Will we ever complete the ‘education’ level…

Posted by Marcus on Apr 4, 2016

Gaming is a concept that I, personally, have always struggled to understand. For me, I don’t really see the point of it… I can’t say I’ve ever fully enjoyed it, nor have I ever felt the need to spend hours of my time trying to better myself in a virtual setting… Perhaps that says something about how gritty I am as a person? Or maybe I am just gritty in a different way? However, whilst saying this I do actually find some of the points made by Peterson and Gee to be very interesting…

Peterson talks about the idea of removing words completely from the teaching of maths, which is similar to Dan Meyer’s idea of just providing the important information in order for students to formulate their own methods for problem solving. There seems to be some positive evidence to suggest that the use of gaming for the learning of maths, has “tripled the rate of growth in maths proficiency” however, I’d be interested to know what effect it would have after 5 years of educating maths in this way? In my experience, games have a tendency to be really exciting at first, but after time, they become boring. At the school I work in, we implemented the use of a website called sumdog, it is a maths website based on students mastering a particular skill through game play, before allowing them to move on to something more complicated… the students loved it at first, but the novelty soon wore off!

In his article ‘Video games and learning’, James Gee talks in depth about the structure of a good game, and this was the part of this week’s task that I found most relevant to me as an educator.  I like the way that Gee links the structure of gaming to the education of particular topics in schools. In my opinion, the way a game is structured is not too dissimilar to the way education should be structured within our schools. Gaming allows players to “integrate new learning with old mastery”, an idea that is being explored in depth by the NCETM… it allows players to feel that they can take risks, this links nicely to the idea of ‘Growth mindset’ – Dweck/Boaler… It links previous learning experiences to new learning experiences, producing a relational understanding, a concept argued for by Skemp… It allows players to progress in their own way, by allowing multiple methods in order for them to advance, linking to Swan’s idea of multiple representations… It encourages a player to be gritty, and to fully commit themselves to the task, which relates to the ideas discussed by Duckworth

Again this leads me to concluding that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education… Does it all boil down to the fact that there needs to be a mix of all the different pedagogical views that we have been exposed to over the last few months? Depending on the type of students that we have in front of us? I think it does!


  1. rajchopra
    8 April 2016

    There are 7 or 8 references to respected educators like Skemp and Boaler, etc that add weight to your article and I like that you also manage put in your own experiences in your think piece.

  2. pepsmccrea
    8 April 2016

    Some great analysis here. You’re making lots of connections with relevant idea, and bringing in your own reflections to support. I think there’s a lot more connections between gaming and learning in school to be explored.

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