The Prelude game experience uniquely embodies the principles of Constructionism and Appreciative Inquiry. Constructionism is a theory developed by Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Lab. It holds that young people learn most effectively through the making and sharing of public objects. Papert uses the example of a sandcastle. During the co-design/creation process students gain hands-on experience and draw their own conclusions. This is meaning-making at its ideal. In the process, transformative learning occurs.
Constructionist ideas link directly to Appreciative Inquiry. AI is the theory and practice of organizational transformation developed by David Cooperrider at Case Western University. It focuses on what works well and can be improved upon as opposed to what doesn’t. During the process, members co-create a picture of the positive future organization they imagine using images and words. Research shows that this helps people to actualize what they envision. It’s called the Heliotropic Effect.
During Prelude, individuals identify their many positive elements and create a unique self-portrait with these elements. As the game progresses, the group builds on this knowledge by co-creating a positive self-portrait and worldview as well. As Prelude is played within schools, agencies, and the workplace, we’re hearing powerful stories about players of all ages learning to see themselves and each other in a new more positive light.