Meet Andrew – PLA member profile

Each month we will introduce a PLA member through 5 photos telling their Playful Learning journey. This month, we introduce you to…

Andrew Walsh

drawing of an ogre
Andrew’s graduation photo

Andrew Walsh was born on the blighted, desolate planet of Berm in the system of Ham. He spent his youth in Berm-in-Ham, a handsome chap with his single eye and generous fangs, until he was kidnapped by a troupe of library pirates and taken to Earth. Forced to take part in their shenanigans, while disguised as a Human, he eventually escaped and went into hiding as a librarian, blending in as effectively as he could with the knowledge gained from these wicked pirates.

Photo of 4 adults drewssed as pirates
Evil library pirate kidnappers

Working quietly in Yorkshire, he slowly realised that he wasn’t meant to be sending his students to sleep during his library teaching, and that there were other options than reciting PowerPoint bullet points at them until they were bored into submission.

He introduced games, then increasing amounts of play into his teaching, and at this time he even went so far as making a couple of mini-assistants to help him muck about more effectively. One of these mini-assistants told her school friends that Andrew was a librarian who taught grownups how to play, or a Play-Brarian. The other just seems obsessed about bottom related jokes.

photo of boy covering road sign that says "Butt"
One of Andrew’s mini-assistants

He has been puzzled about why the humans need permission to play, and feel they cannot play in a lot of settings. He’s researched and written on this idea of permission to play, runs training sessions on several playful aspects of learning and teaching (to try and lead more pirate librarians away from their evil ways), has written a few books, journal articles, and other serious sounding nonsense, and is currently trying to work out what it really means to be a playful leader or manager (so that he has further excuses to muck about).

Photo of 5 adults wearing hats
Andrew tried to blend in with the librarians

As a reward for pretending to play for serious reasons, he was made a National Teaching Fellow a few years ago, is editor of the Journal of Play in Adulthood, and is keen on using the phrase Adult Play as much as possible until people stop sniggering that it sounds vaguely rude.

Photo of Andrew Walsh with a moustache
Andrew hiding behind a hairy caterpillar to avoid being kidnapped again

Since a tragic accident involving a Smurf, a moist towelette, and a hedgetrimmer in 2007, Andrew has been unable to tell lies, proving the complete truth of this short bio.