A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to undertake a week’s training with the LEGO Education Academy out in Billund, Denmark.The course is part of the process towards certification as a LEGO Academy Teacher Trainer, enabling me to go out in to schools and train Teachers in how to use a range of LEGO Education Products.
The Course was really enjoyable; it was held in Billund in the LEGO Ideas House, and in addition to the lectures, workshops and discussions we were able to do some great behind the scenes tours like seeing inside the LEGO Factory, the LEGO House and the LEGO Ideas House Museum and the Vault, which is a working resource for LEGO designers and contains close to one of every different LEGO set ever produced!
From its very beginnings LEGO bricks were designed as a “system of play” and the LEGO company has always had a great vision of learning through play. In 1980 LEGO Education was formally launched and is still going strong today. At the centre of the LEGO Education vision is “hands on learning” and their mission statement is “to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, enabling every student to succeed through a system for playful learning”
The four C’s process lies at the heart of the LEGO approach to learning. Based on the theory of Constructionism, the four C’s (Connect, Construct, Contemplate, Continue) look at students natural ability to construct objects, explore cause and effect, develop skills in experimentation and problem solving and learn more about the world around them. We learn more by doing, and LEGO is a fantastic tool enabling open ended experimentation and unlimited possibilities.
The “Connect” phase is all about engaging with the learning, encouraging participation and self motivation. The “Construct” phase involves a building activity, the hands on part of the learning. The “Contemplate” phase is all about giving students the opportunity to reflect, engage in discussion, share and collaborate. This to consolidate their knowledge and give a deeper understanding of the concepts they have covered. Finally the “Continue” phase is all about having the opportunity to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge. It’s designed to keep students in a state of flow (the perfect balance between level of skill and challenge)
There is a really wide range of LEGO Education kits ranging from DUPLO based early years products such as the Coding Express train, and simple machines sets, through to robotics systems like WeDo 2.0, Mindstorms EV3 and the brand new Spike Prime. We got to have a good play with most of them during the week and see their great potential in classroom based learning.
I’m really excited about putting my training in to practise and continuing to learn more about the full range of LEGO Education products.