Teachers' Beliefs About Game Based Learning: A Comparative Study of Pedagogy, Curriculum and Practice in Italy, Turkey and the UK

Allsop Y., Yildirim E. Y. , Screpanti M.

7th European Conference on Games Based Learning, Porto, Portugal, 3 - 04 October 2013, pp.1-10 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • City: Porto
  • Country: Portugal
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Digital games are more popular than ever among children and young adults (Prensky 2001; Gee 2003; Fromme 2003; Oblinger 2004). Recent reviews show that children spend hours playing video games either on their console or digitally online. Educators started to see the power of this new medium and explore ways to use digital games to support learning within schools. Incorporating digital games into classrooms, however, has been a challenging task for many reasons; According to Jessel (2012) "Innovation arising from new technologies makes a variety of demands upon the role of the teacher". The question is; are the teachers ready for these demands, as the new technologies transform their role continually? This study aims to give a comparative account of teachers' views of their role when teaching using digital games in primary classrooms. Additionally it investigated the interrelation between game based learning, curriculum, pedagogy and practice. This study presents the views of teachers from Turkey, Italy and the UK. In-depth interviews and an online survey were used to find out the teachers perceptions of game based learning and how this impacts on their roles as a teacher. The research also analyzed the interview findings to understand the dynamics between curriculum design, learning culture and practice when implementing game based learning. The research found that there is a strong link between how learning is designed to incorporate digital games, the theories and strategies that have been used to deliver the curriculum and how this manifests itself in practice within the classroom. The research also showed that teachers are aware that their roles when using new technologies in education has changed, however, because of the lack of necessary training they are not clear on how to adopt these changes. In some countries the curriculum was flexible enough to accommodate game based learning, however, in some without a radical reform this would not be possible. The mass difference between country specific curriculum, pedagogy and practice highlights the need for a flexible model or approach of embedding digital games into primary classrooms.