Elizabeth Perry



Why not keep playing? What makes us stop?

We accept play as an important form of learning in early years, only to abandon it as students grow older.  What if we kept going? What if we were inspired by the work of early childhood teachers and researchers to nurture play in our secondary school classrooms? What would that look like? How could it work?

Ideas like “deep play,” “lifelong kindergarten,” and “tinkering to learn,” have much to offer – we will explore how they might fit into the possibilities and constraints of a secondary classroom.


  • Become familiar with contemporary theories and practices of play and its relationship to learning
  • Construct and share connections to your own experience of play and other flow states
  • Experience playful making
  • Learn strategies and practice shifting perspectives to make space for playful learning
  • Develop a new understanding of the teacher’s role in fostering curiosity, creativity, and empathy through play     

Intended Audience

Middle/High School teachers and administrators


Elizabeth Perry is a teacher, writer, and artist with a particular interest in making, tinkering, and play.

At the International School of Prague, and at the American School in London, she’s helped faculty integrate technology across the curriculum and has taught computer science and art. Before moving to London and then Prague, she worked at The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, PA, and for the Online School for Girls. She’s also consulted for Google in K-12 education and outreach, been a fellow at the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie-Mellon University, been recognized as a Google Trailblazer, and recently served as a teacher ambassador for Technology will Save Us. Her TEDx talk,”Do Something Badly,” has been viewed over a thousand times.

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