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Exploration: Cabinets of Curiosities—Playing with Artefacts in Professional Teacher Education

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The Power of Play in Higher Education


This case study describes playful object-oriented pedagogy in professional teacher education. Using a Cabinet of Curiosities theme, the ‘wunderkammer’ or ‘wonder rooms’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries inspired a lesson staged as a wonder room to inspire a creative approach to teacher resource development. Trainee teachers playfully explored, handled and ‘tinkered’ with ‘a sense of wonder’ a curated collection of artefacts and curiosities. The wonder room created an exhilaration and intensification of experience stimulating playful thinking, creativity and reflection. Da Vinci’s principle of ‘curiosità’ (Gelb in How to think like Leonardo da Vinci. Delta, New York, 2009) is explored together with the ‘magical condensation’ associated with play (MacLure in International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(6): 729–745, 2006: 737).

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Correspondence to Sarah Williamson .

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Williamson, S. (2019). Exploration: Cabinets of Curiosities—Playing with Artefacts in Professional Teacher Education. In: James, A., Nerantzi, C. (eds) The Power of Play in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-95779-1

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