Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Arizona State University professor sees a bright future for video games in the learning process -- in and out of school.

The following video is an interview with a colleague of mine by the name of Professor James Gee. I met Jim while I was doing a post-doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and he was a professor in curriculum and instruction. At the time, Dr. Gee was beginning to shift his research focus from linguists and science learning to games and gaming. In the subsequent years, Jim Gee has become one of the leading experts in the field of games and gaming and their influence and relationship to learning. I would encourage you to take about 10 minutes and watch this video of Jim discussing 21st century schooling, high stakes testing, innovation and creativity and the exciting role of gaming. After watching the video many people will realize the relative fruitlessness of "test preparation", fact based assessment and the perils of not emphasizing problem solving and critical thinking in the curriculum. Recall, it was exactly this emphasis that was used in my work with the Hoboken School District as I worked with teachers, district personal, and experts in developing the "Hoboken Curriculum". -Dr. Petrosino

James Paul Gee is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Third Edition 2007) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the "New Literacy Studies", an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts. His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Second Edition 2005) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last two decades.

Professor Gee's most recent books deal with video games, language, and learning. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles supported by research in the Learning Sciences. Situated Language and Learning (2004) places video games within an overall theory of learning and literacy and shows how they can help us in thinking about the reform of schools. His most recent book is Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays (2007). Professor Gee has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education.

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