It was far from random that the Core Process (Question, Build, Share, Reflect) became the operating system driving all applications of the LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method.
We can describe the underlying learning process in the method as LEARNING-BY-MAKING things with LEGO bricks. Several years before the development of the LSP method, LEGO Education, in connection with the development of LEGO Mindstorms, worked with a number of learning theorists to develop a learning-by-making model that was effective. The technique evolved from brain-based learning originated by Geoffrey Caine and Renate Nummela Caine, Jean Piaget’s constructivism, Seymour Papert’s constructionism and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s FLOW theory.
It is one thing to know and understand the theories. It is a different challenge to convert this knowledge into practical learning processes that can be implemented broadly by both the learner and the creator of the learning situations. The theories informed us that learning-by-making works when:
· it connects to the learner’s current state-of-mind
· the learner is given the opportunity to build and construct new learning
· the learner is forced to contemplate how this new learning can be applied
· the learner can continue to set new goals for their own learning
We called this the 4Cs of effective learning, and many techniques and interventions draw from one or more of these 4Cs.
For example, one core principle of the Gestalt paradoxical theory of change is that the intervener cannot play the role of change agent. The goal of the intervener is to make the person or organization self-aware of who they are in the moment and allow them to freely choose change if the current state is less desirable. In other words, it connects to the learner’s current state of mind and allows the learner to contemplate alternative paths.
What differentiates LSP from other methods is that it predictably uses all four of the 4Cs (instead of randomly applying a combination of one, two or even three) and engages the power of MAKING. In the words of the renowned learning theorist Seymour Papert:, “What you learn in the process of making something that is truly yours tends to sink much deeper into the subsoil of you mind than what anyone can tell you.”