The Meta Model
The Positive Meta Model of Play Intelligence
When we are viewing the object from the Meta perspective it means we have not only an overview of the object in a particular field, but all the objects in this field, as for example metamathematics, metaphysics, metacognition The “meta” created all the objects in the first place. Going back to a Meta perspective is going back to the essence, in this case, the essence of intelligence. Play is a Meta intelligence because it focuses on the building blocks of intelligence, “abilities”.
Against the mainstream of established thinking, from our point of view, play is sublimely “goal orientated”. And this goal is “single-minded” and uses every angle possible to achieve its goal;
“To create abilities, strengthen abilities, and discover new abilities,” these are but a few the reasons why we play. Though not researched we believe we play not for our own good but that we can pass this experience onto others. We are learning through play how to guide, teach and lead others. Play has the ability to sprinkle new life into the “stuff“ of intelligence.
“It is characteristic of an intelligence, to appropriate whatever faculties or senses it needs, without being entirely dependent upon any of them.” Intelligence has the ability to detach itself from the faculties and senses it needs. It is this very process of detachment which interests me, the breaking away, the breaking, off, the breaking down. This is an aspect of play, a very important aspect of play normally overlooked. It is this detachment aspect, to move on and rebuild elsewhere, so clearly demonstrated with Lego bricks, that here is the Meta model of our mind, an intelligence which is playing with all the models, forms, networks, and intelligences. This intelligence is dynamic. It is instinctual, developmental and open-ended, and has the potential to evolve and recreate itself. Play is a meta Intelligence.
Intelligence develops by the linking up and networking of various separate abilities. They eventually form into a cohesive entity. As one could argue that ideas are the building-blocks of knowledge, so can one argue that abilities are the building-blocks of intelligence. As demonstrated in the above model, abilities can gather together to form an intelligence. They are the building blocks of the intelligence what makes Play intelligence so unique is that it is behind the other intelligences, together with the intelligences and can change these intelligences. Though the model above seems to be complete, other Lego bricks, (other abilities) can be added. Also, various abilities, or all of the abilities can be removed to another intelligence, or build a new model. The Meta model of intelligence, Play, is not afraid to breakdown the network and link up elsewhere. Meta models are highly flexible. Play intelligence has the capacity to breakdown any intelligence and rebuild elsewhere. The more we focus on playing, (To create abilities, strengthen abilities, and discover new abilities), the more we can create, strengthen or change intelligence.
Behind every intelligence there are qualities, (the building blocks) which define the intelligence. Each intelligence is formed from a combination of ”qualities” known as abilities. Such abilities can move over into other networks of abilities and form intelligences, and help define a new intelligence This ”meta approach” is itself a ”meta intelligence” and mirrors the neurons in our brain which are seeking new connections, new networks. Without the ability to play, no intelligence will be created. The neurons in our brain are playing. And the more the neurons link up into networks the greater the range of intelligence. Such networks are not necessary permanent. They can break down and be lost in time. Neurons can die and networks and abilities can be lost, (old age and Altzeimers Disease). The best way to maintain these networks, abilities, intelligences, is to exercise the neurons. And it is here where play, the meta intelligence ”kicks in”. It keeps active our intelligences and our abilities and keeps our mind fresh and alive.
Take for example an ordinary pen. Take away one of the following elements, an the pen will no longer exist any concrete form. These four elements are the fundamental building blocks of this pen.
Function. Construction of a tubular hollow object 15 cm long.
Design element It is made of Metal and it is possible to open it in the middle and place another object in it. The pen has a pattern on it with different colours . It also has an extra piece of metal added on to the side of it. This design function has a practicality in that it can slide onto paper, board, or the edge of a pocket in a shirt for example.
Detail element. It holds ink and can transport it in small amounts with a little pressure from fingers onto paper or similar surfaces. Attention to the raw material and design involved gives it a “Quality” a Value which could be for example, a Fun Value, a practical Value
Ability element. It is a tool with the ability to help communicate ideas into words or drawings, written on paper material which can be read or looked at by one or many people. It has a container within (cartridge) which holds enough ink to write between 15 – 30 pages of around 300 words written on each paper -sized A4.
The Pen is not a component (single unit)but a multi-component, built from a series of smaller separate components, or models, each containing the( 4 elements). There is a metal spring, a metal ball, a metal cone hollowed, a plastic tube, a plastic circular top, the ink, a metal top, and other smaller plastic objects all adding up to the construction of a simple Pen.
The Pen can no longer function as a pen if one or more of these objects are not there . The pen is a multi component. It is not a component and is far removed from being a Meta component. Their value is “relative” to their function.
A Meta Model is “highly dynamic” even at its most basic level. Here lies the difference, meta models are open-ended, (one can always add to them) Even though they are a product, they are process orientated. And this is the dynamic.
Models which are “dynamic” have unlimited functions, They have immense potential and value which shifts way beyond what is relative – they are dynamic, and are highly successful. They are not only capable of changing and adapting they are “highly dynamic” in this change. They are capable of transforming beyond their form without losing their fundamental elements.
A meta Model which appears and functions as “highly detailed”, can break down and transform into a form which now has a “high design” element. It can then breakdown again and transform into a “high ability” element. Most importantly, a Meta Model can breakdown, without damaging its basic elements, (function, detail design ability) and transform into something else. No model or multi model can do this.
The strength all the four elements:
Back to Basics The meta component – How to Learn
From the creation of the basic (meta) model Lego brick, has come the Lego success we know today.
There is a difference between a box full of model bricks and a box full of multi model bricks, and a box full of meta model bricks.
Meta models stimulate the ability to play to maintain interest due to the variety of possibility rather than a finished product . How to create is more important than what to create . To grasp how to play is more important than what to play. The basic Lego brick and fundamental philosophy of Lego is about how to build and how to breakdown and how to transform. This is hands on learning, constructionism, playing, mirroring the neurons in the brain.
The key to success for Lego in any future development is maintaining a balance of Lego bricks which are (meta) component bricks.. Serving the child with a variety of various multi Models (such as a castle complex) may at first hand have the appearance of being creative, but due to the limited range of basic (Meta) bricks available in the package, the play environment and thus creativity creativity is more relative than it is dynamic.
A lego brick is about how to play, how to create, how to express, how to master, how to learn . -This is mirrored in the brains activity. This Playing activity is a form of intelligence. It is a Meta Intelligence, which we all are born with. Without this Meta Intelligence we would not be able to develop. Lego matches our brain activity by mirroring the neurons functions in the brain. Grasping new experiences or information, and then imitating them to strengthen their value and then organizing them into a world meaning. Lego offers all this and is one of the the most intelligent toys in the world (How to Play) and one of the most intelligent tools in the world (How to Learn).
An introduction to the Play Intelligence theory.
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See what new paradigm Play Intelligence introduce.
For a deeper understanding of the Pedagogical Theory.