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Lego International Education: Building an educational future, one brick at a time.

Building an Educational Future One Brick at a Time

LEGO education first started in 1980 and is now an education system used throughout the world. Having seen the LEGO method first hand, it is fun, informative and challenges children in a unique way. Despite having little market penetration at the kindergarten and primary school level, the LEGO style of education is available at some public high schools, as well as private education centres. Dallas Zhou is the Headmaster of the LEGO education centre in Aocheng, she has been working with LEGO for over 10 years. Today she talks to us about the LEGO education method, and the place it has in every child’s education.

What are the goals of LEGO education? How are they achieved?

We mainly focus on giving students valuable life skills like creativity, cooperation and the skill of building things with confidence. Our teachers provide the children with leadership and advice on how to construct, design and express their ideas.

Each course is divided into four steps: Connection, Construction, Contemplation and Continuation. For example, we might tell children they are going to build a door, we show them different types of doors and opening mechanisms using visual materials, we talk about how doors work with students, after which the children try and build a door. In the construction stage we teach children how to improve on what they have built, and show them how things move. In the contemplate stage, all the kids are different, so we will ask them questions based on their level, and for advanced students, we will give them some more projects to do. Each child works by themselves, but they cooperate with each other by sharing solutions and working together to overcome design problems. Not only that but they must show appreciation for the help they receive, whilst sometimes having competitions where they can win a small prize.

What difference is there between the different age groups?

LEGO teaches students aged from 3 to 13. Children develop very quickly when they are very young, change is counted in days. So courses are divided by year, for kids over 6 they take a design course of one or two years, and then they take a robotics course. Children under six are still developing a sense of themselves, and they are also learning to recognise the world around them. We have courses designed to introduce them to these concepts, for example: What is a hospital? What are the police? For four year olds we focus on bringing in more simple objects and getting them to construct things that can move such as: How do gears work? By age six they have accumulated a lot of knowledge about how things work, so they can bring in their own ideas. We also change the equipment from DUPLO (large blocks) to LEGO (small blocks) at age six. There is a jump in complexity as well, we start teaching robotics and programming to help develop logic. If a child comes to us at the age of 10, without having done any of the other courses, then we won’t make them do any of the primary courses, but the teacher will give him or her simpler tasks, so there are multiple levels in the class, and they all help each other.          

Some parents would prefer their child learn a foreign language. Why should a parent choose your school instead of sending their child to a language school?

While I think it is good to send a child to an English school, childhood is one of the best times in life to study language. In my opinion the issues is not should a child learn English, the issue is how a child learns. I sent my own child to study at an English school and they started to teach him how to write at a young age. I think this is too early. We teach skills that are relevant at any age.

We are also planning to introduce courses in English, but we haven’t started to do this yet, as we are still working on the right English/LEGO balance.

How much instruction does a teacher provide?

It really depends on the child. Some kids need a lot of help, others not so much. Teachers have a lot of materials, like pictures and videos, to help student learn. Especially for some of the design courses and the robotics, students must work with the teacher to take down the speed and the performance of the machines, as well as the results of different configurations.

Are children given homework, and if so how do parents deal with robotics that may be beyond their understanding?

Children learn programming here, but they can also learn at home. We don’t have homework, but we do advise parents to play with the children at home and try to build together. Children usually come once a week but it isn’t a problem if they fall behind, as we cover a lot of the curriculum in different ways throughout our courses.

LEGO Education Centre
Address: 2F, Southwest Corner of Building A2, Magnetic Plaza, Nankai District
Tel: +86 188 2229 6785


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