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Conceptual Play Spaces: A 21st Century Curriculum

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Title: Conceptual Play Spaces: A 21st Century Curriculum


1
Conceptual Play Spaces A 21st Century
Curriculum
  • Sasha Barab
  • Indiana University
  • National Science Foundation (Career Role)
  • John D. Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Dev
    Scaling)

2
Why educators should care about games?
  • fosters a sense of
  • intentionality (user actions happen in relation
    to an adopted task),
  • legitimacy (user actions happen in relation to a
    situationally meaningfully goal),
  • agency (the user has freedom and choice in
    determining actions),
  • consequentiality (user actions have effect on the
    context),
  • accountability (bad decisions result in
    sub-optimal game outcomes), and
  • reflexivity (the user reflexively monitors
    choices in relation to the unfolding situation).

3
http//QuestAtlantis.Org
4
Quest Atlantis A Brief History
  • Mission
  • The Quest Atlantis team is committed to bringing
    together the power of videogames, academics, and
    participation in socially-meaningful activities.
    Participation in this game is designed to enhance
    the lives of children while helping them grow
    into knowledgeable, responsible, and empathetic
    adults.
  • Current Funding
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Grant (700K)
  • National Science Foundation ROLE Grant (1.7M)
  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (450K)
  • MacArthur Foundation Digital Media Grant (500K)
  • Food Lion North Carolina Scaling Grant (500K)
  • MacArthur Foundation Scaling Grant (1.8M)
  • Other Background
  • Over 15,000 users worldwide
  • US Indiana, Boston, New York, New Jersey, North
    Carolina, California, Florida
  • Int Australia, Singapore, Denmark, New Zealand,
    China, Canada, Croatia
  • NPS Virtual Parks Program

5
Project Goal
  • Our goal is to change a number of problematic
    narratives that are central to childrens lives.
  • rewriting the narrative of videogames as
    something pro-social and about things that have
    significance in the real world.
  • rewriting the narrative of content such that
    students appreciate its real-world value.
  • rewriting the narrative of schools as something
    that involves content and stories that are
    personally engaging.
  • rewriting the narrative about what it means to be
    a person in the world, providing students with
    pro-social identities and trajectories of
    participation.
  • Cant be Boutique research and must support
    larger numbers
  • Understand challenges of scaling globally

6
Design-Based Research
7
  • Whereas young people become accomplished in
    geometry and mathematics, and wise within these
    limits, prudent young people do not seem to be
    found. The reason is that prudence is concerned
    with particulars as well as universals, and
    particulars become known from experience, but a
    young person lacks experience...
  • (Nichomachean Ethics 1142 a).

Narratizing Disciplines Disicplinizing
Narratives
8
Guiding Question How do we build experience
with particulars in the context of K-12 schools?
9
  • Erosion The mechanical process of wearing or
    grinding something down (as by particles washing
    over it)

10
Sport Fishing Outfit
Indigenous Farmers
Logging Company
11
Regulating Farmers Expansion of logging worsens
siltation and fish decline
12
Regulating the Loggers Farmers must expand
farming to cover lost rent income (extreme
eutrophication, algae blooms, continued fish
decline)
13
Outcome Measures
Distal
t (17) 9.41, p lt .001
Proximal
t (17) 10.05, p lt .001
Close
Immediate
  • Erosion
  • Evidence

14
Other Studies/Stories
15
Comparison Studies
Learning Engagement 80 Accuracy in Group
Membership Prediction
16
Other Studies (cont).
Mathematics Justifying Claims
  • Significant learning gains in History unit (PreM
    10.3, PostM 47.5) (t(19) 10.28, p lt .01)
  • Significant learning gains in Language Arts unit
  • Pre-Post Learning Gains (F (1, 40) 4.32, p lt
    .05)
  • Procedural versus Learning Questions (t(15)
    5.95, p .043).
  • Voluntary Activities (t (40) -16.41, p .006)
  • Significant differences in perspective taking
    between Quest condition and worksheet (t(14)
    2.62, p lt .05)
  • Sig. differences between genders (plt.05)
  • Sig. differences in amount of writing Girls (M
    137 words), Boys (M 85 words) (p lt .05)

17
Conceptual Play
  • involves
  • (a) projection into the role of a character who,
  • (b) engaged in a partly fantastical problem
    context,
  • (c) must apply conceptual understandings to make
    sense of and, ultimately, transform the context.
  • (d) and should provide opportunities to examine
    ones participation in terms of the impact it had
    on the immersive context.

18
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19
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20
Van Gogh Bedroom Quest
In Atlantis, we know that this is a famous room,
but we really want to know more. For example, we
know that the artist van Gogh painted a picture
about it, but we don't understand why he painted
it the way he did. Your Quest is to help us learn
more about the room, the artist, and the
painting, and most importantly, we want to know
how you feel. Here is what we hope that you can
help us understand The painting was created by
van Gogh, but why did he make it? How do you feel
about the painting? What is the most strange and
interesting fact you can tell us about the
artist, the room, or the painting?
21
Helping Sally (lesson/mission)
22
Teacher Toolkit
23
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24
Worked Examples
  1. What are the curriculum implications?
  2. What are the Professional Development challenges?
  3. What is missing from such a curriculum?
  4. Is engagement in such fictional worlds likely to
    support or hinder transfer?
  5. As a pedagogical medium, is this more useful for
    beginners or also experts?  http//inkido.indiana
    .edu/barab_we/

25
Research Issues
  1. What are the challenges and opportunities in
    scaling a game-based learning environment?
  2. What components of QA are easily scaled and which
    ones are more challenging?
  3. How do diverse students and teachers from
    different states and countries actualize the
    environment differently?
  4. How do the opportunities to learning and the
    meaning making practices look different in this
    environment than in other curricular environments
    in these schools?

26
Assertions
  • Transactive Engagement Conceptual Play
  • Useful elaboration on situated notions
  • Beyond situating content ? actions, learners,
    experience
  • Learning involves whole persons (head, hands,
    heart)
  • Content-Context Reciprocity
  • Invariant/variant relations
  • Narratizing Disciplines
  • Disciplinizing Narratives
  • Conceptual Play Spaces
  • Exciting new pedagogy
  • key challenges is balancing

27
Implications
  • Raise the Bar on what constitutes a Curriculum
  • Intentionality
  • Legitimacy
  • Agency
  • Consequentiality
  • Reflexivity
  • Games as 21st Century Curriculum
  • Little ? Big G
  • Trivial Play ? Ideological Worlds
  • Bits and bytes ? Embodied Empathy
  • Basement play ? Multi-user worlds/emergent
    cultures

28
The Quest Atlantis Project
  • Read More
  • Project Website

http//inkido.indiana.edu/Barab
http//QuestAtlantis.Org
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