Saturday 16 December 2017

Schools should strive to learn from new kids on block

Lego can be an educational tool
Lego can be an educational tool

Graham Clifford

FOR the last three decades Lego Education has focused on getting the famous bricks into classrooms across Europe to stimulate and engage children to learn.

While some ministries of education are receptive to the idea of using Lego as a teaching tool, such as those in Nordic countries, others are less comfortable with the idea.

Dr Rene Tristan Lydiksen, MD of Lego Education Europe, explains that some traditional education systems find the notion of bringing ‘fun' into the class counter-intuitive.

“We try to understand various curriculums very carefully and of course the system in every country is different.

“Playing in a classroom does not always come across as acceptable to teachers, like in Germany for example, they don't feel it connects to learning so we have to find a way around that barrier.

“Across Europe we need to get better at teaching teachers to be creative — not just to teach to the test. The brain’s favourite activity is playing, we must understand that.”

Dr Lydiksen welcomes the move by the Mary Immaculate College in Limerick to train their teachers to be more creative.

“The work being done here in Limerick is excellent and we hope more teaching training facilities in Ireland will follow suit. It's so important that we help children think in a more holistic way, anything we can do to assist that is a good thing. We want to teach children to be creators of technology and not just consumers of it.”

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