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Podcast: Joyful Learning

In the ever-evolving landscape of international education, the concept of 'joyful learning' is gaining increasing prominence. For example, UNESCO's "Happy Schools" initiative emphasises the importance of happiness in learning, viewing it not as a trade-off with academic achievement but as a vital component for broader and more effective learning experiences and outcomes. But what exactly does this mean in the context of primary education, and how does it reshape the way we think about our children's educational journeys here at Nanjing International School?

In this episode of NIS Voices, Primary Principal Ms. Jacqui Patrick sheds light on the concept of joyful learning. NIS creates an environment where happiness is integral to academic achievement, not a trade-off. Ms. Patrick explains that joyful learning starts with a school culture that provides a sense of safety and belonging, essential for students to feel comfortable and ready to learn. Engagement, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation drive this educational approach, enabling children to delve deeply into their passions and interests.

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) at NIS further nurtures this joy through inquiry-based learning, where students grapple with their own ideas and questions that hold personal significance. Jacqui emphasises the distinction between joy and fun in learning, explaining that joy is a deeper, more personal experience connected to meaningful engagement that fosters lifelong learning, while fun is spontaneous and not planned for as part of school lessons. She also discusses how parents can support joyful learning at home by engaging with their children's interests, providing space for unstructured activity, and modeling a process of learning together.


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