Introducing Game Jams for Ecology and Citizenship Education in High School Classes
Keywords:Game jam, Game Based Learning, Ecology, Education, high school education
This paper deals with the preliminary results of some applied game jam events integrated with the Citizenship and Civic education project in some Italian high schools.
In Italy GBL is not systematically used as a didactic tool, especially in secondary school and game jamming is not well known nor used. A set of specifically designed game jam events called (EcoGJ - the game jam for ecology) were implemented in Italy during the 2022/2023 school year. The game jam format was designed to promote the discourse about climate change and ecosystems, and implemented to demonstrate how a more student-centred didactic approach can be used at school to foster collaboration and team working skills.
Students in the 15-16 target age from different high schools have been involved in the EcoGJ format. Outcomes have been recorded with a survey and with on-field notes. Preliminary results show as game jams had a positive impact on students, encouraging them to use critical thinking and team working as well as activating them in discussing ecology and climate change issues. Notwithstanding, some critical points emerged both for students in terms of engagement and knowledge. It seems that game jams can be a valid working method to teach and learn new skills, as well as increase students’ self-confidence and their desire to learn more about complex issues such as climate change. Further explorations are needed to find the most adequate way to introduce game jamming in high school and the best format to use these events in the most effective way to foster students’ engagement in learning and to help them in deepening their scientific-based knowledge in ecology and climate change.