Advertisement

Exploration: Building the Abstract—Metaphorical Play-Doh® Modelling in Health Sciences

  • Rachel SteadEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Whilst modelling literal anatomical or engineering constructs is not new, modelling the ‘abstract’ is underexplored in higher education. This piece explores the potential of metaphorical model making using Play-Doh® as a multi-sensory approach to learning development in higher education. The approach is underpinned by Papert’s Constructionist learning theory and is sympathetic to visual and kinaesthetic learning preferences. Workshops were conducted with groups of Health Science students, the aims of which were to allow the students to use concrete thinking to explore key concepts in their work through the creation of and reflection upon representational models. The findings highlight the importance of celebrating differences in learning styles and have led to further developments to the approach with other student groups for a variety of personal and academic development purposes.

Keywords

Health sciences Play-Doh® Concepts and metaphors 

References

  1. Ackermann, E. K. (2004). Constructing Knowledge and Transforming the World. In M. Tokoro & L. Steels (Eds.), A Learning Zone of One’s Own: Sharing Representations and Flow in Collaborative Learning Environments. Available at http://jotamac.typepad.com/jotamacs_weblog/files/Constructing_Knowledge_Ackermann2004.pdf. Accessed May 30, 2018.
  2. Barrington, E. (2004). Teaching to Student Diversity in Higher Education: How Multiple Intelligence Theory Can Help. Teaching in Higher Education, 9(4), 421–434. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1356251042000252363. Accessed May 30, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, S. (2009). Play Is More Than Just Fun. TED Talk. Available at http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital. Accessed June 16, 2017.
  4. Carlson, N. R. (1998). Physiology of Behaviour (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education (6th ed.). London and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coughlan, S. (2015). Rising Number of Stressed Students Seek Help. BBC News. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34354405. Accessed May 30, 2018.
  7. Department for Education. (2017). Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-teaching-and-learning-in-higher-education. Accessed June 21, 2017.
  8. Gauntlett, D. (2007). Creative Explorations: New Approaches to Identities and Audiences. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray, P. (2013). Play as Preparation for Learning and Life. The American Journal of Play (Spring). Available at http://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/5-3-interview-play-as-preparation.pdf. Accessed May 30, 2018.
  10. James, A. (2013, November). Lego Serious Play: A Three-Dimensional Approach to Learning Development. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (6). Google Scholar
  11. James, A., & Brookfield, S. D. (2014). Engaging Imagination: Helping Students Become Creative and Reflective Learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  12. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Marsh, S. (2017, May 23). Number of University Dropouts Due to Mental Health Problems Trebles. The Guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/23/number-university-dropouts-due-to-mental-health-problems-trebles. Accessed May 30, 2018.
  14. Marton, F., & Saljo, R. (1976). On Qualitative Differences in Learning: I—Outcome and Process. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46, 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McIntosh, P., & Warren, D. (Eds.). (2013). Creativity in the Classroom: Case Studies in Using the Arts in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Bristol, UK: Intellect (ebook).Google Scholar
  16. Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  17. Papert, S., & Harel, I. (1991). Constructionism. Available at http://www.papert.org/articles/SituatingConstructionism.html. Accessed February 16, 2014.
  18. Peabody, M. A., & Noyes, S. (2017). Reflective Boot Camp: Adapting LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in Higher Education. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14623943.2016.1268117?needAccess=true. Accessed June 20, 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ready Set Design. Available at http://cdn.cooperhewitt.org/2011/09/02/Ready%20Set%20Design%20vX.pdf. Accessed June 21, 2017.
  20. Ridley, P., & Rogers, A. (2010). Drawing to Learn: Clinical Education, Health and Social Care. Brighton: Visual Learning in Higher Education Series, University of Brighton, Learnhigher.Google Scholar
  21. Robinson, K. (2006). How Schools Kill Creativity. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html. Accessed December 2017.
  22. Sotto, E. (2007). When Teaching Becomes Learning: A Theory and Practice of Teaching (2nd ed.). London: Continuum International Publishing Group. Google Scholar
  23. Wilson, F. (1999). The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language and Human Culture. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  24. Yeung, P., Weale, S., & Perraudin, F. (2016, September 23). University Mental Health Services Face Strain as Demand Rises 50%. The Guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/23/university-mental-health-services-face-strain-as-demand-rises-50. Accessed May 30, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SurreyGuildfordUK

Personalised recommendations