Teachers' Experience and Reflections on Game-Based Learning in the Primary Classroom: Views from England and Italy

Teachers' Experience and Reflections on Game-Based Learning in the Primary Classroom: Views from England and Italy

Yasemin Allsop (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK) and John Jessel (Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2015010101
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This study aims to provide a comparative account of teachers' experience and views of their role when using digital games in primary classrooms in England and Italy. Interviews and a survey administered online and in hardcopy were used to find out teachers' perceptions of game-based learning and how these impact upon their role as a teacher. This research also considers the interview findings in relation to the dynamics between curriculum design, learning culture and practice when implementing game-based learning. A strong link was found between how learning is designed to incorporate digital games, the theories and strategies that have been used in the context of a given curriculum and how these are realised in practice within the classroom. The research also showed that teachers are aware that their roles when using new technologies in education have changed. However, because of the lack of necessary training, teachers are not clear on how to adopt these changes. In some respects the curriculum was regarded to be flexible enough to accommodate game-based learning, however, in other respects it was felt that a more radical reform this would be needed. The difference in country-specific curricula, pedagogy and practice highlights the need for a flexible model or approach of embedding digital games into primary classrooms in a way that is sensitive to context. Some practical guidelines based on the current work are also provided.
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The current study aims to present a review of teachers’ perceptions on the use of computer games in primary schools in England and Italy. It also intends to find out the key factors which impact on teachers’ attitudes towards using digital games in teaching.

We first outline some aspects of the curricula relating to the two countries and then consider the pedagogical approaches and demands that are relevant to the use of digital games. We then report on the data obtained from teachers regarding how digital games are recognised in relation to the primary curriculum for each of the two countries. Finally, we will explore what works well in supporting teachers to embed digital games into their teaching practice through investigating the interrelation between pedagogy, curriculum and practice.

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