Friday, December 19, 2008

Puppetools




Puppetools is a web site whose goal is to "advance the language of play". Their missions statement is wonderful, "Our mission is to open the door to sweeping change in education by advancing the principle of play in teaching and learning. The world still looks to America for inventive social, economic, and technological solutions. Once, America's gift to itself --and to the world--was a bold new experiment in political freedom. America's next gift--again for itself and for the world-- can and must be a bold new leap in education."

That's a bold mission, and an exciting one. I personally think that this is something much needed in our academic obsessed nation. Jeffrey Peyton offers pages and pages of research showing that play is an important part of a child's development and education. The site also includes basic templates for puppets, including a hinge design, so that you and your children may create and design your own puppets. There are forums available for discussion of how to use play and puppets in education.

Most homeschoolers recognize the importance of play in their children's education, but this seems to be a good site for traditional school teachers to turn to when adding play into the classroom. Although I agree that play and learning go hand in hand, the worldview of the site owner is based on evolutionary science and sometimes tends to run toward the mystical. I wasn't personally comfortable with everything I read, but do think this could be beneficial to teachers who need documentation to fall back on to prove the benefits of play.

Puppetools is a subscription based site. A 60 days individual trial subscription is available for $20, or you can purchase a year for $99 and have up to 30 people in your user group.

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