Play To Learn and Learn To Play
An Innovative Pedagogy for Teaching Entrepreneurship
To demonstrate how experiential activities involving artistic expression (art, painting, drama, music, etc.) enhance the understanding of entrepreneurship in an effective, efficient and enjoyable way.
Several of the games typically played in a classroom concentrate on finding the right answers e.g. Jeopardy, Who wants to be a Millionaire, Cluedo, Bingo, etc. Others create a competitive scenario in which students or groups of students are in a combative situation e.g. simulations. All of these involve a winner and losers. An alternative approach to play in the classroom is one in which students collaborate with instead of compete against each other. A set of activities was developed in which students “create something out of nothing”. He/she has to find out the rules, make the connections and interpretations while creating something materials that are unfamiliar to them. In each instance, the student plays an active and creative role. Each activity engage students in different ways, but all capture their imagination and encourage interaction.
Activities that involve artistic expression (e.g. art, music, drama) have proven to be particularly effective in terms of encouraging a greater degree of both participation and comprehension. Some of these activities include:
- My Quilt Square
- Jamming Session
- Inventor’s Challenge
- The Quest for the Holy Grail
- Marketing Imagination
Apart from creating opportunities for students to comprehend fundamental principles, these exercises convey the underlying emotion-filled concepts that cannot be communicated effectively in narrative format. These assignments seem childlike at first and herein lay the secret to their success. Students immediately associate these activities with the things they used to do in kindergarten i.e. remind them of playing and having fun and not caring about the outcomes. When the seemingly unrelated digressions reveal their relevance to the learner there is an AHA! moment that needs no further explanation from the instructor.