Learning Reflection: How ethics comes into play in the classroom.
For anyone who may not have read the Ward Game, here is a link to a Vimeo movie that describes it.
I have never considered how dramatic the use of gaming in school could affect students attitudes. As a last ditch effort to get kids to learn and stay motivated their senior year, a game came to the rescue! This specific game was talked about extensively in Paul Darvasi’s article The Ward Game: How McMurphy, McLuhan and MacGyver Might Help Free Us from McEducation. I was immediately taken aback when they spoke, in this article, about handing out money (to buy school supplies) to children as a reward for good behavior. Teachers were at that point grasping at straws trying to get the students to want to learn. I found the first half of this article to be a surprising look at an education system that had for all intents and purposes given up. I am by no means blind to America’s failing education system, but to read this authors words in print resonated with me.
Ethic’s has not been something that I have thought about much when it comes to education. I would attribute this to me not being in the physical walls of a school. Working in higher education has provided me a different experience than that of a teacher. The decisions a teacher makes on what they are “able to do” in a classroom has not been something I have had much experience with. I have in the past worked with children with disabilities, but for the most part these were individuals who were deaf or many whom had cognitive delays. There is enormous restrictions on physical touching but not much else.
According to Darvasi, “In the case of The Ward Game, the inclusion of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators is also an artistic decision that expresses an important theme in the novel (p.80 2016).
Nothing can prepare you for some real world circumstances. However, the game did an excellent job of referencing the book that was being taught taught. In this instance, I think the teacher’s response to an obvious problem of “senoritis” was completely justified. The teacher towards the end of his article seemed to be questioning his decisions. I wouldn’t have even thought twice about if it was ethically okay to play this type of game with the students. I would enjoy diving deeper into this topic as this end of this class is in sight.
When it comes to gaming in education, who could possibility be in charge of determining what ethics lines are crossed? I am not sure who would be the authority on this. Would it be parents, students, or administrators of school districts? When interacting with my affinity space in Minecraft Edu, I feel I am connecting with those who could potentially weigh in on this. Highlighting the positive results when playing games in the classroom could only be talked about among this specific group of educators who use it on a daily basis.
I am encouraged and relieved to see this Minecraft group come together to speak about something with such passion. Not only that, they are willing to share their knowledge in what works in their specific classroom. Although I cannot apply all of the things I learn in these Tweet chats to my direct workplace, educating people across all types of backgrounds is something I do on a daily basis. It is because of educators like Paul Darvasi, that there is still hope to reach even those students who may struggle with staying focused. Kudos to a job well done!
- “The Ward Game: How McMurphy, McLuhan and MacGyver Might Help Free Us from McEducation” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.