Citation

Civic Games and Civic Gaps: Which Students Benefit Most From Civic Game Play?

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Abstract:

Prior research suggests that civic games can provide benefits, but are unlikely to benefit all students equally. Research suggests that civic education often boosts civic learning and participation most dramatically among economically and educationally advantaged students, who are already more likely to engage in public life. Yet some research on game-based learning suggests that it most engages low-achieving students and those with greater experience of social game play. Is civic game-based education more likely to make the civically rich richer or to engage the least civically engaged?

In addition, as Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer have shown, civic educators have different goals and approaches to citizenship. These include a traditional vision of molding personally responsible citizens (who express patriotism and obey laws), a mainstream vision of inspiring participatory citizens (who vote and join voluntary organizations), and a critical vision of preparing justice-oriented citizens (who try to transform the root causes of injustice in social, political, and economic realms). Can civic games increase interest in practicing each of these kinds of citizenship?

We address these two research questions through a multi-site quasi-experimental study in Northern California high schools, which examines the impact of a game-based curriculum on students’ interest in civic learning and action. As part of their global history and social studies classes, students played a life simulator game, REAL LIVES. The game allows players to experience conditions in countries around the world by discovering how an individual character’s life is shaped by social, economic, and political constraints and opportunities, as well as by the players’ own life choices. Game play was integrated into class discussion and assignments.

We find that the curriculum most benefitted students who were low-achieving and least civically engaged. Low-achieving students made the greatest gains in political interest. The least civically engaged students most increased their interest in practicing personally responsible and participatory forms of citizenship. We conclude with suggestions for how designers and educators can replicate these findings that games can stimulate learning and engagement among students who are the least civically experienced and educationally successful.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p639473_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bachen, Christine., Hernandez-Ramos, Pedro. and Raphael, Chad. "Civic Games and Civic Gaps: Which Students Benefit Most From Civic Game Play?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England, <Not Available>. 2018-09-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p639473_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bachen, C. , Hernandez-Ramos, P. and Raphael, C. "Civic Games and Civic Gaps: Which Students Benefit Most From Civic Game Play?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Hilton Metropole Hotel, London, England <Not Available>. 2018-09-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p639473_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Prior research suggests that civic games can provide benefits, but are unlikely to benefit all students equally. Research suggests that civic education often boosts civic learning and participation most dramatically among economically and educationally advantaged students, who are already more likely to engage in public life. Yet some research on game-based learning suggests that it most engages low-achieving students and those with greater experience of social game play. Is civic game-based education more likely to make the civically rich richer or to engage the least civically engaged?

In addition, as Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer have shown, civic educators have different goals and approaches to citizenship. These include a traditional vision of molding personally responsible citizens (who express patriotism and obey laws), a mainstream vision of inspiring participatory citizens (who vote and join voluntary organizations), and a critical vision of preparing justice-oriented citizens (who try to transform the root causes of injustice in social, political, and economic realms). Can civic games increase interest in practicing each of these kinds of citizenship?

We address these two research questions through a multi-site quasi-experimental study in Northern California high schools, which examines the impact of a game-based curriculum on students’ interest in civic learning and action. As part of their global history and social studies classes, students played a life simulator game, REAL LIVES. The game allows players to experience conditions in countries around the world by discovering how an individual character’s life is shaped by social, economic, and political constraints and opportunities, as well as by the players’ own life choices. Game play was integrated into class discussion and assignments.

We find that the curriculum most benefitted students who were low-achieving and least civically engaged. Low-achieving students made the greatest gains in political interest. The least civically engaged students most increased their interest in practicing personally responsible and participatory forms of citizenship. We conclude with suggestions for how designers and educators can replicate these findings that games can stimulate learning and engagement among students who are the least civically experienced and educationally successful.


Similar Titles:
Playing Their Game: Changing American Students’ Evaluations of Palestinians and Israelis Through Video Game Play


 
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