Focus on Creativity - A Pedagogical Shift — Karen Yager, Andrew Weeding, Knox Grammar School, Australia

  • Pedagogical Approaches (2011-12)

Within the context of a changing pedagogical landscape, Knox Grammar took advantage of the opportunity to re-design an aspect of the Middle School curriculum. Teachers focused on fostering creativity and chose game-based learning as their platform for delivering course outcomes. The authors believed that this could be achieved through innovative programming and assessment, and realised through teachers who were prepared to listen to the voices of their students.

The researchers embarked on an action research project involving a cross-disciplinary task that required Years 8 and 9 boys to design a low energy, sustainable virtual city using the online gaming programme, Minecraft. The task ran for five school days, 20 minutes per day, and included an online Mathematics, English, Foreign Language and Science challenge each day.

Through observations of the boys as they worked on the various tasks, the authors discovered that the assessment of the 85 designs created by the boys, along with their evaluation reports, was both edifying and informative. The data demonstrated overwhelmingly that the boys became engaged learners through undertaking a task that was authentic and online, and which enabled them to work collaboratively to create original designs.