Our vision

«Game is the most important source of conscience development, arbitrary behavior, a special form of relationship modeling ».
D.B Elkonin. Psychology of the game.


THE SCHOOL OF the 21st century

When developing the series of games for schools we were, among others, guided by the ideas of Edward de Bono, the Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy and the reformer of the modern education system. Edward de Bono believes, that the educational facilities of the 21st century should teach the following skills:

-       Informational skills and ability to get and comprehend information.

The development of Internet has made information available to everyone. However, it is very important to be able to orient in the information flow, to make the difference between important and unimportant. Also, one should be able to use the acquired information.

-       Creative thinking skills, i.e. ability to think in a non-standard way

In modern society standard jobs are becoming more and more automated and get handed over to robots. Added value, in both business and social field, is being created by creatively-minded people. Realization of creative potential in the work sphere is the basis of successful career and financial independence.

- Communication and teamworking skills.

We live among people. It is very important to convey your thoughts and be understood. To do so, one must learn to listen to other people and understand them.

-       Operational skills. Development and execution of projects.

Every big business starts with an idea and a plan. However if no steps are taken towards the execution, the plan stays on paper. It is important to be able to accomplish the plans taking measured risks.

Interestingly, the same skills are listed in the Estonian Law of Education. At present, we are conducting a research aimed at implementing gaming principles at the state level. We are also cooperating with selected schools, classes and students’ parents who have already understood the importance of the above-mentioned skills for successful adaptation of young people to

WHY PLAY GAMES? 

We think that the aforementioned skills are best developed in the course of a game. We mark out the following advantages of the game as a method of working with school children:

-       A game sets specific and manageable tasks.
-       A game is a strong motivational system; once you are in, you can’t just abstain from the action, as you might in a class.
-       A game connects theoretical knowledge and practice.
-       A game unites a group, gives an opportunity to take a look at your classmates at a new angle.
-       Every participant determines his level of in-game involvement depending on his level of knowledge.
-       A game influences real life. Young people gain experience that can be applied in real life.
-       A well-designed and executed game captivates students, the learning process becomes fun.
-       Games capture children’s attention without any effort from their side.

FORMAL EDUCATION AND SCHOOL BREAKS

A class is often a very dissimilar group that teachers might find difficult to manage. It is also difficult for children to reveal their creative potential, understand the motives of classmates’ behavior and their core values within the boundaries of schools education.

Children are made to behave in accordance with the requirements of formal education system. They carry out tasks assigned by their teachers, answer questions from the books, memorize the correct answers. A rigid communicational Teacher – Students scheme takes place. Most tasks get carried out individually (tests, quizzes etc.). This has been mentioned by the director of International Education Quality Research Centre Andreas Schleicher in one of his interviews: „Children in Estonia are learning on their own, little attention is paid to the ability to solve problems as a group. However, it is a very important skill in „real life“. Knowledge per se is not as important as an ability to use it avoiding conflicts with others.

On the other hand, a school timetable includes breaks that are much shorter than lessons. The children’s activities on a break are generally not controlled by their teacher. Children assign themselves social roles on the own, basing on stereotypes. Furthermore, with the current technological progress, children are getting more and more involved in individual activities playing PSPs, smartphone games. This also impedes socialization and unity within the class.

While in the first situation, building a team is difficult because of the rigid formal educational context (the requirements of school curriculum, Teacher-Student communication model, keeping a distance, distinct role distribution, hierarchy), in the second, at the same time, it is impossible due to the lack of time and control of children’s activities during the breaks.

 

From our point view, the best way to cope with the team building challenge in the aforementioned situations is to use an informal education method – a game. Unlike the formal education, a game does not have a grade system; a teacher ceases to be a bearer of truth. Unlike at breaks, students act in line with the educational goals set by the game and reveal their personality in a constructive way. Children are motivated not by the grades but by the intrigue of the game.

PISA – International Education Quality Research

The importance of development of teamworking skills at school is also confirmed by the priority of the next PISA research. As is well known, the PISA 2015 research will focus on analyzing of students’ teamworking skills.

News