Abstracts

Chee, Y. S. (2010). Studying learners and assessing learning: A process-relational perspective on the learning sciences. Educational Technology Magazine, 50(5), 5–9.

Abstract:
The field of the learning sciences appears to favor cognitive and social approaches to the study of human learning. In this article, the author proposes that a deep cognizance of cultural influences on learning is vital if formal and informal learning are to make vital connections to learners' lives and their personal need for meaning making in life. Drawing upon process philosophy, the author identifies and discusses three issues for consideration of learning sciences researchers, namely, (1) the importance of relational thinking, (2) the centrality of approaching learning in terms of experience and becoming, and (3) the need to reframe causal analysis in assessing learning.




Chee, Y. S. (2011). Possession, profession, and performance: Epistemological considerations for effective game-based learning. In Cai, Y. (Ed.), Interactive and digital media for education in virtual learning environments (pp. 1–18). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Abstract:
Educational games have been widely available since the advent of multimedia technology. Current state-of-the-art games, however, offer users 3D immersion and a depth of engagement that far exceed what was possible with multimedia. Unfortunately, the design of 3D games for education and learning has continued to lack both power and effectiveness due to a weak understanding, amongst game designers, of pedagogical and epistemological factors that are vital for designing effective game-based learning. In this chapter, I critically examine several commonly available online educational games. I argue that the weaknesses of game design stem centrally from an inadequate understanding of epistemology. I then explicate the needed epistemological understanding for effective game-based learning in terms of: (1) the fallacy of knowledge possession, (2) the inadequacy of knowledge profession, and (3) the necessity of knowing through performance. Next, I provide an example of game-based learning that illustrates how educational games can be taken to a new level of pedagogical and epistemological effectiveness. I conclude the chapter by considering some challenges to scaling up the adoption of game-based learning in schools.




Chee, Y. S., Loke, S. K., & Tan, E. M. (2011). Learning as becoming: Values, identity, and performance in the enaction of citizenship education through game play. In Ferdig, R. E. (Ed.), Discoveries in gaming and computer-mediated simulations: New interdisciplinary applications (pp. 128–146). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Abstract:
In this chapter, we share a model of game-based learning for use in the context of classroom learning in school. The model is based on the dialectic interaction between game play and dialogic engagement with peers and teacher on one hand and a developmental trajectory of competence-through-performance on the other. It is instantiated in the context of a learning program related to citizenship education using the computer game Space Station Leonis. We argue for the importance of values in all learning, based upon a theory of becoming citizens that is founded on process philosophy. We relate values to dispositions as articulated manifestations of values and describe how the Leonis learning program helps to achieve dispositional shifts befitting citizenship education in a globalized and multi-cultural world.




Chee, Y. S., Gwee, S., & Tan, E. M. (2011). Learning to become citizens by enacting governorship in the Statecraft curriculum: An evaluation of learning outcomes. International Journal of Gaming and Computer Mediated Simulations, 3(2), 1–27.

Abstract:
Citizenship education is especially important in developing nations where establishing a vital sense of statehood, belonging, and common purpose amongst citizens, presents political leaders with significant challenges. In this paper, we report on the enactment of an innovative citizenship education learning program based on the Statecraft X curriculum. We hold that it is essential for student learning to be engaged in and studied performatively, in the everyday context of students’ situated action and participation in discursive practices. Consequently, the curriculum involves school students using a 24/7 mobile learning game played on Apple iPhones—Statecraft X—to enact governorship in a game world Velar. In addition, students construct their ideal but fictional world Bellalonia via the “play of imagination” as part of a Play-between-Worlds curriculum model. Empirical findings show evidence that (a) dispositional shifts on several values and beliefs related to governance and citizenship were significantly “better” for intervention group students compared to control group students, and (b) intervention group students demonstrated significantly improved learning gains, compared to control group students, in respect of a summative essay writing task on governance and citizenship, evaluated on the criteria of relevance, perspective, and voice.



Chee, Y. S., Tan, K. C. D., Tan, E. M., & Jan, M. (2011). Learning chemistry through inquiry with the game Legends of Alkhimia: An evaluation of learning outcomes. In D. Gouscos & M. Meimaris (Eds.), Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Games Based Learning (pp. 98–105). Reading, UK: Academic Publishing.

Abstract:
Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of “proven” facts. They fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a very human and social endeavor.

To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, “Legends of Alkhimia” was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14-year-olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area network. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in-game virtual chemistry lab. The game levels take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. “Legends of Alkhimia”, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that constructs learning through the lens of performance theory (reported in the ECGBL 2010 conference). Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog.

In the first part of the paper, we motivate the rationale for game-based learning grounded on performance pedagogy. The second part of the paper investigates the research question: “Is learning lower secondary chemistry more effective with the inquiry-based Alkhimia curriculum compared to learning chemistry using traditional classroom teaching?” We report on an empirical study comparing learning outcomes from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum with a control class of 38 students who learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. The students in our study were 13-year-olds from a typical government secondary school. Students in the Alkhimia program were engaged in an 8-week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. The chemistry understanding of all students was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task in chemistry, involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to which effective separation was achieved in the students’ proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspective, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game-based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of approaching game-based learning in terms of performance.




Chee, Y. S. (2011). Learning as becoming through performance, play, and dialog: A model of game-based learning with the game Legends of Alkhimia. Digital Culture & Education, 3(2), 98–122.

Abstract:
Thomas and Brown (2007) suggest that games and virtual worlds allow play and learning to merge, enabling “learning to be” rather than “learning about.” In this context, I address the challenge of designing game-based learning to enact a pedagogy of “learning as becoming” in classroom contexts. I argue that the theory of human information processing fails to provide a tenable account of human learning. I propose a pragmatist notion of education that foregrounds experience and inquiry to provide an alternative foundation for envisioning education today. I then draw on social theory to provide a theoretical framing for game-based learning design. I instantiate this framing via the Performance–Play–Dialog (PPD) Model and argue in favor of a shift to performance as a key construct for framing human learning. I illustrate the PPD Model using the game Legends of Alkhimia, a multiplayer game addressing the chemistry curriculum in lower secondary school.



Gwee, S., Chee, Y. S., & Tan, E. M. (2011). The role of gender in mobile game-based learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 3(4), 19–37.

Abstract:
This paper investigates whether there are gender differences in gameplay time and learning outcomes in a social studies mobile game-based curriculum. Seventeen boys and 24 girls from a ninth-grade class in Singapore used a mobile learning game Statecraft X to enact governorship in the game world. The data suggest that boys spent significantly more time playing Statecraft X than girls. However, there were no significant gender differences in their scores in an essay question assessing their learning about governorship in terms of criteria of relevance of content, perspective, and personal voice. There was also no significant correlation between gameplay time and relevance of content, perspective, and personal voice scores. Thus, higher engagement in gameplay alone does not necessarily lead to higher-order learning outcomes. This paper discusses the factors giving rise to these results.




Chee, Y. S., Tan, K. C. D., Tan, E. M., & Jan, M. (2012). Learning chemistry performatively: Epistemological and pedagogical bases of design-for-learning with computer and video games. In K. C. D. Tan & M. Kim (Eds.), Issues and challenges in science education research: Moving forward (pp. 245–262). Dordrecht: Springer.

Abstract:
Typical textbooks in Chemistry present the field as a fait accompli represented by a body of “proven” facts. In the teaching and learning of Chemistry, students have little, if any, agency to engage in scientific inquiry and to construct their personal understanding of the field. An emphasis on pre-determined “knowledge” and the execution of laboratory experiments designed mainly to confirm pre-determined “findings” can lead students to a grave misunderstanding of the nature of science. In this chapter, we argue that the learning of chemistry must be engaged in performatively if it is to be authentic. Using the multiplayer chemistry game “Legends of Alkhimia” as a context, we articulate the epistemological and pedagogical bases for the design of a game-based learning curriculum to help students imbibe the thinking, values, and dispositions of professional chemists. Drawing on Bourdieu’s construct of habitus, we seek to foster students’ capacity for practical reason as they become themselves via engagement in the scientific and inquiry-oriented practice of doing chemistry, rather than just learning about it. We explain how our design-for-learning seeks to develop epistemic reflexivity and professional identity, in relation to professional chemists, through performance, play, and dialog.




Chee, Y. S. & Tan, K. C. D. (2012). Becoming chemists through game-based inquiry learning: The case of Legends of Alkhimia. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 10(2), 185–198.

Abstract:
Traditional modes of chemistry education in schools focus on imparting chemistry knowledge to students via instruction. Consequently, students often acquire the mistaken understanding that scientific knowledge comprises a fixed body of “proven” facts. They fail to comprehend that the construction of scientific understanding is a human and social endeavor. Consequently, there can be alternative and conflicting views and theories.

To provide students access to an enhanced learning curriculum, Legends of Alkhimia was designed and developed as an educational game for 13 to 14-year-olds to foster the learning of chemistry through inquiry. The multiplayer game supports four concurrent players. It is played on personal computers connected via a local area network. The game embeds students in problem solving challenges related to the use of chemistry in realistic contexts. In attempting to solve these problems, students must engage in individual laboratory work using an in-game virtual chemistry lab. The game levels take students through a narrative arc that provides coherence to the entire gameplay experience. Legends of Alkhimia, together with its associated curricular materials, instantiates classroom learning based on performance pedagogy: a pedagogy that constructs learning through the lens of performance theory. Leveraging the immersive affordances of 3D game environments, the learning experience is designed to engage students in the dialectic interplay between learning in the first person, based on playing the game, and learning in the third person, based on the Bakhtinian notion of dialog. The learning process follows a developmental trajectory of becoming a chemist.

Enacting performance pedagogy in the classroom requires a shift in traditional classroom culture toward that of a professional practice community. We report on an empirical study of a game-based learning classroom intervention where students in the Alkhimia learning program participated in an 8-week curriculum sequence involving six levels of game play. We compared pre- and posttest survey responses from a class of 40 students who learned chemistry using the Alkhimia curriculum. We also compared learning outcomes of students in the said intervention class with a control class of 38 students who learned chemistry through traditional classroom instruction. All students in our study were 13-year-olds from a typical government secondary school. We noted significant shifts in intervention students’ perceptions of their identity, their epistemological beliefs, their dispositions toward science inquiry, and of classroom culture. Students’ understanding of chemistry was evaluated through a common assessment that comprised a complex separation task involving mixtures, solutes, and immiscible liquids. Two evaluation criteria were used: (1) effectiveness of separation, and (2) demonstration of conceptual understanding of chemistry. We found that the Alkhimia students significantly outperformed the control students when assessed on the extent to which effective separation was achieved in the students’ proposed solution (t75 = 2.56, p = .026) and when assessed with respect to conceptual understanding of chemistry in the separation task (t75 = 3.41, p = .002). We discuss, from a theoretical perspective, how and why learning with the Alkhimia curriculum is efficacious. Our findings are significant in that they suggest how inquiry learning can be successfully enacted in a chemistry game-based learning curriculum, and they underscore the efficacy of approaching game-based learning in terms of performance.




Chee, Y. S. & Mehrotra, S. (2012). Reflective, reflexive guided appropriation: Facilitating teacher adoption of game-based learning in classrooms. In P. Felicia (Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, (pp. 109–116). Reading, UK: Academic Publishing.

Abstract:
The use of games to advance learning in the classroom often appeals to teachers perplexed by students who disengage from conventional instructional processes. However, the research literature suggests that enthusiasm quickly wanes when obstacles are encountered and things do not work out as expected. Consequently, the take‐up of game‐based learning is inhibited, and the “scaling” of techno‐pedagogical innovations into routine classroom practice stalls.
 
Recognizing that teacher preparation is crucial for successful implementation of innovative game-based curriculum in the classroom, a process-centric “appropriation model of innovation uptake” was initially suggested as a conceptual tool with which to approach the said challenge. This model draws on ideas from Coburn (2003) on “rethinking scale” in the context of school reform, as well as those of Clark and Dede (2009). The suggested model shifts the focus of attention from a system perspective of “scaling” to a model where the teacher plays the central role. It foregrounds the construct of “shift” as being central to what is required for teachers to sustain and to spread the adoption of game‐based learning pedagogy. The model positions depth and ownership as critical factors that influence the likelihood of achieving a stable shift in teaching practice, while recognizing the importance of system support for accommodating and rewarding innovative teaching practice. This appropriation model helped us to engage in a research project whose objective has been to level up teacher capacity for successfully enacting game‐based learning in the classroom. This paper describes (a) the appropriation model and its evolution over the course of our research, and (b) challenges faced by teachers in enacting the game-based learning pedagogy.

The paper reports findings from three separate implementations of the Statecraft X game-based learning curriculum. We worked with four schoolteachers in two government secondary schools in Singapore. Over the course of our work, the initial appropriation model evolved to include a ‘teacher-identity’ component that is strongly influenced by teacher professional development. Thus, our model developed into a process model of teacher development through reflective, reflexive guided appropriation. In the paper, we cite instances of tensions faced by teachers that are related to (1) sense of professional responsibility, (2) entrenched teaching habits, (3) questioning of deeply seated epistemological beliefs and values, (4) misalignments with conventional modes of assessing student learning. These tensions illuminate the somewhat unpredictable pathway of learning and development that teachers need to traverse and make sense of.

Our findings suggest that, to the extent the development process was seriously dislocating and triggered a process of introspective reflection, it was also the most deeply transformational. Teachers who did not experience perturbation to their understanding and a deep sense of disequilibrium showed the least growth in terms of professional development. In general, teachers have to deal with complex personal issues, in addition to managing social and institutional factors, as they navigate the process of changing their teaching practice.




Chee, Y. S., Mehrotra, S., & Liu, Q. (2012). Effective citizenship education through mobile game based learning: The Statecraft X curriculum. In P. Felicia (Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning (pp. 117–124). Reading, UK: Academic Publishing.

Abstract:
Educating for effective citizenship remains a largely elusive goal in schools. All too often, schools only educate students about citizenship. This outcome does not translate into the dispositions and capacities for active citizenship widely sought in students’ post-school years.

To address traditional weaknesses of citizenship education in schools, we developed and researched the Statecraft X curriculum in classrooms. Unlike learning about content related to citizenship, students learn governance and its relation to citizenship by enacting governorship, that is, by performing governance. Performance is enacted through role taking in immersive game play on a mobile device—an Apple iPhone—and through dialogic conversations in the classroom, where students reflect on the significations arising from game play. Teachers facilitate these conversations and help students to “play between worlds” by making pertinent connections between issues arising in the game world and in the real world. They encourage students to be reflexive in their learning, directing them to the actions that they took in playing the game and thinking through the ensuing consequences.

In this paper, we report an implementation of the Statecraft X curriculum in a Social Studies class attended by 42 15-year-olds attending a government secondary school. At the conclusion of the three-week curricular program, students wrote an extended essay related to governance that served as the summative assessment. They were asked to identify key issues of personal concern and to suggest how the government should deal with the problems highlighted. The essays of the intervention class were compared with those of a control class comprising 40 students who were taught governance using traditional instruction. Essays were evaluated on the basis of four criteria: (1) multiple viewpoints, (2) solutions supported by evidence and argumentation, (3) disposition of active citizen, and (4) persuasiveness. The results indicate that students of the intervention class outperformed those of the control class on all four criteria. Our findings suggest that the Statecraft X curriculum has efficacy in achieving the desired curricular learning outcomes. We discuss some challenges that teachers needed to work through and to resolve in order to effectively appropriate the understandings, beliefs, and dispositions essential to enacting the curriculum successfully in the classroom.



Shoon, M. H. & Chee, Y. S. (2012). Redefining public policy education through an exploratory digital curriculum: Singapore's Statecraft X. In D. G. Sampson, J. M. Spector, D. Ifenthaler, & P. Isaias (Eds.), Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA) (pp. 3–10). Lisbon, Portugal: IADIS Press.

Abstract:
Given the current international context of instability and uncertainty, we were driven by the desire to utilize a digital game to cut across the complexity of public policy, so as to educate our young with the experience and deep learning to be appreciative, accountable and proactive citizens of a globalized world. Having developed a curriculum that synthesizes technology, philosophy and pedagogy, we began our iterations of exploration with Singapore public schools. Through our project, we wanted to share our idea that the learning of public policy, in the form of Singapore’s Social Studies curriculum, was disadvantaged with the traditional, transmission-oriented mode of education, and had to be experienced and performed. Data from the impactful dialogic sessions conducted showed that students experienced realistically the problems faced in public policy decision making, and gained a sense of what governance, learnt performatively entailed.




Mehrotra, S., Chee, Y. S., & Ong, J. C. (2012). Teachers' appropriation of game-based pedagogy: A comparative narrative analysis. In G. Biswas, et al (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computers in Education (pp. 467–474). Singapore: APSCE.

Abstract:
This article examines the process of change through the narratives that two teachers tell to describe their journey over time while participating in the Statecraft X game-based learning program. Data from post dialogic session interviews is used to elicit the challenges and areas of improvement that teachers identify. The two teachers, whose case-study is being used in this paper, had contrasting experiences to share with respect to their professional goals and motivations. One of the teachers did not experience many perturbations, while the journey for the other teacher was loaded with personal and professional struggles. Insights from teachers’ narratives indicate some patterns of change that made appropriation successful for one and much less so for the other. These include (a) moving from not adhering to lesson plan to real time ‘thinking on the feet’ (b) shifting from teacher centric to student centric classrooms, and (c) ‘letting go of control’ to facilitate more active student learning. These changes have implications for teacher professional development with respect to game-based learning and teachers’ readiness for 21st century classrooms




Chee, Y. S. (2013). Video games for "deep learning": Game-based learning as performance in the Statecraft X curriculum. In C. B. Lee & D. H. Jonassen (Eds.), Fostering conceptual change with technology: Asian perspectives (pp. 199–224). Singapore: Cengage Learning.

Abstract:
The publication of Gee’s book What Video Games have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy in 2003 triggered a fresh wave of interest and ensuing research on the use of computer and video games for educational purposes. In this chapter, I interrogate what the notions of “deep learning” and “conceptual change” might mean from the perspective of learning with computer and video games. In this regard, I argue that deep learning should entail the development of personal identity and demonstrable capacities for knowledge-in- action rather than merely knowledge per se. Concomitantly, I argue that conceptual change might be better approached in terms of dispositional change and the development of “habits of mind” rather than as conceptual change per se.

This chapter consists of three main parts. In the first part, I review the research on conceptual change and offer a critique of that literature. In the second part, I make the case for understanding game-based learning in terms of the construct of performance and offer a reformulation of “deep learning” and “conceptual change” in terms of performance and dispositional change. The construct of performance is grounded in the literature related to performance theory and performance studies. A performative stance, I argue, is productive for viewing learning through the theoretical lens of being and becoming because game play involves being a person on a developmental trajectory of becoming.

In the third part, I concretize the theoretical ideas in relation to a game-based learning curriculum that we have designed and developed, based on the educational game Statecraft X. This game has been designed to support citizenship education in a social studies curriculum for 15-year-olds. It is a mobile learning game played on Apple iPhones. The case example illustrates the sense in which learning can be “deep” based on fostering students’ capacities for productive performance that is manifested in talk and situated action.




Chee, Y. S., Mehrotra, S., & Liu, Q. (2013). Effective game based citizenship education in the age of new media. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 11(1), 16–28.

Abstract:
Educational systems worldwide are being challenged to respond effectively to the digital revolution and its implications for learning in the 21st century. In the present new media age, educational reforms are desperately needed to support more open and flexible structures of on-demand learning that equip students with competencies required in a globalized and multicultural world. Game-based learning represents one pathway to educational reform through its emphasis on performance.  In this paper we describe the Statecraft X game-based learning program that blends performative game-based learning with dialogic pedagogy in the context of citizenship education. The Statecraft X curriculum was designed with the understanding that a digital game on its own does not necessarily lead to meaningful student learning. Rather, it is the students together with their peers and aided by their teacher who must work together to make meaning of their in-game experiences and connect these experiences to real-world events and issues through thoughtful reflection. With a view to addressing widespread shortcomings of citizenship education that reduce the curriculum to learning about citizenship, the Statecraft X game, played on Apple iPhones, provides students with a first person experience of governance by allowing them to take on the role of governors and thus to enact governance. Central to the SCX program is its dialogic pedagogy where teachers facilitate meaningful conversations among students and advance their understanding of citizenship and governance. In this paper, we report an implementation of the Statecraft X curriculum in a Social Studies class attended by 42 15-year-olds attending a secondary school in Singapore. Students’ understanding of governance and citizenship was assessed by means of an essay that students attempted at the end of the program. Students’ performance in the essay was compared with a comparable control group taught the same topic by traditional method. The results indicate that students of the intervention class outperformed the control class students. Our findings suggest that the Statecraft X curriculum has efficacy in achieving the desired curricular learning outcomes. These findings have implications for school leaders, teachers, and students with respect to introducing and integrating game-based learning in regular classrooms.





Chee, Y. S. (2013). Interrogating the Learning Sciences as a design science: Leveraging insights from Chinese philosophy and Chinese medicine. Studies in Philosophy and Education. [Avaliable at Springer "Online First" doi 10.1007/s11217-013-9367-2.]

Abstract:
Design research has been positioned as an important methodological contribution of the learning sciences. Despite the publication of a handbook on the subject, the practice of design research in education remains an eclectic collection of specific approaches implemented by different researchers and research groups. In this paper, I examine the learning sciences as a design science to identify its fundamental goals, methods, affiliations, and assumptions. I argue that inherent tensions arise when attempting to practice design research as an analytic science. Drawing inspiration and insight from Chinese philosophy and the practice of Chinese medicine, I propose that the learning sciences may better attain its claims to science through greater reliance on inductive synthesis rather than linear causal analysis.  In so doing, I reposition the endeavor of science making within the metaphysics of process philosophy instead of classical Western philosophy. I suggest that theory building will be strengthened empirically and pragmatically by more careful observation and systematic generalization of the stability patterns of design related phenomena. It also needs to be more situated in its orientation.





Chee, Y. S. (in press). Games-to-teach or games-to-learn: Addressing the learning needs of 21st century education through performance. To appear in T. B. Lin, D. T. V. Chen, & C. S. Chai (Eds.), New media and learning in the 21st century: A socio-cultural perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.

Abstract:
In this chapter, I describe my observation of two main approaches to game-based learning evident in research today. The dominant approach is one characterized by games-to-teach. This approach is rooted in cognitive science and instructional theory. It is driven by the goal of meeting the present needs of schooling, as predominantly practiced, and by meeting perceived needs related to schooling: assessing student learning outcomes objectively, improving test scores, increasing student motivation, and deepening learning engagement. While these objectives are legitimate in their own right, they ignore, or at the very least fail to respond to, the increasingly urgent learning needs and life-worlds of students living in the 21st century. By way of contrast, the games-to-learn approach is grounded in sociocultural and hermeneutic approaches to education and based on learning design. Within the context of the latter, I articulate a performance-centric approach to game-based learning that subsumes play and dialog as a model of learning befitting our times.


Chee, Y. S. (2014). Intentional learning with educational games: A Deweyan reconstruction. Australian Journal of Education.

Abstract:
Intentional learning has customarily been construed from a perspective that foregrounds cognitive engagement and mental life in meaning making. In this paper, I interrogate the said perspective. I argue that a theoretical positioning based on the dominant paradigm of human information processing psychology leads to incoherence because this paradigm results in “meaning-less cognition.” To get out of this conundrum, I offer a reconstruction of intentional learning from the perspective of Deweyan inquiry and the philosophy of pragmatism. I situate this reconstruction in the context of game-based learning.




Chee, Y. S., Mehrotra, S., & Ong, J. C. (2014). Facilitating dialog in the game-based learning classroom: Teacher challenges reconstructing professional identity. Digital Culture & Education, 6(4), 298–316.

Abstract:

Despite widespread interest in the use of digital games to engage students and enhance the quality of student learning, the teacher’s perspective has been less extensively studied. The challenges that teachers face when enacting authentic game-based learning predicated on dialogic pedagogy in the classroom offer powerful opportunities for professional learning despite potentially engendering stressful experiences. In this paper, we draw on the conceptual frame of dilemmatic spaces to theorise and document challenges teachers encounter when learning to enact dialogic facilitation in a game-based learning curriculum. Based on coded interview data drawn from nine teachers, our findings suggest that teachers wrestle with tensions engendered by habituated modes of classroom teaching and the need to redefine power relations with students. They experience a gap between their existing professional practice when they embark on the curriculum—their being—and striving to perform the role of an effective dialogic teacher—their becoming. The (re)construction of teacher identity that emerges is contingent on how teachers respond to continuing professional development as well as how they deal with challenges they face in the classroom.





Chee, Y. S., Mehrotra, S., & Ong, J. C. (in press). Professional development for scaling pedagogical innovation in the context of game-based learning: Teacher identity as cornerstone in "shifting" practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. [doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2014.962484]

Abstract:

A dominant discourse on “scaling-up” small-scale innovations based on a limited number of successful classroom trials pervades the educational literature. We view this discourse as insensitive to the professional work of teachers and the human side of school change. Our research investigated how teacher professional development could be conceived and conducted to support take up of digital game-based learning in the context of a three-week social studies unit on governance and citizenship. Students played a mobile game in their own time. In the classroom, teachers enacted dialogic pedagogy to facilitate students’ meaning making of their game play experience. Our findings indicate that teacher identity, constituted by their interwoven knowing–doing–being–valuing, is central to any effort to scale pedagogical and technological innovation. We modified our original model for the appropriation of innovation uptake by teachers to one that places teacher identity as the centrepiece of the model and cornerstone in “shifting” teacher practice.




Chee, Y. S., Mehrotra, S., & Ong, J. C. (in press). Authentic game-based learning and teachers' dilemmas in reconstructing professional practice. Learning, Media and Technology. [doi: 10.1080/17439884.2014.953958]

Abstract:

Teachers who attempt pedagogical innovation with authentic digital games face significant challenges because such games instantiate open systems of learner activity, inviting inquiry learning rather than knowledge acquisition. However, school environments are normatively sanctioned cultural spaces where direct instruction and high stakes tests are de riguer. In this paper, we draw on the conceptual frame of dilemmatic spaces to illuminate the dilemmas teachers encounter when attempting to reconstruct professional practice in the classroom. We worked with nine teachers who enacted the Statecraft X social studies curriculum. Drawing on coded interview data, our findings suggest that teachers are forced to wrestle with tensions engendered by misalignments that emerge from the innovation’s tacit requirement for change and the system’s inherent gravitation toward maintaining the status quo. A school culture that cultivates innovative practice based on greater teacher agency is needed for authentic game-based learning to find traction in the classroom.