Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join/Renew
K-8: Exploring Character Through Play
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

Play is one of the most complex layered forms of communication on the planet.

When: February 6, 2019
Wednesday, 8:30am-3:30pm
Where: Friends Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19102
United States

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  


CSEE Members & Friends Council Members

First attendee from a member school: $125

Additional attendees from same school: $100

(Schools who are members of the Friends Council will get the CSEE member rate. To get this rate, select "bill me" at check out and then send an email to requesting your discount)



First attendee: $200

Additional attendees: $175


Target Audience

PK-8 educators.



In our current era of high-stakes testing, market-driven school choice, awareness of learning differences, and increasing sense of competition for selective college admissions, it is easy to lose a sense of the importance of play. When compared to the importance of disciplined study, play may seem frivolous and worthy of a lower priority. Students are asked to sit for tests, to show grit and to accept failure, so play may also seem like a form of work avoidance, like a distraction from what should be the real business of education, namely, the mastery of hard facts and skills.

Despite these trends against play, recent research shows that play has the capacity to improve a young person's focus and their academic performance while also having an impact on character development by reducing bullying and by improving conflict resolution.

By coming together for a conference on "Play and Character Development," we hope to reinvigorate and reaffirm the importance of play in K-8 education (and beyond!) through looking at the following sub-topics:

  • Play as a catalyst for moral and character development
  • Philosophy and psychology of play
  • Recess play - structured, unstructured, and the function of play in athletics
  • Play across the disciplines (arts, sciences, language arts, technology, human growth and development, etc.)
  • Dilemmas around play:  bullying, rough and tumble play, safety vs. freedom, social media and antisocial behaviors

 The conference will conclude with a swap shop for participants to share ideas and successes towards an idea bank.


Facilitator / Presenter 

Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston, Ph.D., attended and has taught at a wide variety of independent boarding and day, faith-based and non-sectarian single gender and co-ed schools. As the Director of Jewish Studies at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, he teaches courses on ethics, classical Jewish texts, Jewish history and comparative religion and convenes the school's Honor Council. He has been a frequent contributor to CSEE Connections and he is the author of Sowing the Seeds of Character: The Moral Education of Adolescents in Public and Private Schools (Praeger, 2009). A believer in the importance of play in character development, he enjoys playing Frisbee and piano and he is an avid bicycle commuter.



Presenter:  Paradoxes of Play: What We Think Play Is and Isn’t

Anna Beresin, Ph.D., serves as professor of psychology and folklore in the School of Critical Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and co-directs NEUARTS, the university's neighborhood engagement program.  Her books include "Recess Battles" (University of Mississippi Press) and "The Art of Play (Temple University Press) and she is co-editor of the International Journal of Play.  She is known for her particularly bad puns.






- - - - -



Wednesday, February 6th

8:30-9:00   Coffee

9:00-9:45   Welcome by Bob Mattingly; Anna Beresin's Keynote: Character of Play
9:45-10:15   Diversity and Peer Culture
10:15-10:30   Recess Games
10:30-10:45   Break
10:45-12:00   Group Discussion: Challenges on the Playground


12-12:30   Lunch (included with registration)

12:30 -1:45   Judd Levingston's Keynote: Play and Character in the Classroom
1:45-2:30   Art and Play
2:30 -2:45   Break
2:45 -3:15   Design Your Own Toolkit; Strategies for Play at School


The Friends Center is located in the city center of Philadelphia. For detailed directions, please visit their site


Please see CSEE's Event Policy to learn more about cancellations and refunds.


CSEE | 910 M Street NW #722, Washington, DC 20001 | (800) 298-4599



Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal