Md. Mahamud Hasan from the BRAC Education Programme were present in the workshop.

In addition, representatives from leading organizations dedicated to the development of child education, including a2i, CAMPE, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh, Shoishob Play and Learning Centre, and Icchebari, provided valuable insights and feedback during the workshop.

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