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It all makes sense

Written by Janelle Bence
July 31, 2011

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How will I teach my students what I don’t know in the context of my classroom? A more accurate question would be, “How do I teach what I know little about?” I say, “little” because if there’s anything I’ve discovered with gaming and learning, it’s that there is always a new ah-ha just around the corner if I am willing to put myself in that position.

I wanted to know why game-based learning works. I feel like some questions have been answered, but there is still the detail of figuring out how it will fit in my particular context. If I consider my students’ cultural wealth and build upon it, that’s a solid start. If I understand the pedagogy of a lesson, I don’t need to know every detail about the logistics. Sometimes, that just is not possible, and some of the best learning I have done is just by jumping in. We all bring something to the classroom. What we do with that knowledge will affect the outcome of any learning venture.

The question remains, “How can I blend the ideas of gaming theory with teaching the population that I serve?”

I believe the answer lies within the lessons I have learned through this inquiry. It’s not about knowing everything about my kids. It’s not about knowing everything about gaming in the classroom. It is about constantly searching for ways to best serve my students. It is about making the most of the many resources that are available and sharing my ideas to gain more. It is about taking risks. It is about putting myself in the position of my students.

For me, learning how to teach what I do not know means modeling the behaviors I want to see in my students. It’s about being okay with not knowing everything, letting those who do know take some control to teach me, and always reminding myself this a journey. A journey well worth the effort. A game well worth the reward.



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