Leonardo da Vinci’s Apprentices or Tinkering Belles and Boys at Ludic Play?

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Children are naturally curious and inquisitive about their worlds (Spektor-Levy et al., 2013) but to stimulate their curiosity and motivation to learn educators must provide potentiating environments in which they can work creatively to apply their knowledge and skills (Claxton & Carr, 2004). In this chapter the researcher outlines a teaching initiative ‘da Vinci’s Apprentices’, in which an educator guided apprentices through an iterative engineering design process. This initiative was developed to situate the practices of doing science and engineering across subject boundaries (Papert & Harel, 1991; Kangas, 2010). The design of da Vinci’s Apprentices was informed by Hutt’s (1981) taxonomy of play, Craft’s (2002) conceptualisation of creativity as possibility-thinking, imagination and combinatorial play and, Heathcote and Bolton's (1995) pedagogy of dramatic inquiry. An example of a dramatic inquiry focusing on a bridge commission is presented in this chapter, to show how creative thinking was integral to children’s initial ideation and in their development of engineering solutions to resolve problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Creative Inquiry in STEM
EditorsKaren Janette Murcia, Coral Campbell, Mathilda Marie Joubert, Sinead Wilson
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030947248
ISBN (Print)9783030947231
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameSociocultural Explorations of Science Education
ISSN (Print)2731-0248
ISSN (Electronic)2731-0248


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