The conference brings together people, perspectives and practices from around the world on play, with a focus on the Indian experience. Traditional societies have a rich heritage of games and diverse cultural practices that provide opportunities for its members to develop their intrinsic interests and competencies, learn social skills and behaviours, regulate and express their emotions, socialise and experience joy. In addition, several innovative play initiatives have emerged in the area of child and youth development work, especially in the context of living with poverty, marginalisation, conflicts and other adverse conditions. Several other play-based initiatives seek to enhance learning outcomes, social domain goals or bring about change using play and creative mediums. While some of these people, perspectives and practices are well-known and celebrated, a vast majority of them are not known. The objective of the conference is to bring together these voices, to celebrate them, to learn from them and to begin the path towards assimilating them to further the knowledge on how play facilitates fuller lives, mediates active learning and better change outcomes.
Monday, 3 April 2017
International Play Conference
Perspectives and Practices in Play
DATE: 7 & 8 APRIL, 2017
VENUE: CHRIST UNIVERSITY
|09.00-10.00||Let the games begin|
Keynote Speech: Ulrike Reinhard
|11.15-12.45||Hakuna Matata: Play and Therapy
|13.45-15.30||Play to Experience
|16.00-16.30||To be continued|
|09.00-09.30||This is how we do it!|
|09.30-11.00||A Whole New World: Play and Learning
|11.15-12.45||Imagine: Play and Creative Mediums
|13.45-15.30||Play to Experience
|16.00-17.00||To new beginnings
Keynote Speaker: Ulrike Reinhard
Picture credit:Vicky Roy
“There are some people whose lives followed the logic of dynamic networks long before the internet appeared. In my time I’ve met a handful of characters who were digital natives in a much more radical sense than their date of birth might lead you to think. Ulrike Reinhard is one of them. She has the genius to be able to think and act in terms of interaction. In conversation with her, it’s easy to forget about set agendas and fixed outcomes and follow wherever the dynamics of open processes might lead.
Ulrike is a catalyst for collective intelligence and a network enabler who forges direct links that connect people. She’s a virtuoso across the whole repertoire of modern communication technologies who would still be adding more reality to the WE in this world if she had to use smoke signals and pigeon post to do so. Ulrike is an impassioned maverick with an astonishing faith in her ability to find her way even in new and uncharted territory. She seldom follows a steady straight line but always shows an unflappable sense of direction. Like the path she’s carved through life, Ulrike is never boring and always good for a surprise!”
– Prof. Peter Kruse
Harish Bhuvan is a trainer, facilitator and medical clown. He left his job at IIT Bombay to follow his passion of contributing towards the well being of children. Since then he has been attached with esteemed hospitals and hospices of India working with terminally ill children and their caregivers. His unique mélange of clowning elements and counseling techniques to release the disease induced trauma in children has been admired in media and public alike. He founded an organization Compassionate Clowns which is doing remarkable task of spreading love and laughter in the life of vulnerable children.
Drama Therapist and Counseling Psychologist
Maitri Gopalakrishna has a masters degree in Counselling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy from the California Institute from Integral Studies, San Francisco. She is currently working on PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai where she is doing practice-research with Child Sexual Abuse Survivors within a Feminist theoretical and methodological lens. As part of this work, she collaboratively created a theatre performance called Positively Shameless that has been performed nine times in three cities. Maitri also practices as a counselling psychologist and drama therapist who works with individuals and groups at Parivarthan Counselling Training and Research Centre and is faculty on the Foundation Course in Expressive and Creative Arts Therapies (FECAT) run by the Studio for Movement Arts and Therapies, Bangalore. She lives and works in Bangalore. Drama Therapy is an umbrella term that encompasses several different methodologies and pracitisoners. Maitri today considers herself an intersectional Feminist therapist. In addition, “play” holds a central position in her practice as well as a conceptualisation of people as role takers and players that have the power to powerfully shape and re-shape their own narratives.
Dr. Nithya Poornima
Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS
Dr. Nithya is a trained Clinical Psychologist, having experience working with children and adolescents. She is currently employed as Assistant professor with the Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India. Parenting, fostering emotional well-being and resilience, early childhood enrichment, play and creative expressive methods of intervention, yoga and mindfulness are some of my current areas of interest. Training of mental health professionals and self-care among mental health professionals are other areas of interest.
Dr. Aneesh Kumar
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Aneesh Kumar P, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bengaluru. He has worked as project officer for Indian Council for Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) in Pondicherry University and as Head, Department of Psychology, Wadi Huda Institute of Research and Advanced Studies affiliated to Kannur University, Kerala. He has published and presented papers in various national and international forums in the area of public health, child and adolescent psychology. Currently he is also involved in various research project including developing a training model for culturally competent and evidence-based mental health care for diverse societies (United States-India Education Foundation), developing character strength among primary school students through classroom teaching, and socialization of emotion and construal of anxiety and depression among mothers (a multi country project). His research interest include development psychology, child mental health,and school counselling programs.He teaches papers in child and adolescent counselling, counselling interventions for special population, development psychology and qualitative research methods.
A Whole New World: Play and Learning
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Moderator: Dr. Rajani Konantambigi
Dr. Rajani Konantambigi is a Professor at the Centre for Human Ecology, School of Human Ecology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Her areas of teaching, research and outreach have been broadly in child development and socialization and research methodology. Major areas of research have been role of fathers in creating learning environments for children, ethnographic methods in researching child care settings in India, socialization of emotions, emotion regulation, child care and socialization in varied settings, play in children, Child Friendly Spaces, Mumbai, India: A collaborative project, with the Children’s Environment Research Group, New York, and TISS, issues in teaching-learning, learning disability, school based counselling and guidance, mental health issues surrounding children and meaning making of mental illness by caregivers of persons with mental illness.
She has served as a member of board of studies in Human Development/Home Science, at the Universities of SNDT, Mumbai and MS University, Vadodara and as a consultant to primary and early childhood education for some trusts/organisations. She is an office bearer, President and Secretary of International Play Association, India and Association for Early Childhood Education and Development (AECED) respectively. She also has a US Govt.’s Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (completed from Georgia State University, Atlanta, 2001-02) and the Rockefeller’s Team Residency Fellowship to edit a book (at the Bellagio Study Center, Italy) in 2000.
Imagine: Play and Creative Mediums
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Moderator: Ratnesh Mathur
Ratnesh has been working with children for eighteen years. He propagates democratic, learner-driven environments. He is part of Aarohi Open Learning Community. Aarohi is a community of self directed learners - children who decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn, when they want to learn and use self assessment. At Aarohi, they do not follow any philosophy, but they follow the child. Aarohi offers an open learning environment at its campus in a village near Hosur.
Play to Experience
April 7, 2017
Gitanjali Sarangan, founder & Executive Director of Snehadhara Foundation, is an educationist, a social entrepreneur, an Arts Based Therapy (ABT) Practitioner and an ABT Guide for Bangalore and South India with over a decade’s experience in teaching a diverse population of children and adults. Over the last few years, she has been conducting seminars and workshops with various groups and organisations on taking learning methodologies to varied populations using the Creative Arts.
She has been recognised by Global Ethics Forum and Indian Institute of Management, for working towards establishing an impartial and fair world. She has also spoken at the TEDx BITS Hyderabad on ‘The Goodness of Life’. Gitanjali is on the panel of experts of the ‘Arivu Disha’ – a two-pronged Program to improve Learning Outcomes and Career Prospects of government school children in Karnataka.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: Arts and Gallatta – Learning can be fun and fun can be learning.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The workshops aims to enable participants to look at mainstream content artistically, to comprehend the theory and practice of various forms of art and how these can be used in working with children and adults in inclusive settings, to experience and explore a realm of learning possibilities using the Arts, to help facilitators create a space for themselves and children to bring up questions, share feelings, reflect on thoughts, and discuss self-image, events in the world, relationships and biases in a non-threatening creative manner. The basic capacity for storytelling, painting, dance, singing, rhythm is inherent in all. Experiencing art forms be it music, dance, visual arts create synaesthesia between the nuances of art education, arts in education and therapy. The intent of this workshop is to explore art forms- voice and songs, play and dance to co-create safe learning spaces.
‘Harish Bhuvan is a trainer, facilitator and medical clown. He left his job at IIT Bombay to follow his passion of contributing towards the wellbeing of children. Since then he has been attached with esteemed hospitals and hospices of India working with terminally ill children and their caregivers. His unique mélange of clowning elements and counselling techniques to release the disease induced trauma in children has been admired in media and public alike.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: Laughter is the best medicine.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This workshop would offer participants an opportunity to explore themselves, explore different relationships and to access their emotions and feelings in a supportive and nourishing environment. The participants get a chance to look at themselves from outside and gain insight. The workshop would also help participants be flexible in expression and action.
Dr. Sonya Lorelle
Dr. Sonya Lorelle is a registered Play Therapist and National Certified Counselor. She teaches counselling at the Governors State University in Chicago’s Southland. As a member of The National Board of Certified Counselors International (NBCC-I), she travels overseas (including Bhutan and Thailand) to provide counselling interventions. Her areas of expertise include Play therapy, effects of trauma on children, child development, and qualitative methodology.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: Non-directive play therapy
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Non-directive play therapy is a set of techniques used to help children communicate and understand their inner experiences through play and toys. The core belief of this method is that children have the internal drive towards wellness. While play therapists use non-directed play therapy to help children work through emotional and behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression, abuse/neglect, traumatic events, relationship problems, divorce and family problems; the procedures have been taught to parents and teachers as an effective way to build positive self-perception and self-understanding of the child. This special play time between parents and children can build a positive bond and create a powerfully nurturing environment for the child to flourish in. This workshop will cover the basic tenets and skills of non-directive play therapy as well as implications and applications.
National Association Of Play Therapy in collaboration with Erisha Speech & Language Interventions and Hi5 Child Development Center
The National Association for Play Therapy India is a not for profit organisation that works to provide Play Therapy services and training throughout India, connecting therapists in the field and setting a nationwide standard for accredited therapists to adhere to, ensuring our clients receive the highest level of service.
Erisha Speech & Language Interventions is a Trivandrum based centre that provides therapy to children who have issues with communicating like language impairment, autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, apraxia of speech, misarticulations and stuttering.
Hi 5 Child Development Center is a unique center in Mumbai working with children with special needs and their families.The Center is child centric and is filled with child friendly environment in which they play and learn through effective therapies.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: This workshop on ‘The Therapeutic Benefits of Sensory Play’ aims to provide participants with a practical demonstration of the developmental and therapeutic benefits of sensory play.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Participants will be engaged in stimulating multi-sensorial activities – including music, movement, visual and tactile experiences – demonstrating the holistic benefits of sensory play – learning and cognition, fine and gross motor, language and communication, social skills development, emotional regulation and well-being.
Bharti Dekate is passionate about design and delivery of customized solutions with a deep regard to organizational context and realities. Bharti has handled various roles in Human Resources functions–in Sales HR, Plant HR and Organization Development, during her stint at Ranbaxy and Sanofi -Aventis. Some highlights of her work there include design and deployment of HR processes in the areas of performance management systems, due diligence and overseas operations, wage settlements, talent management practices, merger and integration activities.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: This workshop is meant for parents, teachers, professionals, students, sellers, buyers….anyone who uses conversational techniques to get work done.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Stories! They’re everywhere. They’re inside us, outside us, around us, behind us. There’s a story for every occasion, a tale for every situation. There are stories with morals, stories without morals, stories about this and that, stories about you and me. We live storied lives and our stories weave into each other’s stories. We recognise our stories in someone else’s story. Dwell deeper into the art and science of storytelling to unearth deeper narratives. Tease out the unsaid and do more with what is said.
The Story lab will introduce you to different tools and frameworks, to achieve a range of goals through stories.
Sonali Nag & Laxmi Sutar
The Promise Foundation
Sonali Nag is an Honorary Associate Director in The Promise Foundation and Associate Professor For Education And The Developing Child, University of Oxford. The Promise Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1987 to apply the behavioural sciences to promote the educational, social and economic development of the individual.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: To demonstrate how play can be interwoven into literacy and language development activities for pre- and primary schoolers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This workshop will share ideas from The Promise Foundation’s Programmes for Assisted Learning (PAL). PAL sessions comprise periods of talk, hands-on activities, working with text and child publishing. In 2016 we developed a vacation module for village children that use traditional games as the theme to support and supplement literacy and language development. This workshop will share ideas from this module bringing focus on the intrinsic value of play ideas and team games as themes to encourage practice of decoding and meaning-making strategies. The workshop will end with participants being invited to pen a text on a traditional game they played in their childhood.
Gayatri & Rashida
aProCh (A Protagonist in every child)
aProCh, a community based initiative was born out of this need for change. Started by students of the Riverside School, Ahmedabad, it was envisioned to create “a Child friendly city”, which accords safety to the child; where the child has freedom to explore, derive fun and joy, has ample opportunity and builds happy memories for a lifetime.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: This will enable educators to inculcate 21st century skills, develop motor skills and self-expression to children. It will be an opportunity to be engaged with play and its ability to help construct, implement and evaluate play approach to teaching.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Participants will work collaboratively to create a portrait or an installation using open- ended materials which will help them develop relationships and share their insights on play pedagogy.
Play to Experience
April 8, 2017
Prof. Sudarshan Khanna & Surabhi Khanna
Surabhi Khanna is a designer, educator. She has a Masters in industrial design from NID, India (toy & game design), after graduation in architecture. Since 2012, she has been working on projects and workshops related to heritage, innovations, culture-based design. She has been associated with several institutions of design and education as a part time/ visiting faculty. An exchange designer in Germany, invited participant for UNESCO creativity workshop on Inclusive education and development, she was co-invitee to Colombia, South America for talks-workshops on design & education and for talk-workshops by Aalborg university, Denmark. She is currently associated as assistant professor of product design at Sushant School of Design, Ansal university.
Design Educator Professor Sudarshan Khanna , was Principal Designer, Chairman of Education & Research and Head of Toy Innovation Centre at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India. An internationally acclaimed designer and educator, he has helped establish several new courses and programs, including the Post Graduate Program in Toy & Game Design. He was conferred 1996 National Award for his life time work for design-science among children by Department of Science and Technology. He is recipient of international BRIO Award 2013 for his lifelong contribution for research and innovation for toy design and development in India. Prof. Sudarshan Khanna is the past president of ITRA (International Toy Research Association) and founder Chairperson of “Toys for Tomorrow”- vision-action international forum.
Author of three books and many articles on toy design, culture and creative education, he featured in many educational TV programs. He has been conducting workshops in India and other countries, for teachers, trainers & students, relating value of design methods and creativity as part of innovative learning process.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: Toys & Tales with Everyday Material
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The workshop will start with an introduction of how design and indigenous toys can provide a rich resource for interactive education at all levels. How do we enrich participatory learning by use of 3H: Hands, Heart & Head! How do we create more from less using indigenous knowledge and local materials and techniques? How do we develop skills, creativity and sense of empowerment for learners? The workshop will consist of a series of mini projects of making and developing indigenous play ideas for learning.
Archana Magar & Vijay Kumar
Play for Peace
Play for Peace movement started around 1996 in Chicago, USA. The Mission of Play for Peace is to bring together children, youth, and organisations from communities in conflict, using cooperative play to create laughter, compassion, and peace. Play for Peace is not a project per se, but it is a process that can be integrated with other projects/movements/initiatives that share common values. It is a process, when done with consistency, transforms the way people look at each other and build deeper connections based on empathy and respect. We use the medium of play that is centered on core values of inclusion, cooperation, emotional and physical safety, role modeling and fun. In addition, we supplement play with processes that are experiential in nature.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: To provide a safe space to experience the joy of Play. Share the journey of Play for Peace in India. Build a perspective around and connection between, Play & Child rights. Community building and Youth development through Play.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This process will be 60 minutes experiential process, where we will play cooperative games followed by experience sharing. Audio visual presentation; sharing experiences of Play for Peace in India.
Children and Facilitators of Aarohi
Aarohi is a community of self directed learners - children who decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn, when they want to learn and use self assessment. They do not follow any philosophy, they follow the child. Aarohi offers an open learning environment at its campus in a village near Hosur.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: To explore how games can be used by schools/parents to give children an opportunity to learn by playing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Participants will play a number of games covering a cross section of subjects / concepts / skills. The workshop will also cover a wide range of mediums and types of games. Overall, we plan to have a lot of fun PLAYING and letting learning happen through it.
Mina is a Psychologist, Counselor, Trainer and Writer. With a Masters degree in Psychology from Madras University, and Diplomas in Child Psychology and Advanced Counselling Skills from Stonebridge Associated Colleges, UK. Mina Dilip has been training and counselling groups of people from various backgrounds for over five years now. Her sessions cover topics ranging from emotional and psychological issues to relationship management and personal growth. She is currently associated with MOP Vaishnav College for Women as a Consultant Trainer, where she addresses undergraduate and postgraduate students in large groups, dealing with life skills and emotional management. She also offers personal growth programs for teachers, and conducts parenting workshops periodically.
With a special focus on non-directive play therapy, Mina works one-on-one with children as well as adults, offering counselling and therapeutic services using play-based methodologies.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: Play as a creative medium in developing self-awareness.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The workshop engages all five senses and develops a keener sense of self and body connectedness. The workshop will introduce the concepts of feeling management / emotional intelligence, and developing it through play.
Life and Dance
Life and Dance is a dance therapy organisation created by Dr. Nikita Mittal that revolves around giving people an opportunity to experience freedom in dance and freedom through Dance. Life and Dance emphasizes on the body as a vehicle, for self-development and healing, and the mind as a catalyst.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: This workshop on ‘A perspective of Play through Dance and Movement’ will help the participants understand the movement science and connect it to the play pedagogy.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: This workshop is crafted for the play practitioners. Play and movement are closely connected as none can exist without the other.Play involves movements and every movement is a play.
Neuroscience researchers indicate that Play and movement coexist and boost up not only our physical development but majorly enhances the cognitive abilities also. All aerobic and intentional exercises boost up the BDNF ( Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) which is essential for growth of the brain cells. This workshop helps you to connect the movement dots in the play, making your practice rich.
The Actors collective
Rajesh is the founder of The Actors Collective. Rajesh develops theatre based training modules to develop teams, build effective leadership, to de-stress, to develop better communication skills and to enhance personal creativity. He conducts Playback Theatre Workshops.
OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP: This workshop will focus on introducing participants to theatre.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The workshop will be filled with very specialized games that help open up participants so that they have lots of fun and learn about themselves in the bargain.