Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Evening Expiration

On the ride, home, I listened to the On Board Games interview with Alex Yeager, which was very exciting. Yeager is Mayfair's Educational Outreach guy, and the interview is about his experiences with programs bringing games to schools, after-school programs, and Girl Scouts, and the challenges of demonstrating the educational value of games and Mayfair's efforts to meet those challenges.

The biggest challenge of introducing games into schools, according to Yeager is convincing administrators that the games address the particular standards of that state's curriculum.

It occurred to me that this might be a situation where trying games in education at the relatively unfettered higher ed level could be implemented more easily, and then as it produces results and research, it could "trickle down" to the K-12 level. (Lately, I've been doing the opposite: learning what education advances have been studied/implemented at the K-12 level, and trying to update my college instruction to that.)

Giles (the interviewer) asked about categorizing games by which of Gardner's multiple intelligences they develop, and I would really like to pursue an idea like that. Which cognitive/pedagogical scheme is in vogue seems to shift, but analyzing which cognitive processes a game requires of the player appeals to me as a good scholeological thing to do. Where could I publish something like that?

(Incidentally, in response to the question, Yeager mentioned Mayfair's done some academic content-based categorization, which is probably helpful to teachers trying to select an appropriate game to introduce, but isn't at the level of abstraction Giles was talking about.)

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