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Dynamic and Playful London: Community Development and Social Change


England Summer II, 2024

Program Dates: Summer 2 2024 – July 6, 2024 – August 4, 2024

These courses will fulfill electives in the Human Services major. This program is open to all majors and colleges.

This program will explore community development and social change in the urban environment with an emphasis on the role of play. Students will actively engage in the scholarship of play and explore the role and function, benefits, and barriers of play in childhood, with a focus on the history and modern role of play in London. Topics will include the background and significance of play in history, the role of play as a predictor of academic and social functioning, the use of play in character/moral development, as well as the use of play to prevent, intervene, and treat trauma. Clinical and non-clinical implications of play will be explored, as well as the physiological and social implications of play, using contemporary research on brain science and brain development. Students will explore broader concepts of wellness in urban life including community cohesion, social connection and efforts to reduce social isolation. This program will highlight the dynamic world of UK nonprofit organizations and their global influence in the social change space.

Students will explore many historic and cultural sites within and around London including the Tower of London, tours of the River Thames, Tate Modern, Globe Theater, and London Eye. Students will have specific play-based experiences traveling to adventure playgrounds, engaging in walking tours of London’s iconic street art, play streets, exploring Olympic Park, the Museum of the Mind, and the  VNA Children’s Museum. Tours outside of the city include Brighton and Cambridge. 

Students will alternate between classroom time and field experiences throughout London and surrounding areas such as Brighton and Cambridge to explore the role of play in daily life, and the ways community organizations and nonprofits promote restorative urban spaces.

Course Work

HUSV 2500 Science of Play

HUSV 2960 Intercultural Studies through Human Services

Information Session

Wednesday, November 29th at 12-1pm EST 310R Renaissance Park, and online here.

For more info about the program, visit the Northeastern GEO website.