How do we build the tallest tower in Ciudad Juárez?

A building game for university students

Jorge Burciaga-Montoya, a recent graduate of the Institute’s Social Therapeutics Online Certificate Program, reports on how he’s been using playful games in his course in Networks and Community Systems at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez as part of creating a more collaborative, open learning environment.

Jorge is on the staff of CASA (Centro de Asesoría y Promoción de Juvenil, A.C.), a non-profit with a strong presence in the poor communities of Juárez, and is working on a project with high schools to incorporate social-emotional learning.

In a recent class at the University on Leadership in the Community,  Jorge divided the students into two groups. Each was given a packet of straws and some tape, and asked to build a tower as high as they could. The class discussed what this playful exercise helped them understand about leadership, collaboration and competition.  Some students said it was important to consider not only who built the tallest tower, but how the tower was built and what the collaborative process looked like. What can we appreciate about the differences in style and structure, and the different skills and ideas contributed by team members?


About Janet Wootten

Janet Wootten is a media and public relations professional, a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors and a leader of its annual community fundraising campaign.
This entry was posted in creativity and play, Education, South America, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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