International True Play Conference: Global Conversations on the Future of Early Learning

#TruePlay2019 - Anji, China

Conference Hosts and Organizers

Zhejiang Province Of ce of Education
Anji County People’s Government
Anji County Department of Education
Anji Childhood Education Research Center


May 12th-15th, 2019.


Tian Huangping Town, Lunar New Year Village, Anji County, People’s Republic of China.

Conference Description

The founders and designers of the Anji Play Approach have planned and organized the rst annual True Play Conference in Anji County, China as a forum for educational thought and policy leaders from around the world to gain a deeper understanding of the theory and practice of True Play and Anji Play and together consider the implications of these movements for global educational reform.

This conference will bring together leaders working at the frontier of global knowledge and research regarding the learning, growth and development of the child and the larger community. As the first International True Play Conference, it will become the basis for an annual event hosted in other countries and regions.

This conference seeks to build a union of True Play leaders and practitioners, a “Global True Play Union,” that is connected in a meaningful exchange of ideas and works together to identify, support, research, and promote models of True Play globally.

Conference Activities

Exchange outcomes from contemporary academic research into early childhood learning from the perspective of welcoming and leading a transformation of future early education.

Reflect upon and discuss the conditions and implications of True Play

Exchange and discuss experiences from Chinese and global scaling of the “Anji Play” model and celebrate the work of True Play in diverse communities.


Leaders, officials, experts and educators representing a range of global organizations and institutions. Leaders from the Ministry of Education, Provincial Government and Provincial Office of Education level in China. Representatives from Madison Wisconsin (2020 host city) and leaders and representatives from “One Belt, One Road” countries. (80 people)

Early education professors from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan; Play and Play Materials Committee Members, China National Society for Early Childhood Education, and Zhejiang Province-wide representatives from municipal governments, education research departments and Anji Play pilot schools. (120 people)

Chinese Experts:

Professor Li Jimei

East China Normal University

Professor Feng Xiaoxia

Beijing Normal University

Professor Yu Yongping

Nanjing Normal University

Professor Hua Aihua

East China Normal University

Professor Yan Chaoyun

Sichuan Normal University

Director Cheng Xueqin

Anji Childhood Education Research Center

Presenting International Experts:

Dr. Chelsea Bailey

Anji Childhood Education Research Center Senior Research Scholar

Mr. Kaleem Caire

One City Schools Founder/CEO

Ms. Carissa Christner

Madison Public Library Children’s Librarian

Dr. Lawrence Cohen

Psychologist and Author

Dr. Tovah Klein

Barnard College, Columbia University and Barnard College Center for Toddler Development
Associate Professor of Psychology and Center Director

Dr. Peter Mangione

WestEd, Center for Child and Family Studies Director

Dr. Sandra Moore

Contra Costa College, Department of Early Education Professor and Department Chair

Ms. Michel Naidoo

Contra Costa College Early learning Center Center Director

Dr. Nico van Oudenhoven

International Child Development Initiatives Founder

Dr. Andreas Roepstorff

Aarhus University, Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience and Department of Social Anthropology

Dr. David Whitebread

Cambridge University, PEDAL Research Center Former Director

Participating Remotely

Dr. Mariana Brussoni

University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health and Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Mitchel Resnick

MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Group
LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, Director, Director

Additional presenters may be added

Conference Organization & Format

This conference will host a total of 200 participants and attendees. Organizational formats and agenda:

Academic dialogue, expert presentations and school visit activities Launch of Global True Play Union
Passing of conference responsibilities to 2020 host

True Play (Anji Play) Curriculum Play Materials and Equipment Standards release

“Anji Play and Me - The True Play Revolution” and “A Reading of and Guidance in Anji Play (Vol. 1): Hands-down Play to Discover the Child” book releases

Conference schedule


Arrival and Registration



The Meaning and Implications of Anji Play from a Chinese Perspective: What is Anji Play, Why Now, Why China?
Li Jimei, Yu Yongping, Cheng Xueqin


The Meaning and Implications of Anji Play from a Global Perspective: Why the World Needs True Play
Dr. Bailey, Dr. van Oudenhoven, Dr. Mangione, Dr. Whitebread


Implementing Anji Play in China and Globally

Representatives from programs piloting the Anji Play approach


Theoretical Understanding at the Cutting-Edge of True Play and the Child’s Learning: Risky Play, Deep Learning, Play and Psychomotor Development Dr. Brussoni, Dr. Resnick, Hua Aihua


Anji Play Curriculum Play Materials and Equipment Standards Release.
Anji Play Books Release
School Visits


Academic Roundtable: the Direction of the True Play Revolution; Global Outlook on Models for Pre-primary Learning Reform
Launch Global True Play Union
Passing of Conference Responsibilities to 2020 Host


Feng Xiaoxia, Dr. Cohen, Dr. Klein, Dr. Roepstorff