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

  • Rachel SteadEmail author


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.


Health sciences Play-Doh® Concepts and metaphors 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SurreyGuildfordUK

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