Apr 03 2011

The Education Arcade

This extract is from an article published on the Education Arcade website. I would encourage anyone who is interested in gaming for learning to take a look at the site. The extract refers to an article which was published in the New York Times.

For me the key is, as the extract points out, that gaming can serve the needs of education and learning in general.

If the article has a shortcoming, it is that it undersells the long history of education reform efforts that brought us to this moment. If one doesn’t read it carefully, one might assume that the purpose of games in education is to keep kids engaged (i.e. to bribe them to learn), or at best, to teach them wholly new 21st century skills. What is missing is the insight that play and exploration have always been the way we construct new ideas and concepts, and that building such a scaffold of interconnected ideas has always been the source of our deepest knowledge and wisdom. This approach to learning does not just apply to generic cognitive skills such as problem solving, but also applies to traditional academic disciplines such as math, science, and history. Successful practitioners in these areas have always engaged in playful and inspired ways of thinking and learning that look nothing like the rote memorization and repetition we call “school.”

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