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CollaboLearn: the method

 

The 'Brick Crews' method

 

Generalizing social learning from one context to the next is a challenge for most children on the spectrum. The project aims to generate learning social learning environments that nurture autistic children's social development in ways that are respectful of their individual ways of being in the world.

 

The 'Brick Crew' method ('Klub Klods' in Danish) develops playbased activities and pedagogical documentation tools that scaffold autistic children in their social learning. We use storytelling techniques to talk about key social learning points as they occur in peer play. And then we support the children in making their learning visible - even tangible - by building the learning stories into figurines. In this way, children loop between experience - reflection - conceptualization - experimentation when they participate in Brick Crews. Our preliminary analyses indicate that after ten weeks of playing in Brick Crews, the children are able to generalize their social learning to other contexts.

A basic concept in our work is 'social tinkering'. We aim to develop activities that engage the children as collaborators. In other words, we develop construction play activities that make the social dynamics of collaboration tangible to the children. In doing so, we provide an opportunity for them to tinker with social dynamics. This means that they are able to iterate their actions and reactions and thus develop strategies that are meaningful to them.

 

Like all other children, autistic children need social experiences to develop their sociality:

  • they need to experience social dilemmas and solve social problems to develop sustainiable social strategies
  • they need positive peer interaction that engages and motivates them to participate

We aim to develop learning environments that begin from each child's sociality - exactly where they are at. In this way, we believe that we can support autstic children in developing scoail strategies that they can carry with them into adulthood.

 

Please find prototype PDFs in the page Brick Crews materials in the menu on your left-hand side.