Åsa Harvard Maare: Learnable and Learnworthy. Math Games and Motivation in the Classroom

Welcome to a K3 seminar with Åsa Harvard Maare, Senior Lecturer in Design, K3. The title of the talk is:

Learnable and learnworthy. Math games and motivation in the classroom

It will take place on Wednesday, October 31 at 10.15-12.00 in The K3 Open Studio, NIC 0541, Niagara.

Here is an abstract for the talk:

The topic of the seminar will be learning design, and more specifically how to consider social motivation and observational learning in the design of learning activities. The approach can be summarized in the notions of learnability and learnworthiness, and it builds on social and sociocultural learning theories, extending into neuropsychology and the importance of imitation for social bonding and for learning.

Put briefly, the idea is that by offering learners opportunities to observe other learners engaged in a game or a learning activity, this will increase both the learnworthiness of the activity (it can be shared with peers) and its learnability (learning through observation is efficient). I will exemplify the approach using examples of children engaging in mathematical games in the leisure-time center and in the classroom, and discuss how the approach can be applied in concrete design of a math game (see www.symmetry.one for a presentation of the game).

However, classroom experiences indicate that there are variations in the way learners use the social resources of the classroom. Also, how the concept of  “game” is translated into action in different pairs of learners differs vastly. Using examples from my field work in a math classroom of 3rd graders I want to discuss these differences, and how design of learning activites can cater for different types of learners and their motivations to learn.

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