Name a popular toy invented by Ole Kirk Christiansen in the 1940s. Name an educational philosophy that provides students with an understanding of STEM and engineering in a practical and fun way. The answer to both is Lego.
If you thought Lego was just a toy, think again. The company created Lego Education to deliver classroom-ready solutions for engaging and inspiring young learners. Lego Education combines Lego bricks with subject-specific tools and curricula so classroom teachers can meet key learning objectives.
According to the Lego Education website, “learning is at the very core of the Lego Group’s most heartfelt values, and the company’s education division has invested many years in cooperation and research with child development specialists and teaching professionals to build a rich understanding of what it takes to provide truly effective learning experiences.
While teaching to curriculum subjects and assessment through exam scores may continue to dominate political agendas, research into effective learning techniques and a growing understanding of the needs of 21st century learners show that individuals benefit more by applying knowledge as a means to expand their understanding than they do by simply acquiring knowledge in order to pass examinations.
The focus of education and the role of educators are changing. Twenty-first century learning is about providing children with opportunities to experiment with their surroundings as a form of problem solving. It is about creativity and collaboration, motivation and self-direction. It is about improvisation and discovery, and interacting with meaningful tools that expand mental capacities.”
The concept is pretty simple. Students use Lego blocks and digital tools to solve problems while building STEM knowledge, using teamwork and fostering creativity. I only have one question. Why wasn’t this program in place when I was in school?