Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes: Scaling strategies for a playful learning movement

Great Learning

Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes: Scaling strategies for a playful learning movement

A joint project of Temple University’s Infant and Child Laboratory and the Brookings Institution, Playful Learning Landscapes is a broad umbrella initiative that marries community involvement and learning sciences with placemaking in order to design carefully curated playful experiences in everyday spaces. As it focuses on learning outcomes, particularly for children and families from under-resourced communities, Playful Learning Landscapes offers a new way to involve families in the kinds of experiences that enrich relationships and enhance children’s development.

In Philadelphia, there is an opportunity to draw important insights and learning for Playful Learning Landscapes from a network of organizations that collaborate to create playful learning installations across the city, to establish proof of concept for those interventions, and to inform the broader Playful Learning Landscape initiative. Philadelphia aims to serve as an international model for how playful learning can be embedded into a city’s everyday spaces so it enhances children’s development and supports community-wide change for families.

This report documents the scaling journey to date of Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes and the lessons learned, to help inform further expansion in Philadelphia and with adaptation and adoption by other cities and countries. Lessons are targeted toward city-level actors—policymakers, implementers, researchers, and funders in Philadelphia and beyond—who wish to expand and sustain evidence-based approaches that foster learning and caregiver–child interactions in public spaces and everyday spaces where people regularly go and can be easily engaged. The aim is to move beyond supporting the replication of a single installation, to shaping the mainstream practices of business, government, and other organizations to incorporate playful learning principles and design into their own work. 

Published: October 2019
Jenny Perlman Robinson
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