Can students really learn from chess games or video games?

Himmler2339
Nov 17, 2007, 12:00 AM |
2 | Scholastics

David Mcdivitt, who teaches world chess history and sociology at Oak Hill High School in Converse, Indiana, says games teach his students important lessons about cause and effect. In the game Making History, for example, students act as leaders of different countries during World War II. They have to make strategic decisions and anticipate the consequences, such as making a treaty with one country or violating a treaty with another. their chosen strategies can also impact the outcome of the war, providing "excellent teachable moments," Mcdivitt says. "I've had kids tell me they don't think the war would have lasted as lng if countries had been more aggressive with Hitler earlier on," he says. "They can read that in a textbook, but they're much more likely to remember it after seeing it played out." In Mcdivitt sociology class, students play the Sims, where they control the day-to-day lives of characters called Sims ( short for simulations). choosing their careers, steering their social lives, and plotting their futures. Students learn by assigning social roles to their Sims. Mcdivitt explains to the class that he's a father, a teacher, a coach, a husband, a brother, and a son. "Which role is the most important?" he asks. "How do they overlap?" "The students then apply it to their own lives,"  says Mcdivitt. "In high school, kids are in transition-they start to think about whether being a son, a daughter, a friend, a sibling, or college student is their most important role."

More from Himmler2339
Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer

PLAYING FOR THE TITLE

PLAYING FOR THE TITLE