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Using LEGO® to aid reflection on practice through metaphors


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14, 15 Nov 2013 Annual SEDA Conference

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Using LEGO® to aid reflection on practice through metaphors

  1. 1. Using LEGO® to aid reflection on practice through metaphors Chrissi Nerantzi Academic Developer, certified LSP facilitator / @chrissinerantzi 18th Annual SEDA Conference Creativity in Educational Development “Play isn’t the enemy of learning, it’s learning’s partner. Play is like fertilizer for brain growth. It’s crazy not to use it.” (Brown, 2010)
  2. 2. ILOs By the end of this workshop, delegates will be able to: • Explore the benefits and challenges of learning through making within Academic Development • Discuss the LEGO® model making approach used within the LTHE module of the PGCAP Programme • Identify opportunities for learning through forms for creative play and art in academic programmes and professional development provision
  3. 3. Learning through making
  4. 4. Thinking and creating with our hands • Making is connecting (Gauntlett) • Playing/Reflecting/Learning with LEGO? – from replication to uniqueness – from literal models to metaphorical models • Connectionism (Papert) > learning through making mental/real models • X is Y = metaphor (Aristotle) mixing up the unexpected, finding similarities in the unfamiliar • “new understanding through metaphors” (Schön) image created using
  5. 5. Let’s explore learning through making together
  6. 6. “Taking time to make something, using the hands, gave people the opportunity to clarify thoughts or feelings, and to see the subject-matter in a new light. And having an image or physical object to present and discuss enabled them to communicate and connect with other people more directly.” Gauntlett (2011, 4)
  7. 7. you the learner Q: Who are you as a learner? Task 1 (individually):Create a model using LEGO® Task2 (in small groups): Share with others and discuss
  8. 8. Using model making in the context of a summative assessment
  9. 9. Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (@PGCAP) • • • • active experimentation Lego in the context of the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education module Assessment as learning > social media portfolios Professional discussion > Lego model making activity
  10. 10. “When we walk into our workplace, the classroom, we close the door on our colleagues. When we emerge, we rarely talk about what happened or what needs to happen next, for we have no shared experience to talk about. Then, instead of calling this the isolationism it is and trying to overcome it, we claim it as a virtue called ‘academic freedom’: my classroom is my castle, and the sovereigns of other fiefdoms are not welcome here.” Palmer (2007, 147)
  11. 11. So what happens? before • guidelines shared • LEGO models (30 mins) during (30 mins) • share learning journey using the LEGO model • engage in a conversation • reflection • assessment after • feedback provided in minutes • further reflection through social media • sharing
  12. 12. 4C LEGO® Learning Framework Connect: reflecting on experiences and learning Construct: constructing of a model linked to this Contemplate: verbalising and analysing the model Continue: extending engagement through sharing and commenting on models made by others (through social media).
  13. 13. “This model shows my movement from black and white, linear teaching towards a broader understanding of good teaching and a greater sense of adventure and experimentation in my own practice- moving into colour !!” Dr Sian Etherington
  14. 14. Results findings data over 1 academic year students participated 35 (2 cohorts) panel members 10 interview with students and panel members reflective accounts •relaxed •more reflective •articulate with more ease •metaphors richness of learning and impact of module on practice •deeper conversations •unconscious learning •assessment: “informal” discussion with peers
  15. 15. Let’s connect Dr Sian Etherington, PGCAP student
  16. 16. Extending opportunities
  17. 17. my curiosity driven journey of discovery from empirical LEGO® use to an evidence-based LEGO® approach to LEGO® Serious Play®
  18. 18. theoretical underpinning “learning by making” Constructionism (Papert) “In flow” (Csikszentmihalyi) LSP “hard fun” (Papert) “new understanding through metaphors” (Schön)
  19. 19. • The builder owns the model • Metaphors belong to the builder • We talk about the model
  20. 20. Remember! We trust our hands! We trust the process! We all build! We all participate!
  21. 21. LSP Method, steps 1. Ask a question 2. Build 3. Share 4. Reflect
  22. 22. transformation of experiences • • • • • from passive to active from the individual to the group from domination to pan-participation from construction to de-construction to re-construction from replication to uniqueness
  23. 23. Why? To increase... • Insight • Confidence • Commitment When? Collective intelligence •Goal (A->B) •Complex process •Sharing for a purpose •Community feel, safe place
  24. 24. It is not about the bricks but what the bricks enable!
  25. 25. you the designer(s) Ideal spaces for learning... (contextualise first) Task 1 (2 mins): create an area of this space (individual) Task2 (2 mins): Bring your areas together to create the learning space (groups of 4-6) Group Task 3 (2 mins): Share your ideas with another group (groups of 10-15)
  26. 26. What other tools could we use to provide alternative opportunities for expression, engagement, reflection and learning?
  27. 27. useful links • LEGO in education scoop it • LEGO links on diigo • PGCAP YouTube Channel: Professional Discussion videos • LEGO in Education • LEGO(R) Serious Play® • LEGO® Serious Play® an introduction • PGCAP Flickr collection: Lego models • Visual metaphors Google + Community 65
  28. 28. References Brown, S. (2010) Play. How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul, London: Avery, Penguin. Gauntlett, D. (2011) Making is connecting. The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web2.0, Cambridge: Polity Press. Geary, J. (2012) I is an other, The secret life of metaphor and how it shapes the way we see the world, New York: Harper Perennial. Hallgrimsson, B. (2012) Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design, London: Laurence King Publishing. Marton, F. (1994) Phenomenography as a Research Approach, in: Husen, T. And Postlethwaite, N, (2nd ed) The International Encyclopedia of Education, Vol. 8, Pergamon, pp. 4424-4429, available at [accessed 72 December 2012]. Moon, J. (2010) Using Story In Higher Education and Professional Development, Oxon: Routledge. Nerantzi, C. and Despard, C. (submitted) Lego models to aid reflection. Enhancing the summative assessment experience in the context of Professional Discussions within accredited Academic Development provision, Innovations in Education and Teaching International. Owens, T. (2012) Hitting the nail on the head: the importance of specific staff development for effective blended learning, in: Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol. 49, No. 4, November 2012, 389-400. Palmer, P. J. (2007) The Courage to teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Papert, S. and Harel, I. (1991) Situating Constructionism, in: Constructionism, Norwood: Ablex Publishing, Available from: [accessed 1 January 2013] Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  29. 29. Using LEGO® to aid reflection on practice through metaphors Chrissi Nerantzi Academic Developer, certified LSP facilitator / @chrissinerantzi 18th Annual SEDA Conference Creativity in Educational Development