Teaching game design in the kindergarten

Teaching game design in the kindergarten

Game design is a very interesting pedagogic tool. Apart from its diverse positive effects on creativity, expression and team building of students, modern research indicates that it has a positive impact on students’ STEAM skills.

Game design, like any other synthetic activity does allow students to come up with new ideas, brainstorm, reflect on solutions and propose more than one possible designs for the games they want to design. Contrary to convergent thinking approaches that we encounter in several educational systems, game design can actually facilitate divergent processes, where brainstorming and listing solutions (where being correct or wrong are both fine in idea generation). This addresses the issue posed by the video that you see on the top, which presents a study by George Land on people’s creativity. It turns out that creativity is unlearnt the more we grow older!

Apart from this though, recent studies that we ran with kindergarten students, where we proposed different approaches to teaching game design, have indicated both that kindergarten students are avid designers, with great potential but also that participating in game design activities had a positive correlation with their ability to create mathematical problems.

So, it becomes apparent that more focus and interest should be paid towards introducing game design into classrooms.

Two interesting articles on this matter:

Connecting game design with mathematical problem posing: Article link

Developing kindergarten students’ game design skills by teaching game design through organized game design interventions: Article link

Educational game design fundamentals: A journey to creating intrinsically motivating learning experiences: Book link