What can’t textbooks teach?

A few years ago Ken Robinson urged us to bring on the learning revolution.

Well some took him seriously. The people behind 21 Toys for example. They have developed toys for elementary school and corporate retreats and everywhere in between:

Toys as Tools for the 21st Century Teaching Empathy, Failure, Creative Dialogue & Collaboration

Take a look:

They are in the footsteps of pioneer educator Friedrich Fröebel who created the  kindergarten back in the early C19th. He knew that play is the work of the child and the building block for growth and learning. (Not sure he would recognized  as honoring that the many modern kindergartens where the emphasis is on skill, drill and extensive seat time.) Froebel also invented educational toys.

21 Toys  follow that tradition of toys and  playful engagement as  tools for deep learning. They are determined to bring on a “Toy Revolution.”

For me, it all started with a tweet exchange with a stranger:

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Intrigued – and not to to miss out on a promising new idea – I emailed my smart alec-y response that included:

 As someone someone who loves wooden toys,  is empathy challenged, inexperienced in failure and does not play well with others I would certainly use the toy for self-improvement.

Lee-Anne was gracious enough to laugh.  And the ball was rolling.

Now I’m looking forward to receiving my free Empathy Toys and trying them out at PDS and also at our STEM to STEAM and Beyond Conference  on February 14th.

So what has empathy to do with science, technology, engineering, math and learning of all kinds? To my mind: Just about everything.

Meanwhile – if you want to know more about the toys and try one out yourself go to Twenty One Toys.

Or of course – register now for:

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And what can’t text book teach?

That’s the question that opens this great little video from 21 Toys.

And of course the answer is – pretty much everything that matters from creativity to empathy to collaboration to imagination to trial and error learning. In other words all those much vaunted skills that are deemed essential to survive and thrive now.
Cross-posted from Josie’s Blog @ Poughkeepsie Day School

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