Teachers’ Perspectives on Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for Children

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How do you feel about gaming as an instructional strategy?

I’m interested in researching well-designed educational gaming for use in the elementary classroom, particularly computer-assisted language learning. The reason being is that elementary education and second language acquisition are my areas of expertise.  I hope to incorporate gaming theory and design into my knowledge base as an instructional designer. There is so much potential for optimizing learning in the elementary classroom with the use of well-designed educational games.

I acknowledge the difficulty of conducting research in the classroom, so I would focus on the phenomenology (qualitative research) of elementary teachers reflections on gaming as an instructional strategy. One of my professors mentioned the idea of getting feedback from primary school teachers enrolled in the various education programs at the university. I plan to use the mixed methods approach. I found literature on the correlation of Gagne’s (1985) nine events of instruction and gaming as an instructional strategy (Becker, 2008).

Currently, research on the effectiveness of educational gaming with children is scarce (Thai, Lowenstein, Ching, & Rejeski, 2009). Nonetheless, there are some great literature reviews like the one completed by The Joan Ganz Gooney Center at Sesame Workshop (Thai et al., 2009). Also, Reiber, Barbour, Thomas, and Rauscher (2008) found no statistical significance in their literature review comparing gaming and traditional learning; however, they stated that this is par for the course with any new educational technology compared with traditional learning.

For now, I’m conducting literature reviews on gaming as an instructional strategy with young children.

Becker, K. (2008). Video game pedagogy: Good games = Good pedagogy. In C. T. Miller (Ed.), Games: Purpose and potential in education (pp. 73-122). NY: Springer.

Gagné, R. M. (1985). The conditions of learning. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

Reiber, L. P., Barbour, M.K, Thomas, G. B., & Rauscher, D. (2008) Learning by designing games: Homemade PowerPoint games. In C. T. Miller (Ed.), Games: Purpose and potential in education (pp 23-40). NY: Springer.

Thai, A. M., Lowenstein, D., Ching, D., & Rejeski, D. (2009). Game changer: Investing in children’s play to advance children’s learning and health. New York: The Joan Ganz Gooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Read another literature review on gaming for second language learning: https://teacherrogers.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/gaming-as-an-instructional-strategy-for-language-learning/

Author: teacherrogers

Content developer, instructional designer, trainer, and researcher

2 thoughts on “Teachers’ Perspectives on Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for Children”

  1. The ability to teach children through gaming is genius! I have always thought that teaching through media was more exciting and intriguing for most children as well as adults. The ability to fully comprehend and engage in an activity utilized for learning is one that I have seen as very effective. Tools such as Leap Frog come to mind initially and interactive books and CD Roms also come to mind. As an educator I have used those tools day in and day out, especially for my younger, autistic and ADD students. Their often able to and more willing to focus on the information presented to them through media than a traditional textbook and paper. I believe that research and tools will soon be abundant for educational gaming and I hope that I am able to be on the forefront of that trend along with you.


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