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From OMG to woot! woot!  Teacher attitudes towards games and serious play in Australian schools

Leonie, Rowan

Year: 2014

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract: The potential for computer games and ‘serious play’ (de Castell and Jenson 2003) to impact positively upon the educational experiences and pathways of diverse learners has been the subject of considerable (and growing) attention over recent years. Within this growing field of study emphasis has increasingly been placed upon the factors that impact upon how, when and why (or why not) games are incorporated into mainstream schooling contexts and the extent to which games have been shown to live up to their oft-cited potential.  Central to these considerations are the attitudes of teachers for teachers’ understandings of, and beliefs about, games and serious play will inevitably impact upon what any games-based learning initiative ultimately becomes.  As one part of a broader ARC project exploring issues relating to games, literacy and education (Beavis et al 2012-14) this paper investigates the attitudes of a diverse cohort of teachers towards games and school-based learning. Drawing upon sociocultural perspectives which emphasis the importance of attending to the context within which any games based project is located (Mehrotra, Chee & Ong, 2012), this paper explores what  32 teachers from diverse primary and secondary schools in Australia believe in terms of what games can help achieve, what games cannot help achieve, and how these beliefs may impact upon the diverse students that teachers work with. Emphasis throughout is on recognising the central role that teachers play in translating the abstract concept of ‘games in schools’ into positive, transformative learning experiences. References Beavis, C., Dezuanni, M., O’Mara, J., Prestridge, S., Rowan, L., Zagami, J., Chee, Y.S. Australian Research Council: Serious Play Serious Play: Using digital games in school to promote literacy and learning in the twenty first century. Australian Research Council 2012-201 Industry Partners: The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Vic) and six Queensland schools. Research Assistance: McGillivray, C., Thompson, R. and Steiler-Hunt, C. De Castell, S. and Jensen, J. 2003. Serious Play. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 35(6) 649-665 Mehrotra, S., Chee, Y. S., & Ong, J. C. (2012) Teachers’ Appropriation of Game-based Pedagogy: a comparative narrative analysis. Paper presented at the 20th International Conference on Computers in Education, Singapore,  26-30 November 2012

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