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The Serious Use of Play and Metaphor: Legos and Labyrinths

, London College of Fashion, London, United Kingdom ; , University of St. Thomas, St Paul, MN, United States

IJAVET Volume 4, Number 3, ISSN 1947-8607 Publisher: IGI Global


In this paper the authors wish to examine kinesthetic forms of learning involving the body and the physical realm. The authors look at two particular techniques; using Legos to build metaphorical models and living the physical experience of metaphors in the shape of labyrinth-walking and its attendant activities. The authors begin by discussing their experiences using LEGO building bricks as a reflective tool. While LEGO lends itself particularly effectively to metaphorical modeling (not least through its status as a globally known iconic toy and connection to childhood) the process can take place using any set of objects that are used to represent something other than their real nature. This will be apparent to anyone who has sat at in a restaurant and used the salt and pepper cellars to describe a relationship, car maneuver, choice between two options, altercation or offside rule in Soccer. Buttons, sticks, candles, pots, peas, matches, or any other assortment of items which the user finds sufficiently rich to embody their ideas and convey their intentions work just as well. The point is that the user assigns specific meanings to the materials to illustrate some sort of process or relationship.


James, A. & Brookfield, S. (2013). The Serious Use of Play and Metaphor: Legos and Labyrinths. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology, 4(3), 1-12. IGI Global. Retrieved January 17, 2020 from .