Tapped on a Samsung.

Children are taught to compartmentise their communication into linear, narrow stands: math; geography; english and so on. They are rewarded if they use the civic approved functional literacies of proper grammar and tone. Furthermore, high school teachers deliver the hammer blow. They give kids model answers and essays as their own status is judged by their willingness to comply with political beliefs, not their brilliance as communicators or critical thinkers.

Critical thinking is totally removed from the practice of teaching as it disrupts the evaluation and reporting on “the standard of education” as a portrait of youth and future society. Instead it is centralised by government controlled bodies, BOS, ACARA etc. Anyone who doesn’t agree is punished though funding and media as “bad”. Poor schools, poor leaders and poor teachers are many things, but being bad at teaching is probably disingenuous.

In arts classes, children are given the rare opportunity to transcend compartments by using visual literacies in addition to verbal and functional text on a regular basis, yet even this doesn’t have the gravitas of video games. It also worth pointing out how few arts teachers become school or institutional leaders … freaks.

Games are all about decompartmenting reality though counternarratives. At their root it’s the obvious: they ask you to do work on problems which are unreal and entirely avoidable. They are an interpretation of the designers and player understanding of the art form.

Even the simplest game requires discussion of the magnitude of a Chegall painting. They reject the reductionism off technology like no other media, which is problematic for educational leaders who appear to believe tomorrow will bring an easier solution, less risk and more endorsement of their brilliant ability to order funky furniture, idea paint and entertain the choir.

Games are teaching kids many things … mostly that compartments are a cheap way to succeed at anything. Sadly most leaders can only use office and email. That’s the biggest problem for teachers … Games are calling, but the guy in the big chair is illiterate.

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