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Über dieses Buch

The book presents a critical evaluation of current approaches related to the use of digital games in education. The author identifies two competing paradigms: that of games-to-teach and games-to-learn. Arguing in favor of the latter, the author advances the case for approaching game-based learning through the theoretical lens of performance, rooted in play and dialog, to unlock the power of digital games for 21st century learning. Drawing upon the author’s research, three concrete exemplars of game-based learning curricula are described and discussed. The challenge of advancing game-based learning in education is addressed in the context of school reform. Finally, future prospects of and educational opportunities for game-based learning are articulated.

Readers of the book will find the explication of performance theory applied to game-based learning especially interesting. This work constitutes the author’s original theorization. Readers will derive four main benefits: (1) an explication of the difference between game-based-teaching and game-based learning, and why this difference is of critical importance, (2) an exposition of the theory of game-based learning as performance, (3) concrete exemplars and research outcomes relating to three game-based learning curricula that have been empirically evaluated in schools, and (4) an understanding of complex issues related to the human side of school change that must be effectively addressed to achieve take-up of game-based learning in schools.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Interacting with schoolteachers , school administrators , and education policy makers in the course of my research on game-based learning , I am often struck by how the idea of using games to support student learning is conflated with that of using games to teach facts, concepts, and other forms of “knowledge in pieces” (diSessa in Constructivism in the computer age pp. 49–70, 1988) .
Yam San Chee

Chapter 2. Games-to-Teach or Games-to-Learn: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters

In this chapter, I articulate the distinction between what I refer to as “games-to-teach ” and “games-to-learn .” I critically interrogate why games-to-teach are deeply problematic if the goal is to educate rather than school children. I do so from the perspectives of knowing , being , doing , and valuing ; i.e., from epistemological , ontological , praxiological , and axiological frames of reference. I then elaborate on the vital differences between the two perspectives from the standpoint of making a commitment to schooling children or to educating them.
Yam San Chee

Chapter 3. Theory of Game-Based Learning as Performance

Chapter 2 addressed differences between games-to-learn and games-to-teach by interrogating the underlying bases—epistemological , ontological , praxiological , and axiological —of these two approaches to the design and use of educational games in schools. In this chapter, I highlight weaknesses inherent to the dominant view of learning construed in terms of the psychological theory of human information processing . I suggest instead an alternative framing based on the philosophy of pragmatism . I then articulate the Performance–Play–Dialog model as a specific theory of game-based learning grounded in the construct of human performance instantiated through game play and dialogic engagement with others. I close the chapter by revisiting how people learn in relation to learning as becoming and the development of personal identity .
Yam San Chee

Chapter 4. Statecraft X: Learning Governance by Governing

In this chapter, I describe and explain the Statecraft X game-based learning curriculum for social studies taken by 15-year-old students as part of the formal curriculum in school. Aligned with the performance -theoretic perspective articulated in this book, students learn governance by governing virtual towns in the Statecraft X game; they do not merely learn about governance. From a pedagogical perspective, students learn by engaging in inquiry , in a manner consistent with the learning tenets set out by Dewey (The Middle Works of John Dewey, 1899–1924 6:177–356, 1909/1991).
Yam San Chee

Chapter 5. Legends of Alkhimia: Engaging in Scientific Inquiry by Being a Chemist

In this chapter, I turn my attention to 13- and 14-year-olds learning chemistry as part of their general science education in formal curriculum. The study of chemistry is necessarily located within the broader context of science education carried out in schools. As indicated in Sect. 2.1, available educational games for chemistry tend to be designed as games-to-teach students about chemistry content rather than games-to-learn chemistry.
Yam San Chee

Chapter 6. Escape from Centauri 7: Reifying Electromagnetic Forces Through Simulation

The previous chapter addressed students learning chemistry at the lower secondary level. This chapter focuses on game-based learning in the realm of physics for students at the upper secondary level. Singapore students who take science at this level typically sit for the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) “O” level examination administered locally in conjunction with the Cambridge International Examinations Board. We designed and developed a game-based curriculum that deals with electromagnetism to allow 15-year-old students to learn electromagnetism by participating in a scientific inquiry process so as to understand the social construction of reality (Berger and Luckmann 1966), as part of their science education.
Yam San Chee

Chapter 7. Game-Based Learning and the Challenges of School Reform

The previous three chapters—Chaps. 4, 5, and 6—illustrated how authentic game-based learning can be enacted in the classroom, to good effect, in humanities as well as the sciences. In this chapter, I take up the challenges entailed in making such learning normative and customary in formal education: to make the potential actual. To achieve actuality, it will be necessary to understand why the practice of schooling resists change and how economic, social, and political forces and discourses that envelop schooling construct a nexus of interwoven customs and expectations that have the tendency to maintain the status quo.
Yam San Chee

Chapter 8. Conclusion: Future Prospects and Educational Opportunities

In this final chapter, I adopt a prospective view of the near-term future to address issues pertinent to advancing the field of authentic game-based learning . I then take a longer-term perspective and put forward a particular vision and hope for how the future, viewed as a field with infinite possibility, might unfold in a positive way.
Yam San Chee


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