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School: University of Texas at Austin

Thesis: Frolic Pedagogy in a Post-Fröbel Era

A Note on the Thesis

In January 2021, I began working on my final stages of undergraduate work -- writing my Senior Honors Thesis. Months before, I had juggled with what I wanted to discuss. My work in the past three years as an Arts and Entertainment Technologies student was broad -- I developed games, computer graphics, apps, tangible products, and much more. And because of this, I was unsure of what I wanted to dive into. Discovering my thesis topic required some introspection. I had to ask myself how I got to where I am. What made me do what I did? At the core of all of it was creativity and remembering the moments my mother handed me stories and toys at a young age and how it empowered me to create my own experiences. From those memories alone, I wanted to tell a story about creative enablement, learner-autonomy, and the importance of a parent’s or instructor’s role as part of that overarching narrative. 

In my thesis, I provide a brief history of learning, an introduction of varying pedagogical approaches and play, their synthesis, and how I tested these approaches. In one test, I created an analog toy clock out of ash wood, and in another, I incorporated interactivity into a 30-person university instructional environment. These tests were designed to observe two methods: first, how autonomous play can be created in-home, and second, how simple play-material can be used to enable autonomous learning in a forward-thinking era of schooling. 

All of this began with the simple act of my mother handing me immersive play experiences when I was a kid and consistently encouraging my creative enrichment. I hope you all take a look and if you’re interested, reach out! I'd love to chat about it...

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