playing to better humanity

Class topic: Dr. Peter Gray’s TED talk the decline of play.

A lot of Eastern countries are bypassing the United States, mainly because of their hard work and dedication to education. I know kids in Korea have their whole lives revolve around school, their day starting from 8 and ending at 6 and going back to school till 11 to study. Korean academic achievement compared to other developed countries is what they’re well known for, but with the extreme competition that exist it’s not a surprise they have the highest suicide rates among students. My cousins in France go to school from 8 – 6 too and they have school on Saturdays. And in France extracurricular activities like sports only exist outside of school, so my cousin has swim practice from 7-10 and goes home to do homework. Anyways many people feel like we’re falling behind, some say that we need more school to compete with other nations. I don’t necessarily think that the traditional, indoor, monotonous learning is the way to go. After all, if I look back on my 16 years of life and I think about important skills that I use everyday, it isn’t formulas I learned in math or formats of essays I’ve practiced, but things I’ve experienced outside through interaction and what I did as a child. It’s no surprise that it’s my happiest memories, playing with my neighbors and digging up mud pies, climbing trees, fighting imaginary monsters. I think what’s most important in life is health, and the amount of playtime as a child directly correlates to future mental and physical health. Plus, I’m sure that teenagers and adults would benefit with more free time overall, it would create a better and healthier society when people are happier… and that’s one way to compete with other countries–by playing more.

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