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Playing epistemic games in science and mathematics classrooms
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Bielaczyc, K., & Kapur, M. (2010). Playing epistemic games in science and mathematics classrooms. Educational Technology, 50(5), 19-25.
Education in the Knowledge Age calls for engaging
students in creative work with knowledge. A major
implication for research and design in the learning
sciences is that the necessary shift is not simply technological
or pedagogical, but essentially epistemological
(Brown, 2007). In this article, the authors view such
creative work with knowledge through the theoretical
lens of epistemic games (Collins & Ferguson, 1993;
Morrison & Collins, 1995). Epistemic games refer to
strategic play with disciplinary knowledge in complex
domains, and are based on the study of disciplinary
communities such as Physical, Biological, and Social
Scientists. The authors describe two instantiations of
epistemic game play drawn from classroom interventions
in science, Ideas First (Bielaczyc & Ow, 2007),
and mathematics, Productive Failure (Kapur, 2008).
The two research projects were funded as part of a
comprehensive reform effort in Singapore schools
toward 21st century education. Their analyses illustrate
the design features of epistemic games in learning
environments and discuss the implications of learning
to play epistemic games.
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