The problem with fun | David Didau: The Learning Spy

Could fun be the enemy of learning?

I’ve not always being the curmudgeonly killjoy I am today. Some years ago, I took part in a department meeting where we were asked to prioritise those qualities we most valued about teaching. We came up with all the tiresomely worthy answers you might expect, but, somewhat controversially, I insisted on including ‘fun’. The case I made went something like this: I don’t teach for the money, I do it because I enjoy it. So, having fun must be at the centre of what I do in the classroom. It wasn’t even (or just) about the kids having fun: it was all about me. And to an extent I can still just about follow this tortured logic. I mean, who doesn’t like having fun?

via The problem with fun | David Didau: The Learning Spy.



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5 Responses to The problem with fun | David Didau: The Learning Spy

  1. bt0558 says:

    The content of the blogpost was I think a bit thin. I did think it was a little inappropriate to include a picture of four semi naked young females albeit facing away. You have retweeted so I guess I am just a bit of an old fuddy duddy. How the profession is changing.

    • David Didau says:

      I did think carefully about that picture and decided in the end that it seemed to sum up the triumph of ‘fun’ over learning. Hey ho!

      What would you have like it thickened up with?

      • bt0558 says:

        The picture does imply some element of fun. I can’t see why it would be assumed that nothing had been learned, there is nothing to indicate that this is the case. It would seem that I am in a minority of one so maybe I am just becoming an old fuddy duddy. I might have looked for a picture of students making biscuits to look at slavery or students talking about the Mr Men in a lesson about World History. I have it on good authority that both are scandalous derelictions of teacher duties.

        You ask the question..”Could fun be the enemy of learning?”
        I think the abovious answer is of course it could if one allowed it to.

        If you asked the question, is fun necessarily the enemy of learning clearly the answer is of course not.

        Many things could be the enemy of learning and it is the teacher’s job to ensure that none of them get in the way, including fun. That is why I used the term “a bit thin”, I thought you were statuing the obvious.

      • David Didau says:

        True enough: I also thinks it’s a bit obvious – this was mainly written in response to people who seem not to think it’s so obvious. My failure to differentiate is acknowledged, as is the cheap picture. Soz

  2. I’d like pupils to enjoy me lessons, which is not necessarily the same as they are fun-filled.

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