Tag Archives: playfulness

The Four Educative Drives

I have recently come across the blog and work of Peter Gray, and am finding it very useful to see things from his perspective – which at times is very much aligned with my own.

In one of his posts he talks about self-directed education and the four basic drives in all children around which they naturally learn. These are Playfulness, Curiosity, Sociability and Planfulness.

Playfulness enables children to learn new skills – be it physical, social or imaginative- all while having fun.

Curiosity enables learning as children, even infants, feel compelled to explore both physical as well as social environment.

Sociability enables learning as the child learns from others and desires to understand and connect with them using say language.

Planfulness enables learning by making the children think ahead about their life goals, big and small. The learning happens more systematically.

To me these drives parallel my ABCD model. Playfulness is all about having fun and associated with joy – an Affective phenomenon. Curiosity is about exploration and associated with the active pole of Behavior dimension. Sociability is about relationship dynamics and associated with other pole of Dynamism /drive dimension. While Planfulness is Cognitive in nature and associated with multiple strategies to achieve goals (the Broad pole of cognition) .

Although these linkage seem very intuitive , I would have liked to see more empirical work on these four educational drives, but a simple internet search did not return many academic articles. Maybe the research already exists and in that case, if the reader can point me to it, I will be really grateful; maybe more research needs to happen.

On a more general note, do you think the current schools disrupt these four drives; is self-directed education the answer?