At the invitation of faculty Milda Bredekyte and Pentti Hakkarainen, the Institute’s director of pedagogy Carrie Lobman led a week-long series of trainings on new approaches to play and performance at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute and at an off-campus educational retreat for the Productive Learning project.
Bredekyte and Hakkarainen are part of a multi-national team who have spearheaded a Vygotskian-inspired, play-based approach to early childhood education called Playworlds. Bredekyte is also a consultant for Productive Learning — an EU project designed to help at-risk teens stay in school. Students spend a few days each week (productively) apprenticing in bakeries, kindergartens, computer-repair and auto shops.
On campus, Lobman presented to the psychology “play team” and to faculty in the theatre education departments, introducing the Performing the World conference/community and discussing the “performance shift” in psychology and education.
At the Productive Learning retreat, Lobman led an improv workshop with 30+ high school students and their teachers, in which everyone had the opportunity to play and perform. Says Lobman:
First we performed with some tried-and-true improv games, like ‘Bunny, Bunny.’ But I also asked them to help me get to know them by creating some skits that portrayed a day-in-the-life in their communities.