New York Launches Public School Curriculum Based on Playing Games
Video games and learning exercises form the core of a new public school curriculum
September 16, 2009
By Jeremy Hsu
Games have long played a role in classrooms, but next month marks the launch of the first U.S. public school curriculum based entirely on game-inspired learning. Select sixth graders can look forward to playing video games such as “Little Big Planet” and “Civilization,” as well as non-digital games ranging from role-playing scenarios to board games and card games.
But this goes beyond guiding your virtual settlers in “Oregon Trail” during classroom free time. The Quest to Learn (Q2L) school, based in Manhattan, hopes its guided approach can help students take on the role of explorers, mathematicians, historians, writers and evolutionary biologists.
“It is important to note that Quest is not a school where children spend their day playing commercial videogames,” says the Q2L website. A look at the school’s curriculum confirms a far more ambitious and hands-on approach to education — after all, the school does abide by New York State education standards. The 20 to 25 students in each class, each equipped with a laptop, attend four 90-minute periods each day, rather than study individual subjects.