Dr Tim Gale, Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management Head of Education and Professional Practice, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Faculty of Management,tells us below about Lego Serious Play:
For some time now I have been using Lego Serious Play to facilitate discussion in class (sparingly, as you can have too much of a good thing), as demonstrated by the attached extract from an old Department of Geography and Environmental Management newsletter at UWE- my previous institution. Using Lego bricks, elements and minifigures, I invite students to produce metaphorical models to depict things that cannot be adequately conveyed by the written or spoken word alone, or the ubiquitous PowerPoint presentation. I’ve used this with first year undergraduates, doctoral students and just about everyone in-between, to explore such things as personal identities and how tourism and mobility informs the way we see ourselves in the world, what life might be like in 2050 (futures studies), and experiences of studying for a higher degree (achievements, dissapointments, hopes and fears, etc). Talking to a prop can help to overcome students’ in-built reluctance to volunteer information, instilling a confidence that is often lacking in more traditional presentations. There is also scope to work collaboratively with peers on shared models- good for social bonding, as well as learning. It doesn’t work for everyone and in every setting, but the feedback has generally been positive with most students enjoying the opportunity to be creative and think ‘outside the box’.
Regardless of whether it involves playing (seriously) with Lego or something else, I believe that emotion has a place in the classroom. What do you think? Any examples from your own practice to share?
For further information on the LSP methodology, see David Gauntlett’s (formerly of BU, now at the University of Westminster) excellent website and publications:
- Gauntlett, D. and Holzwart, P. (2006) Creative and visual methods for exploring identities. Visual Studies, 21(1), 82-91
- Gauntlett, D. (2007) Creative Explorations: New Approaches to Identities and Audiences. London: Routledge.