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Marcs Blog


April 28th 2014

Playing, obesity, well-meaning adults, a bit of history and a dose of reality
(Marcs Blog)

The approach that often well-meaning campaigns, such as the latest Irish ‘Let’s take on childhood obesity’ campaign, adopt in relation to children playing, often leaves me cold. This current Irish campaign takes on the slogan ‘Bring Back Play’ and helpfully lists a number of good old favourite games that parents should reintroduce to their children. Games such ...
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July 27th 2013

Stones, Pockets and Mystics – for Belle
(Marcs Blog)

    Let’s face it, I don’t do face to face work very much anymore. I’m one of those fancy consultant fellers now. What I do is … hang on, I’ll just read the blub … erm, it’s ‘travel the world advocating, imparting knowledge and enthusing people around children playing’ (not play notice, important point there). Glad we got...
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February 12th 2013

Toy Guns and Robbers: real or un-real PART 1
(Marcs Blog)

  Playmobil, the German based toy manufacturer, have produced a new play set. And the Daily Mirror is outraged. The official name of the set is the Bank with Safe set in which “Money can be drawn from the functional ATM/cash machine.” But The Mirror, and a number of other media outlets, have described the set as a "Bank Raid Toy Set" in which “Gun-to...
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January 2nd 2013

Beyond the comfort zone lie the riches of new possibilities
(Marcs Blog)

Over the last year I have been posting a regular Monday Morning Quote on my Facebook page. I haven’t managed every Monday but there have been twenty-nine quotes in 2012 and apart from the obvious - they all have something to do with children and young people - there is something else about them that is a little less apparent. Here’s a clue. This year’s quotes have include...
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November 30th 2012

Fuzzy and headless children
(Marcs Blog)

Some months ago I was half-watching the midday edition of the news on BBC television when a story came on about a school issue. The story itself was not particularly significant, certainly not to this tale anyway. No, what was significant were the images of the children on screen in support of the story. They were what I call ‘fuzzy and headless children’ – shots of childr...
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October 13th 2012

Blog – from Space hero to pop star
(Marcs Blog)

  When I was living and working in Sweden, a friend and fellow PhD student of mine with the Högskolan i Halmstad (the University of Halmstad) called Anders Nelson, now Dean of the University, told me a story about his young son Viktor. At one stage Viktor had a thing about Buzz ‘To infinity and beyond’ Lightyear – and frankly who wouldn’t? Buzz was a mo...
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October 3rd 2012

Who has the right to smack whom?
(Marcs Blog)

    Delaware, the first US State and oldest of the original 13 colonies, has become the first to prohibit corporal punishment (the smacking of children) by their own parents (26th September 2012). Thirty-one of the fifty States plus the District of Columbia have previously banned corporal punishment in schools (including Delaware in 2003) but this is the first case of a...
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September 5th 2012

The power of water and wasted opportunities
(Marcs Blog)

  I saw a couple of good examples of the powerful fascination water holds for children the other day while taking some time off in Tasmania, the island State of Australia (just thought I drop that in). The first took place around the quayside in Hobart where a girl of about five years old was clearly fascinated by the reflections on the water being cast by a sunny morning. ...
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July 25th 2012

Disclosure: ‘a revelation of abuse or harm’
(Marcs Blog)

Whist working with a group of primary school children recently one of them made a disclosure to me. This is something that all of us working with children and young people know may happen and so we should make sure we know the local procedure to be followed and how best to react to such a thing. But those of us in playwork, particularly those working in a peripatetic sense travelling from venue...
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June 19th 2012

Converse shoes – the playwork badge of office
(Marcs Blog)

I’ve been asked a number of times why I continue to wear black and white Converse originals on my feet and am rarely seen without them – even in a suit (true story). Today, I explain one of the reasons why.   This last week I have tied neck-ties onto two primary school boys about to have their school photos taken (trickier than I thought as I’ve never actually ...
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June 10th 2012

A Tree and a Boy
(Marcs Blog)

Mike Lanza at Playborhood recently wrote,   “Most children, particularly young ones, don’t care at all about privacy in their yards. Rather, they want to play, and when they reach a certain age, they’re very keen to find playmates to share in their play. Most parents ignore this fact when they erect high bushes and fences for privacy."   ...
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May 29th 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
(Marcs Blog)

An unusual thing happened on a bus journey of mine the other day – or at least I hope it was unusual. I was on a bus in London on a very rainy day heading to a school I was due to work at (and no that’s not the unusual bit despite the fact that some of my friends and colleagues think I wouldn’t know what a bus looked like if it came up and bit me). It was this: a group of ...
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May 15th 2012

The Importance of Touching Stuff
(Marcs Blog)

  Some years ago I related an observation made in a neighbourhood street in a paper I wrote for a conference. In front of me was a young man, of maybe four going five, who was walking along the footpath with a stick in one hand and his (what I presume) was his mothers in the other. He reached a metal fence on his side of the path, one of those with upright iron bars with spikes on...
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May 8th 2012

Old School is the best School
(Marcs Blog)

  I am quite varied in my research interests as far as children and young people, their play and their wider social lives are concerned. But one interest I have in particular is in exploring the differences between design intentions and actual use. I also like exploring changes in the design of common environments over time and identifying what difference that makes to what children an...
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May 5th 2012

A Ghost Dog, Exorcism and a Playful Playworker
(Marcs Blog)

  When I’m away working in North-West Wales I tend to stay at a very nice guest house on Anglesey called Nant Yr Odyn (proprietors Wendy and Andy Chape). I’ve been visiting quite a few years now and can well recommend it. My last week-long visit, which has just ended, was a bit more unusual though. When I arrived on Sunday evening, Wendy told me that I was going i...
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April 28th 2012

Should children Have Access to facebook?
(Marcs Blog)

  Why is it that a legislator feels the necessity to legally protect the rights of adults in relation to privacy and social networking but not of children and young people?    Following a spate of stories showing prospective employers demanding job interviewees hand over their Facebook passwords, the US state of Maryland has become the first to pass a   &nbs...
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April 16th 2012

Musical Entertainment at the 2012 Folklore Society Conference
(Marcs Blog)

  Seriously good conference again this year from the Folklore Society at the University of Chichester (UK). This year’s theme was Folklore and Fantasy. At whilst there ... The Hares and South Downs Singers provided us with an excellent selection of local folksongs on the Saturday evening including this one ‘Come Write Me Down’. Turn the volume up! Dou...
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February 10th 2012

The State of Play - a professional development day at the University of Gloucestershire
(Marcs Blog)

Friday 27th January 2012   An unashamedly long Reflection piece ... because like all good hair products, it was worth it. Well done to all. This was a very well attended day of both graduate and undergraduate playwork students and practitioners held by the Play and Playwork team at the University of Gloucester. Eight papers were delivered in total with some lasting an hour ...
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September 23rd 2011

Do Children Need More Time With Their Parents, or Less?
(Marcs Blog)

  ‘Quality time’, far from being the time that children spend with their parents, may actually be the time that they spend ‘away’ from them.   Posing a question in 2005 Paul Martin said, “We all say we want children to be happy, but it is a notoriously elusive aspect of human existence. How can parents help children to maximise their chances o...
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September 14th 2011

Schools to be given power to set their own day
(Marcs Blog)

  The United Kingdom coalition government has announced that they are going to give all schools in England the power to set the start, end and length of their school day. A sensible measure? Well, I can see two issues here.   First, a clear negative one. This move seems firmly linked to the idea that increasing educational attainment requires increasing directed teaching t...
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 To read Marc Armitage

 

 

Marc Armitage

 

 

Marc is an independent consultant, researcher and writer in playworking and the wider social world of children and young people.

He is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars around the European Union and beyond engaging with practitioners, educators and policy makers.

 

This website is a collection of writings and news, published pieces, conference papers, discussions, thoughts, ideas, Blog pieces .. and general ramblings.

Not all of it is totally 100% serious ... what would the point be in a playworker who doesn't play a little, hmmm?

 

For the latest Blog click [here]

For previous Blogs click [here]

 

Contact me:

 marc@marc-armitage.eu

 
(+44) 07949 019 149

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