Exploration: Cabinets of Curiosities—Playing with Artefacts in Professional Teacher Education

  • Sarah WilliamsonEmail author


This case study describes playful object-oriented pedagogy in professional teacher education. Using a Cabinet of Curiosities theme, the ‘wunderkammer’ or ‘wonder rooms’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries inspired a lesson staged as a wonder room to inspire a creative approach to teacher resource development. Trainee teachers playfully explored, handled and ‘tinkered’ with ‘a sense of wonder’ a curated collection of artefacts and curiosities. The wonder room created an exhilaration and intensification of experience stimulating playful thinking, creativity and reflection. Da Vinci’s principle of ‘curiosità’ (Gelb in How to think like Leonardo da Vinci. Delta, New York, 2009) is explored together with the ‘magical condensation’ associated with play (MacLure in International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(6): 729–745, 2006: 737).


Postgraduate student teachers Object-based learning Wonder Curiosity Professional education 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Professional DevelopmentUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

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