More than half of Australian high school English teachers believe digital games are a legitimate text type to use in their teaching programs, but just 15 per cent have done so, Australian Catholic University research shows.
A study of 201 teachers from diverse schools has found those with less years of teaching experience were more likely to consider digital games as a valid learning tool and use them in the classroom.
But 80 per cent of those surveyed also said they had not received professional development on how to incorporate digital games-based learning into their teaching practice.
Lead researcher and ACU Senior Education Lecturer Amanda Gutierrez said with digital games not listed as an example of a multi-modal text in the Australian Curriculum for English, the lack of consensus among English teachers about the merit of using them in learning programs was understandable.
“There is still work to do around digital games being valued as an important multi-modal text,” Dr Gutierrez said.
“Gaming is incredibly diverse, of great significance in the lives of many young people and crosses into other popular culture mediums. It would be remiss of English as a subject, which should include studies of influential and important texts, to ignore this growing area which includes such diversity of textual designs and genres.”
Dr Gutierrez said the use of digital games was a polarising issue for teachers and that explicit links to digital games-based learning was needed in the curriculum, with professional development made available for teachers.