Playful pedagogies: cultural and curricular approaches to game-based learning in the school classroom

Ben Williamson, Richard Sandford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Game-based learning is proliferating in formal school classrooms, yet to date there is relatively little evidence to demonstrate its benefits. This chapter provides analysis from empirical studies of computer games use in authentic classroom settings. It explores game-based learning as the result of specific game-based pedagogies that are being developed and practised by increasing numbers of classroom teachers in UK schools. In particular, the chapter focuses on the ways in which practising classroom teachers discuss and describe game-based learning in relation to their curricular intentions and their less formal cultural assumptions about the relevance of gaming in learners’new media ecologies outside of school. The chapter argues that teachers have developed a cultural discourse and a curricular dis- course for articulating game-based learning. These two modes for understanding game-based learning are described, and data from two studies are discussed to indicate how these understandings translate into classroom activity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches
EditorsPatrick Felicia
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Print)978-1-60960-495-0
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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