Schools need to embrace video games and encourage more girls to play, say headteachers

3rd December 2015 at 18:01

“As teachers, we have made a great effort to understand the risks associated with the internet, to mitigate these risks and to offer advice on proper usage. Why should games be any different?” asks Mike Fairclough, headteacher at the TES Primary School of the Year, West Rise Junior School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Writing in the 4 December issue of TES, Mr Fairclough argues that children need to be informed about the dangers posed by some games, but that studies have found other games have plenty of learning benefits to offer students.

He says that schools need to embrace sensible usage of video games, rather than trying to ban them altogether.

And girls, in particular, should be encouraged to get into gaming, argues Dr Helen Wright, also writing in the 4 December issue.

“Teachers can make a huge difference to girls and their perception of gaming,” says the former headteacher, now an education consultant. “Set up coding clubs just for girls, so that they get a fair go at making up for lost ground. Make sure that boys in primary schools don’t hog the Raspberry Pi or the classroom iPads. Talk about gaming as a positive activity, not a distraction from ‘real’ learning. Invite female gamers and games designers into school to inspire the next generation.”

To accompany the articles, leading games designer Kate Killick has added her own views to the debate. You can watch her interview below.  




This is an edited version of an article in the 4 December 2015 edition of TES. To read the full article, subscribe to TES. Subscribers can view the full version of this story here. Read the full coverage in this week's TES magazine, available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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