Monday, 4 July 2011

News: Michael Gove - "Educational Games [have] huge potential"

Secretary of State for Education, the not overly likeable Michael Gove, has made himself a bit more likeable by suggesting specially designed computer games should be used in schools to teach maths and science. In a speech given to the Royal Society, Gove said:

"Computer games developed by Marcus Du Sautoy are enabling children to engage with complex mathematical problems that would hitherto have been thought too advanced. When children need to solve equations in order to get more ammo to shoot the aliens, it is amazing how quickly they can learn. I am sure that this field of educational games has huge potential for maths and science teaching and I know that Marcus himself has been thinking about how he might be able to create games to introduce advanced concepts, such as non-Euclidean geometry, to children at a much earlier stage than normal in schools. 
"The Department for Education is working with the Li Ka Shing Foundation and the highly respected Stanford Research Institute on a pilot programme to use computer programmes to teach maths. We have not developed the programme - we are just helping them run a pilot. Stanford say it is one of the most successful educational projects they have seen. 
"These developments are only beginning. They must develop on the ground - Whitehall must enable these innovations but not seek to micromanage them. The new environment of teaching schools will be a fertile ecosystem for experimenting and spreading successful ideas rapidly through the system." [via Develop] 
Although hardly a call for school-children everywhere to be playing Fable III as an exercise in ethics in RE, or  Dante's Inferno as a primer for the study of the 14th-century Italian poem from which it draws its name (neither of which would be good ideas anyway, really), it's great to see videogames praised for the positive effects they can have in terms of logical thinking, calculation and reasoning.

[Source: Develop]

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