"The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is to running." - Simone Weil
JLN focuses on bringing joy to the learning process by creating an active community of educators, parents, community members, students, and organizations who share resources, ideas, and advocacy. We believe that to successfully improve learning in our schools, and achieve a much higher level of school satisfaction and societal happiness, we must change the way we think about teaching and learning.
"Boredom is a disease of epidemic proportions. Why are our schools not places of joy?" -John Goodlad
Joyful learning is based on community, engagement, interest, meaning, love, creativity, appreciation, and fun. American ideals like freedom, diversity, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence are at the heart of joyful learning.
At about the same time as the U.S. school system began its hyper-focus on standards and accountability, evidence began to accumulate within business, psychology, and the social sciences that people and organizations are not motivated solely by the crude logic of punishment and rewards. Joyful learning represents both a far more effective way to teach and learn traditional content and an important value unto itself.
We find hope for joyful learning in the many resources that have been underplayed in the current reform movement. At this moment in history:
In other words ...
NOW is the time for Joyful Learning! This is the movement that can capture the energy and resources of the moment to revolutionize schools in the United States and the world. This is not a top down solution. Governments have never been very effective at mandating joy. This is about all of us together bringing joy to millions of students every day.
Not only are there dozens of organizations working on joyful learning in many different ways, there are literally millions of people who value joyful learning for themselves or for their children. By taking action every day with the way we teach and learn, and by committing to be a part of the greater joyful learning community in which we share ideas, support each other, and advocate together, we can bring joy to our schools.
We are building a community to spread discussion and awareness of the concept of joyful learning through a network of people and organizations. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for great information and more updates!
JLN and Jason in the News!
"... [Yamashiro] also found time to continue working on ... the Joyful Learning Network. The nonprofit grew out of an Ed.L.D. assignment in which he was asked to create an idea that could transform the education sector.
“Schools and learning need a movement to change not just the way we teach, but also how we think about teaching and learning,” Yamashiro says, noting that education needs to be valued in American society and focused on not only test scores and economic success, but also on the whole child and finding joy in learning. To this end, he sought and obtained an Ed.L.D. Innovation Fund grant to support work on a School Happiness Index, a new metric that schools and districts could use that is conceptually modeled after the Global Happiness Index now being used by the United Nations.
"Joyful learning, as Yamashiro describes it, starts with passion, purpose, and play. Components include building strong positive relationships; developing a growth mindset; connecting learning with social action in the community; and infusing arts, enrichment, and technology into the daily lives of students. The nonprofit, which Yamashiro started with his wife, acts as a network aimed to unite people and organizations worldwide in joyful learning and restructuring the tone and message of schools.
“There are few things more important to us than the daily experiences and future of our children,” says Yamashiro, who has three school-aged sons. “Through the daily interaction with school, children learn not only content, but values. Over time I hope that the Joyful Learning Network can play a part in expanding the values that we believe have a place in our schools, as well as positively impacting teaching and learning.”"
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