March 30, 2010

[ #gbl10 ]: The National Gaming Curriculum: new media literacies [Part 2]

Find and Replace
[This is Part 2 of a summary of my Game-Based Learning talk, with all the bits that I didn't manage to cover in 18 short minutes. Part 1 was published earlier, and explains some of the terms used here.]

One of the things that I always find helpful is to take 'standard' ways of thinking, standard documentation, and then do a "find and replace" on it, borrowing ideas from another sector.

What happens when we take gaming, which we've seen has so much promise for learning, and take the national curriculum or guidance documents (I've borrowed the new English primary curriculum), and then make a new curriculum? I think the results are interesting, and I wouldn't mind trying to design a curricular approach along these lines. Swap curriculum for 'game', curriculum phase for 'level' and, vitally, learner for 'gamer':

The statutory game should establish an entitlement for all gamers and promote high standards.

The purposes of having a statutory game are:

  • to establish an entitlement for all gamers, regardless of social background, culture, race, gender, differences in ability and disabilities, to develop and apply the knowledge, skills  and understanding that will help them become successful gamers, confident individuals and responsible citizens
  • to establish national standards for gamers’s performance that can be shared with gamers, parents, teachers, governors and the public 
  • to promote continuity and coherence, allowing gamers to move smoothly between game levels and phases of gaming and providing a foundation for lifelong gaming
  • to promote public understanding, building confidence in the work of game levels and in the quality of compulsory gaming.


In particular, the game should:

  • promote high standards, particularly in literacy, numeracy and ICT capability
  • provide continued entitlement from early years to a coherent, broad and balanced game
  • instil in gamers a positive disposition to gaming and a commitment to learn
  • promote and pass on essential knowledge, skills and understanding valued by society to the next generation
  • be relevant to gamers and prepare them for the here and now, for the next phase of their gaming, and for their future
  • widen horizons and raise aspirations  about the world of work and further and higher gaming
  • make gamers more aware of, and engaged with, their local, national and international communities
  • help gamers recognise that personal development is essential to wellbeing and success.

What other curricula around the world make more sense, and will engage more learner-gamers-teachers, when they're find-and-replaced?

Pic: Andrew Mason

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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