"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is this too much?

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Is this too much? From MetropolisMag.com:

Learning, a New Game

Videos and role playing replace textbooks and midterms at one New York school.

By David Lepeska

Posted September 16, 2009

When Quest to Learn opens it doors on New York’s East 23rd Street next month, students will not sit down to study math and biology from the usual textbooks. Instead, lessons at the public school will include knowledge-based video games, such as Little Big Planet and Civilization, and conceptual learning exercises: in one game, for example, students play the role of detectives, collecting information in order to solve a problem. “This is design-based pedagogy,” says Katie Salen, who conceived the program and is helping to create its immersive environments. “From day one, kids should imagine themselves as designers of their own learning.”

Read the rest here.


  1. I'm all for innovation, but this is really out there. That's not to say I'm against it. I'm just glad it's not happening to my kids.

    After taking their first test to see how this program is working, they better have a hair trigger on pulling this experiment, if scores trend downward.

    A few parental observations: I have found that video and computer games are a distraction at home. Will this distract from the subject matter in schools? Will these programs work for the more thoughtful and less tactile, detail oriented child who like to take more time to understand the subject?

    And how does this prepare kids for the boring laborious tasks in corporate America, whether starting a small business or inhabiting a cubical?

  2. The one education buzzword I fully endorse is "differentiation".

    Seeing as how there is no silver bullet pedagogical tool, teachers must use, or have use of, many different modes. Computers and video games are merely one means, and not one that works for all.

    I guess I am saying the idea is mostly silly.