Games, Models, and Simulations in the Classroom: Designing for Epistemic Activities

Terence C. Ahern (West Virginia University, USA) and Angela Dowling (West Virginia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 399
EISBN13: 9781466642751|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2848-9.ch019
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Games, models, and simulations have been suggested as an effective classroom activity for the middle school. This chapter describes the use of a teacher created simulation targeted to one unit of the science curriculum. The authors found the key feature in playing games in the classroom is for each student to commit to the effort of playing the game. Given the cultural importance of video games, students understand the underlying requirements of playing games. Once the students commit wholeheartedly to playing the game they are able to engage their imagination and creativity while understanding that “failure” is simply a part of the game. The key to the authors’ success was the use of a whole class scaffolding technique that allowed the teacher and her students an opportunity to play.
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