Sunday, October 14, 2007

In praise of epistemology

Shafer, D. (2007). In praise of epistemology. In B. E. Shelton & D. A. Wiley (Eds.), The design and use of simulation computer games in education (pp. 7-27). Sense Publishers.

(excerpts from class discussion)

Shafer asserts that thinking about simulation games from the perspective of their epistemologies opens up a new and important way of thinking about education itself. To prepare for life in a world of global competition that values innovation rather than standardization, young people need to think like innovators. The highlight of this article is how Shaffer extracted games from the computer context and place them into a pedagogical framework as an epsitemology. This is a profoundly deep (i.e. cognitively and socially) treatment of the potential of games in education. Epistemic games: games that recreate the process of how people in the real world learn to think like creative professionals (p. 24). Students can make higher level thinking decisions and content connections to real life professions/situations rather than just remember facts to answer specific response questions on a standardized test. Using inquiry and simulations can help children to play out the logical sequence of steps needed to complete a task while risking nothing and perhaps even mapping out different scenarios – all of which leads to enhanced problem solving skills. This might be the center idea for my project.

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