Enhancing inclusion and personal and professional development in Business education and learning using LEGO® Serious Play™

Aikaterini Tavoulari, Caroline Chapain, Lowri Evans, M Tran

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


This contribution discusses the extent to which using LEGO® Serious Play™ activities can enhance both the inclusion within teaching and learning and the personal and professional development of students using an experience developed on a first year undergraduate Business Management course at Birmingham Business School.
While LEGO® Serious Play™ (LSP) is a method that has been used for a long time within commercial settings, its potentials for learning and teaching activities have attracted more attention in recent years (McCusker, 2014; 2019; James, 2013; James and Nerantzi, 2018; Purcell, 2019). LSP is a method “where participants use LEGO blocks as mediating artefacts to build symbolic or metaphorical representations of abstract concepts. In this way participants’ conceptions of intangibles thoughts and ideas can be concretised by a LEGO® Model. The sharing of such ideas through a physical representation allows them to be manipulated and positioned within a physical landscape which depicts how these ideas relates to other participants.” (McCusker, 2014: 27-28). LSP has been advocated as a method which can support an equality of voices amongst diverse participants as it demands that every participant contributes to the discussion by sharing their models and the stories/narratives around it. Indeed, the LSP technique is based on both a constructivist and a constructionist views of knowledge and was developed as a way to unearth and better recognise the subjective understandings of the World that each participant brings to the table through construction/play and storytelling (Roos and Bart, 2018). Every contribution is valued and the LEGO bricks are used as a common representative medium which can help break down language and communication barriers (James, 2013; McCusker, 2019).
Within the higher education landscape, LSP has also been used to support students’ reflective practice as well as their personal and professional development amongst other things (James, 2013; Harn and Hsiao, 2018; Purcell, 2019). In this presentation, we discuss how we used LSP on a first year undergraduate personal and professional academic development module to support students’ reflections around their career development and the outcomes it had on both students and staff. We conduct our analysis using analytical frames from the inclusive curriculum and personal and professional development literature. In doing so, we examine students’ feedback as well as teachers reflective accounts of the LSP experiences with the students within the wider context of the module i.e. teaching a large and highly diverse cohort of students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBBS Learning and Teaching Conference
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Lego Serious Play
  • Business
  • personal development
  • professional development


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