Literacy Educators’ Attitudes on Video Games and Learning


  • Sam von Gillern University of Missouri
  • Brady Nash Miami University
  • Carolyn Stufft Berry College
  • Hillary Gould University of Missouri



Video games, Survey, Teachers, Literacy, English language arts, Education


This research used a survey design methodology (Dillman, 2011), which is a “nonexperimental research based on questionnaires or interviews” (Johnson & Christensen, 2013, p. 249) to investigate elementary literacy teachers’ attitudes on video gaming and learning. 328 teachers from a Midwestern state in the United States completed a 37-item survey, which primarily utilizes five-point Likert scale items to examine their general perceptions of video games, their attitudes on video game-based learning, and their perspectives on utilizing games for literacy teaching and learning. The data were analyzed by examining the distribution and frequency of participant responses as well as overall trends in their perspectives (Iarossi, 2006). Results indicate that the teachers believe children enjoy playing video games, view games as an important aspect of youth culture, and generally believe that video games can promote student motivation, engagement, and learning. However, only 38% of participants either agreed (32.0%) or strongly agreed (4.6%) that they regularly integrated video games into their literacy teaching and approximately a third were skeptical about integrating video games into their literacy teaching (26.8% agreed and 7.3% strongly agreed). Additionally. 57% were interested in learning more about how to effectively integrate video games into their literacy teaching (47.9% agree and 10.1% strongly agreed). This finding makes sense given that only 14% of participants indicated they learned about digital game-based learning during their teacher preparation programs. Ultimately, participants’ positive views on learning through video games aligns with existing reviews of research that demonstrate the effectiveness of game-based learning in a variety of content areas (Clark et al., 2016; Thompson & von Gillern, 2020; Wouters & van Oostendorp, 2013). Given that teachers’ views largely align with research that demonstrates games can be effective at promoting student learning in a variety of disciplines, professional development is needed to help teachers develop their abilities to effectively integrate video games into their literacy teaching. Further implications and directions for future research are discussed.