Earlier this year LEGO® Education published a pilot study called ‘Building Future Skills; Creativity and Playful Learning in the Classroom’. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be revisiting the key recommendations from that study, and looking at how educators and opinion leaders are approaching these challenging topics.
One of the pilot study recommendations was that teachers should be given better support and resources to enable them to lead and facilitate progressive STEM lessons that allow for more playful, creative and hands-on learning.
We take a look at how one local authority has established a training venue offering a range of courses that reflect the best of creative ICT; utilising technologies that will enhance the learning process in schools.
The Professional Development Centre at Wedgnock House is managed by the ICT Development Service, part of Warwickshire County Council. Over the last three years, the service has been supporting the implementation of LEGO® Education Innovation Studios for primary and secondary schools. Their team offers schools bespoke, practical training and advice on how best to incorporate technology within the curriculum.
The E-learning advisors at the ICT Development Service strongly support the principle that creativity and education go hand in hand, but appreciate that this approach can be overlooked within the existing curriculum. On review, the advisors identified embedding creative learning into the everyday practices of a school as one of the greatest challenges for teachers, so set up a provision that would help inspire creativity in STEM teaching and promote hands-on learning, with the ultimate goal of enabling pupils to develop their own, successful learning style.
John Pinkney, an E-learning advisor for the ICT Development Service said: “Our overall aim is to develop creativity in the curriculum, and we have been working closely with teachers across the county to bring this to life.”
The ICT Development Service established its first ‘on-premises’ LEGO Education Innovation Studio to showcase the concept to teachers. Each Innovation Studio is a complete room, fully kitted out with LEGO Education resources and supported by comprehensive training. Tailored to the individual needs of a school, the main focus for the studios is to provide a hands-on, experimental learning environment, helping teachers to adopt alternative, more creative methods of teaching and learning.
A typical training programme is held at the Innovation Studio at Wedgnock House and will see about ten teachers for a full day of hands-on and theory. The programme is led by one of the E-Learning advisors for the ICT Development Service and underpinned by the LEGO Education System for Learning.
Over the last 3 years, hundreds of teachers have undertaken training with the team, either at the Professional Development Centre or within their own school. Having seen the studio in action, a number of schools have come forward to develop the idea in their own.
Based on teacher feedback from the sessions, 100% of those interviewed were confident that the training course would act as a driving force to inspire young creative minds. They also believe it will help them to teach the core curriculum subjects more effectively. One of the most inspiring comments was to hear a teacher say: “I finally realised why I became a teacher.”
To find out more about the ICT Development Service in Warwickshire, visit the Warwickshire Education Services website.
The full report ‘Building the Future: Creativity and Playful Learning in the classroom’ can be read online at LEGO Education.