a LEGO school!!
yes – you read it right! lego has invested in its first bricks and mortar school. and, no, while the school building itself is not built using lego, the spirit of free play, innovation and lego is at the very heart of the school.
the international school of billund (isb) is the toymaker’s first official foray into education.
"by placing play at the heart of education, ISB stimulates every child’s natural desire to learn" - school mission
a pedagogy of play (pop)
their website states “the positive effect of play on children’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development has already been well documented, and we take it as given that bringing more play into the institutions tasked with nurturing these skills can only be a good thing.”
the school is working hand in hand with the lego foundation and project zero (a research organisation based at the harvard graduate school of education) towards developing a pedagogy of play – for themselves and other interested schools alike – to tackle some big paradoxes like:
focus on creativity and a creator space for kindergarteners
an emphasis on creativity permeates through the school – in the facilities – the ergonomic classrooms, the desks that double up as shelves, lego walls, fun installations and fluid scheduling…
but we found the creator space for kindergarteners particularly exciting!
the idea for a creator space was born from the need of letting the children do what they wanted to with their time, which actually worked towards taking their received education, forward. for instance, one teacher observed that after a module on building paper airplanes, some kids were so engrossed with their planes, designs and ideas that they were late to the next period or lunch or so on.
allowing children time and freedom to build their own ideas out, experiment and try things was at the core of this creator space. K1 teacher ruth baxter hesseldal says that making something that “works” is not as important to her as letting children explore materials.
although the freedom took some warming up to… “there are many different experiences, with some children diving right into exploration, and others feeling shy about the loose structure and freedom of the room", the room was a huge success, and the teachers have been “fighting for time in it”.
have a look at this and other aspects of this inspirational school here: https://isbillund.com/