We find out to do things in a new way through learning. It is how we become the best versions of ourselves. Learning is a spontaneous and natural process that happens throughout our lives. Yet, the enthusiasm and joy of learning we develop as toddlers seem to disappear as we grow older and enter the society. However, learning should be an exhilarating, motivating and transformative experience. Thus, Fun Learning Approach is a pedagogical solution which enables us to discover the joy of learning and become lifelong learners.
The Fun Learning Approach
Fun Learning is a holistic approach to education with the goal of nurturing the passion for learning and continuous development throughout life. Fun Academy developed the ‘Fun Learning’ approach based on Finnish pedagogical expertise in combination with the best education practices around the world. It drives motivation, flow, passion and engagement by using fun and innovative ways of learning. It’s objective is to promote the overall well-being of students and educators. However, the Fun Learning philosophy is just as relevant in the workplace as it is in any classroom.
Importance of Fun Learning
Essentially learning is the result of engagement and substance. Substance is what we learn. Whereas, engagement, the more complicated part of this equation, is how we learn.
Bottom line is no matter how important what we learn is, if we are not interested or motivated, learning or at least effective learning will not happen. Furthermore, learning should fuel curiosity, foster creativity and encourage us to become lifelong learners. The best way to achieve these intents is to make learning fun! Because when we enjoy and love what we do, it becomes a natural, spontaneous and organic activity. Therefore, Fun Learning makes the grossly misrepresented and misused process of learning a quintessential part of everyday life.
How to Make Learning Fun
As Sir Arthur C. Clarke said, “if children have interest, education happens”.
However, this phenomenon is not just limited to children. The most efficient form of engagement arises from intrinsic motivation, flow and passion. Firstly how and what we learn must satisfy our own psychological needs. Secondly learning must be challenging but not exhausting or intimidating. Finally learning must strike a balance between the learner’s strengths (what you are good at) and passion (what you like to do). Fun Learning is uniquely designed to combine, fuel and harness these three components to make learning an extraordinary experience.
Learning is Fun When
- You love what you do – When we’re inspired or passionate about something, learning feels fun, rewarding and easy to go the extra mile to learn more.
- You feel safe – A supportive and safe environment makes us feel free to explore and set new goals.
- The environment is inspiring – Our physical and digital environments must be designed to support all learners. They should spark inspiration and support different learning strategies.
- You are appreciated for who you are – Positive learning grows from an atmosphere of respect and appreciation among fellow learners. We get a deeper understanding of what we’ve learned with respect to our global community, when our peer group is diverse.
- It’s fun to fail – Making mistakes is allowed within a safe atmosphere to foster creativity and innovation.
- You can choose how you learn – Learning strategies are subjective and based on our individual strengths. Understanding this, we can choose the most efficient way to tackle a problem and learn something new.
- It becomes a healthy addiction – We should be engaged in lifelong learning. We can achieve this when we feel fulfilled, capable and competent to learn more.
Fun Learning and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)
As discussed before the Fun Learning approach draws from the Finnish education expertise and best practices around the world. Finnish ECEC is recognized globally for many reasons but some of its key strengths are as follows.
Focus on the Joy of Learning
Firstly, it emphasizes the joy of learning and overall well-being of the child. Learning is integrated with everyday life, together with play and peer interaction which also maintain a central role. Play is a clear example of an intrinsically motivated action and the most important aspect of early childhood. Furthermore, Finnish ECEC treats play as the right of every child and an essential aspect of everyday life. Thus, the Fun Learning approach encourages collaborative learning through play and exploration.
Recognizing Children’s Right to be Children
Secondly, Finnish ECEC recognizes children’s right to be children. It focuses on developing their cognitive, social, and emotional skills. Harnessing a positive attitude towards learning and their capacity of “learning how to learn” is given priority. Following suit, the Fun Learning approach promotes key life skills among young children through a child-initiated, play-based approach to education.
Investing and Trusting in Teachers
In Finland, teachers are highly educated and competent, and teaching is considered an inspiring profession. Furthermore, Finnish ECEC places high levels of trust and autonomy in teachers. The Fun Learning approach also places high importance in continuous professional development for teachers. It empowers teachers to incorporate today’s best practices into everyday teaching, leading their classroom to the 21st century. Moreover, Fun Learning enables teachers to bring scientific thinking, nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness and meaningful use of technology, into the classroom.
Fun Learning in Everyday Life
“The world is filled with enthusiastic, energetic people. Too bad they’re usually under the age of seven.” – Esa Saarinen, Ph.D, Philosopher and Professor Aalto University, Finland
Children are naturally curious and find inspiration in everything they see and encounter. However, as we grow we lose this sense of wonder and distance ourselves from the learning process we once deeply enjoyed. Furthermore, there is a clear gap between what science shows as the effective method of learning and how we learn. Moreover, regardless of the innovative education technologies invented today, this knowledge is unevenly distributed.
The Fun Learning approach awakens our desire and helps us rediscover the joy of learning. It narrows the gap between science and everyday reality of education by promoting a positive outlook towards pedagogy and the capacity of ‘learning to learn’. The Fun Learning approach is also combating the inequality and disparity of global education levels by developing solutions for a truly international application. Thus, it respects local curricular and learning objectives, while also embracing cultural similarities and celebrating the differences. Most importantly, the Fun Learning approach puts FUN back into learning.
The Future of Fun Learning
We are experiencing high levels of skills uncertainty, due to the rapidly changing present and increasingly ambiguous future. Therefore, predicting the jobs we will have, challenges we will face and the skills we will need for tomorrow’s world is impossible. The Fun Learning approach empowers us to embrace a growth mindset learning from doing as well as failing. Moreover, it equips us with a set of life skills which we can combine with knowledge and transfer to different life situations. Most importantly, Fun Learning inspires us to become lifelong learners and strive to be the best versions of ourselves, everyday.
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