by Talia Kaufman, Programs Director at Skateistan

Although I was never a star athlete, the chance to learn how to perform skills that had once seemed impossible to me—to move about freely on a trampoline or soccer field, or challenge myself on a skateboard—contributed hugely to my sense of self-worth. When I look back and consider the elements that built my own confidence as I was growing up, athletic opportunities figure prominently.

J houtney | 10/30/2014

At age three, 98 percent of children are creative geniuses. By age 25, just 2 percent of people still possess their powerful childhood ingenuity. What happened?

By the time they’re eight or nine, young students are rule-bound, self-conscious, and view tough tasks as threats to be avoided, rather than challenges to be mastered (or as opportunities to learn new skills). In other words, creative behavior is unlearned.

John Converse Townsend | 10/30/2014


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood,” said Mister Fred Rogers, many years ago.

John Converse Townsend | 10/15/2014 |

“We’re trying to change education in a positive way, that’s the overarching goal,” said Jan von Meppen. “Basically, we’re trying to achieve that by using storytelling to put learning content into context with the real world.”

J houtney | 9/23/2014 |

Professor S., a university professor in Berlin, has invented the world’s first functioning time machine. Unfortunately, it has malfunctioned and he’s stuck in the past with his Ph.D. research assistant, Jeanette. It’s up to students in seven elementary schools in Germany to help bring the pair home.

John Converse Townsend | 9/20/2014


We recently ran a Twitter chat to discuss how learning projects with a focus on play and whole-child development can make prepare young people in Asia to succeed in the 21st century. 

Indrani Sharma | 9/5/2014

Photo courtesy of Tanoker - Ledokombo, a learning project in Indonesia that offers lessons in reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as sports, cooking, dancing, art, and music at the request of children.

J houtney | 8/21/2014

We have to change the way the next generation of children learn, think and interact with people and the environment (both built and natural).

“This world requires a new paradigm for growing up and therefore also for education,” Bill Drayton wrote last year in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

John Converse Townsend | 8/18/2014

A lot of time is spent discussing why education reform is important and why more playful learning methodologies benefit students.

John Converse Townsend | 6/27/2014

If we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that many of our educationsystems prioritize things other than whole-child development.

“We’ve got an obsession in believing that literacy and numeracy and content acquisition are the principal objectives of school systems,”

John Converse Townsend | 6/26/2014
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