Education in the Digital Age

Healthy and Happy Children

image of Education in the Digital Age

The COVID-19 pandemic was a forceful reminder that education plays an important role in delivering not just academic learning, but also in supporting physical and emotional well-being. Balancing traditional “book learning” with broader social and personal development means new roles for schools and education more generally.

This volume is part of a series that examines the intersections between education, well-being and digital technologies. Complementing the first volume Educating 21st Century Children: Emotional Well-Being in the Digital Age, this volume turns the spotlight on physical health and well-being. It explores the important role of play and risk-taking in learning. It examines the “pursuit of perfection” and the impact on children’s lives, whether it be physical, cognitive or academic. It highlights important efforts countries have made to tackle inequality and protect and empower students in both physical and digital environments. It ends with a look at the pending agenda, underscoring the role of partnerships, policy and protection.



Outdoor risky play

Playing outdoors offers rich play opportunities and has unique characteristics less apparent in indoor play, including taking physical risks. Risky play occurs when children intentionally seek exhilarating and scary physical play situations that allow them to gain mastery over their fears. Opportunities for outdoor risky play have been severely curtailed in recent generations. As research mounts on the importance of risky play for children’s health, development and well-being, there is increasing recognition regarding the need for action to create supportive environments for play. This chapter reviews the literature on the importance of risky play. It then presents the three key ingredients for outdoor risky play supportive environments – time, space and freedom – and suggests practice and policy necessary to implement sustained and meaningful change.


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