The professional learning model of play, acquire, and contribute ties the OISE CPL foundational framework together.
Traditionally, educators have been experts in helping learners acquire information. “Most of us will focus on the acquire component,” says Elisabeth Rees-Johnstone, executive director of OISE CPL. We understand the acquisition of content, knowledge, and skills. However, we also want to encourage colleagues to engage with new concepts and ideas and we refer to this as cognitive play – when you are encouraged to extend your thinking. We also want to create the conditions where your insights, practices and experience can contribute to the learning of others. This is what makes us different.”
Play and Inquiry-Based Learning
Play, for professional learning, connects to new concepts, innovation, design thinking, and systems thinking. You come to OISE, UofT, and CPL to be introduced to diverse concepts and ideas which in turn ignite your creativity and curiosity – cognitive play.
Josie Di Vincenzo, sessional facilitator in the Workplace Learning and Development stream, considers play and inquiry-based learning as core to her courses. “The conversation around play can be that it’s too warm and fuzzy or it’s not measurable. These are old assumptions. When I look at play from a new lens, it’s about trying something when you don’t know what the outcome will be,” she says. “You’re really allowing people to engage their critical thinking skills, their problem-solving skills.”
As a learner in this truly learner-centred approach, you will create and teach a lesson or build a structure to test theories. The approach circles back to the global competencies, and acknowledges the educator skill domains, particularly learner development and teaching and learning. It truly personalizes learning and makes everyone challenge their assumptions, says Di Vincenzo. Importantly, when you learn by inquiry or play, you truly learn and value the process.