Mr. Miyamoto said he believes in “the art of teaching without teaching.”
It’s also described as his “philosophy of not instructing” so that students can puzzle through problems by trial-and-error, itself a crucial thinking skill and not just in math.
He provides the tools for students to learn at their own pace using their own trial-and-error methods. If these tools are engaging enough, he said, students are more motivated and learn better than they would through formal instruction.
Engaging, playing at their own pace, reinforcing rather than killing motivation to persist, cool.
And isn’t this what video games are designed to do, too often accomplishing that goal so well that traditional parents and teachers tend to fear their power? I learned something new myself this week, that Spunky and some commenters ban video games in their Christian homeschooling as eroding virtue and work ethic, therefore scripturally sinful.
But I see a new comment this morning, describing a mom’s trial-and-error video game epiphany and repentance:
“. . . to be honest a major component was we couldn’t afford it. (We should all be honest about our reasoning.)
I am now in the camp of thinking I was too extreme in my former banning of all video games. No regrets, no guilt, but to be honest I didn’t know a lot about the games to have formerly hated them so much.”
I’ve been happily puzzling through a series of brilliantly designed video chess mini-games on the computer, having a WONDERFUL time! Judging by several real games I then played with Young Son and his dad, I must’ve been learning from it — at least I can now make a higher caliber of fatal mistake and understand better why I’m still losing. 🙂
Game type aside (video, board, card, dice, paper-and-pencil puzzle) math seems the school subject most likely to tempt unschooling parents to stop playing games, for traditional drill and kill.
Yet here we have a rigorous, high-stakes math prep teacher succeeding with a philosophy that sure sounds like math unschooling, very Pam Sorooshian (she even has math unschooling pages in Japanese!) and Rolfe Schmidt — well, it could be unschooling, assuming students actually want to spend their weekends playing games and solving math puzzles, and aren’t simply scared to death not to. . .
See Sandra Dodd on video games and unschooled learning.
More snooking around on video games and technology use:
Violent Video Games of God Get Kids to Church on Time
Video Aliens Teach University Economics:
“This is a game in which the students are literally immersed in a story. And they take on the role of a character,” he explains. “So all of the reading material, all of the content, all of the examinations and homework, if you will, are built inside the engine of the game” . . .
[Professor] Sarbaum says his 8-year-old son convinced him that video games were a solid approach to education. His son sometimes hates to do math problems on paper, but give him a math video game, says Sarbaum, and “he will play for hours on end. And the kinds of math problems that are being required to solve are the same.”
Sarbaum isn’t the only one to have noticed the compelling nature of computer games. This week, the Federation of American Scientists released a new report saying that sophisticated games could transform education.
More Kid Stuff: Homeschool of Rock or Video Gaming for Real
So Young and So Gadgeted — What’s the Right Approach?
Is Your Love for Your Kids Controlling?
Boot Camp’s Bad Name Doesn’t Extend to Computer Cure:
. . . participants live at the camp, where they are denied computer use . . . the campers are under constant surveillance, including while asleep, and are kept busy with chores, like washing their clothes and cleaning their rooms.
. . .As a drill instructor barked orders, Chang-hoon and 17 other boys marched through a cold autumn rain to the obstacle course. Wet and shivering, Chang-hoon began climbing the first obstacle, a telephone pole with small metal rungs. At the top, he slowly stood up, legs quaking, arms outstretched for balance. Below, the other boys held a safety rope attached to a harness on his chest.
“Do you have anything to tell your mother?” the drill instructor shouted from below.
“No!” he yelled back.
“Tell your mother you love her!” ordered the instructor. . .
Is PBS a credible enough source for whoever in your child’s life clucks disapprovingly at screen time? Click here now — don’t wait, your child’s education and entire future could be at stake! 🙂
My favorite moment in the article is when the author is showing his seven-year-old nephew the SimCity neighborhood that he built. When the author notes that he’s having problem getting a certain area with factories to come back to life, the boy turns to him and says, “I think you need to lower your industrial tax rates.”
Video Games New Way of Being in the World: Columbia U. Teachers College Record, paper on “cognition, learning and literacy”