[GBL at school: a challenge between pedagogical potential and organisational boundaries ] [Barbara Mellini, Alessandra Talamo, Annamaria Recupero, Sabina Giorgi and Emanuele Castellino] 21/11/11 GACET’11
WHAT IS INNOVATION? <ul><li>[Gaudin, 1978] </li></ul>21/11/11 GACET’11 The process of change does not relies on the development of sophisticated tools; rather on the capability of technical arrangements to “suggest” innovation to an audience of potential innovators . It relies on the encounter of technological solutions with “listeners” who are looking for them. Innovation is then considered as the meeting point of technological factors and human actors .
THE DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION (ROGERS, 2003) 21/11/11 Event
INNOVATION IN EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES 21/11/11 GACET’11 Innovation is not the introduction of technologies at school, but the transformations that their use triggers, since it puts teachers at the centre of innovative processes and regards them as active producers of new ways of conveying knowledge. Game Design is considered an innovative practice since it exploits the role of teachers as designers of the learning process.
DATA CORPUS 21/11/11 GACET’11 About 26 hours of videotaped interactions from the co-construction of a shared perspective on game-based learning, through game design sessions, to the application of a game-based teaching strategy at school.
DATA ANALYSIS <ul><li>We can listen at the technology “listeners” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which boundaries? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which potentialities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which challenges? </li></ul></ul>21/11/11 GACET’11 Methods developed from social psychology in the frame of Discourse Analysis (Potter, 2004) Language is not a description, rather is action, and talk is constitutive of contingent reality DA gives voice to the teachers who have been directly involved in the ProActive project
ORGANISATIONAL BOUNDARIES: Skill centered learning strategies versus content centered evaluations 21/11/11 GACET’11 It's really hard to try to contextualize the school subjects in real life, because we have lots of contents to teach and making this work for everything is impossible, and then it is not even required. In fact at the end of the school what is required is the content, not even the rest. <ul><li>The school system is based on a traditional model of learning (centered on contents) and even if teachers adopt alternative ways for teaching (based on skills), there are institutional evaluation steps that still remain focused on the dominant paradigm! </li></ul><ul><li>To innovate teaching practices through GBL at school requires not only to deal with innovation, but to integrate it in traditional practices </li></ul>Marta: highschool teacher Focus group 2
ORGANISATIONAL BOUNDARIES: The lack of support in introducing innovation at school <ul><li>I’m sorry that these initiatives don’t go forward with other teachers... I mean... I don’t know... I don’t think that teachers don’t participate to these initiatives because... maybe a little... we can say that some of them may consider this as a loss of time, but... not, the main reason is that it is required an afternoon commitment and there is already an afternoon commitment at school, I mean... we should find a formula for engaging them more, I say, a return... now the refresher courses are not needed anymore…don’t... a return in something, I don’t know... having the possibility of doing this in the hours of lesson, so that one can engage his classrooms so that... otherwise it becomes something for whom it is difficult that teachers participate. Or not? We saw that... at least in our small group... we go... day by day... eh... because I mean... there is not so much availability... </li></ul>21/11/11 GACET’11 Marzia: Highschool Teacher Design Session 2 <ul><li>No support in the complex task of creating a game: </li></ul><ul><li>Time constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of incentives </li></ul>
PEDAGOGICAL POTENTIAL: Games do work! 21/11/11 GACET’11 It’s to make it [the subject] almost a game to make students get it better! Patrizia: Highschool Teacher Focus Group 1 <ul><li>Why games in education? </li></ul><ul><li>For fostering multitasking and active involvement </li></ul><ul><li>For encouraging participation and widening the learning experience </li></ul>
PEDAGOGICAL POTENTIAL: Need for connection in/out of school 21/11/11 GACET’11 Games… It’s something they [students] know very well… I mean… all our students play games at home. The problem is that those games are realistic but have no connection at all with reality…” <ul><li>Today’s students do love games and are used to game mechanics: </li></ul><ul><li>They could find a continuity between school subjects and experience out of school </li></ul><ul><li>They could have “authentic” contents in a game environment, fostering “learning by doing” and safe experimentations. </li></ul>Teresa: Highschool Teacher Focus Group 1 “ Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” [M. Prensky, 2001]
PEDAGOGICAL POTENTIAL: The flexible and creative side of education 21/11/11 GACET’11 In school you can work with creativity, or you can go out. You have no alternatives. You can invent infinite scenarios or, if you go there mechanically, you can change job immediately! Beatrice: Highschool Teacher Focus Group 1 GBL is considered an alternative way for exploiting students’ potential, considering that often their ways of learning don’t fit with the traditional learning model
GBL AT SCHOOL: A CONTRADDICTION IN TERMS? 21/11/11 Event WHICH ARE THE CHALLENGES TO FACE FOR SUPPORTING INNOVATION?
CHALLENGE: PUSHING PROFESSIONAL CHANGE THROUGH MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES 21/11/11 Event <ul><li>Which activities are “meaningful”? </li></ul><ul><li>Technological stuff is not enough! </li></ul><ul><li>The ones that are perceived as professionally effective </li></ul><ul><li>The ones that can be shared with colleagues </li></ul>I’m really having fun! Because I love to learn for myself, so I’m having so much fun… what a pity that we are always so few…” Marta: Highschool Teacher Workshop 3 This is the certificate of attendance… that worths no credit Marta: Highschool Teacher Workshop 3 It doesn’t matter, it’s worthy for me anyway Researcher, at the end of the workshop
CHALLENGE: OVERCOMING UNCERTAINTIES RELATED TO THE USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES 21/11/11 Event <ul><li>Supporting teachers while they are designing is crucial for making them feeling able to deal with games, even when they have a positive attitude toward experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Working in group offers a space for supporting teachers’ capability of overcoming uncertainties related to being beginners of a new software </li></ul>Us… I this morning had an instant of panic, I say: <<Oh my God, what are we talking about?!>> Then I think… wait… because the first thing that… I’m not able to do this, the first thing I say is… I’m not able to do this… then I say… Mhh… why? In life there are so much things that we don’t know and that we learn on the way, c’mon… Marta Carla
CHALLENGE: SEARCHING FOR NEW PATHS FOR DIFFUSING INNOVATION AT SCHOOL 21/11/11 Event One comes for curiosity... for seeing... but, then... for diffusing this in schools maybe we have to find a formula... going into the schools... maybe to promote it as a course in the schools... so that teachers can touch with their hands... no? Maybe this way they are more stimulated... <ul><li>Find a “Formula” for innovating inside schools! </li></ul><ul><li>For an interdisciplinary work that integrates practical modules; </li></ul><ul><li>for a more flexible evaluation methodology </li></ul><ul><li>And more… </li></ul><ul><li>By promoting game design within the school activities </li></ul>Marzia
CONCLUDING REMARKS <ul><li>Innovation in ProActive is considered as a meeting point between pedagogical practices (GBL) and technological development (game editors), but sustained by relevant actors (the ProActive teachers). </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation at school is too often entrusted to single individuals with specific beliefs and capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>21/11/11 Event