Personalisation in Learning – the lego challenge

I love Lego. My boys all enjoyed playing and learning with it. My eldest and youngest sons especially. The eldest is now an electrician. The younger is in year 10 and still uses it at times to build battlefields for his army men.

The other day I visited a group of students at GippsTafe to see the work they were doing with their youth in a building that they were able to personalise with murals and the students’ work. Something I have not been able to do this year when my students have had to share their room with others.

I had the opportunity to speak to the students about the Big Picture approach and how each of my students was able to follow their interests and passion. I asked them if they had this opportunity, what would they choose? One young man quick as a flash had his hand up and his passion was Lego. Others said guitar/music, cars, and art, from what I can recall.

Most of the others could not give an answer or were reluctant for some reason. This is common. I think it may have something to do with a school system that does not really care about the student’s interest as the main agenda is giving the student the ‘curriculum enforced from on high’.

During the day it was great to see the guitarists with their guitars get opportunities to play “their music”…even if it was the heavy kind! The girl who loved art also had opportunity to draw.

The “lego boy” during lunch had his box of lego and made models to show me. He was so engrossed in what he was doing. He loved talking about it and was very articulate. During class you could tell he just wanted to make lego and did so whenever he had the opportunity.

It got me thinking about how I would personalise his learning opportnities and how I could structure his day. Would it be responsible of me to let him make models all day? He would be happy. What are is learning needs? No doubt he loves working with his hands. What are his plans for a career? How could he be stretched to learn other things essential for his growth. What would he need to become a lifelong learner?

This student’s obvious passion challenged my thinking.

How would I use the Big Picture approach for this student?

Making things with Lego is his passion.
Does he have other interests he would also like to explore?
What would be his adult world immersion? Where could he be placed with a mentor?
How could I integrate literacy, numeracy, communication, scientific and social reasoning?
How would I include his family and community in his learning based around Lego?
Could we, or should we give him an opportunity to travel to Legoland in Denmark?

[picapp src=”0303/0000303963.jpg?adImageId=5908087&imageId=307253″ width=”380″ height=”286″ /]

This would be a very interesting and exciting opportunity.

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