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Teaching Sustainable Development Issues: An Assessment of the Learning Effectiveness of Gaming

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  • Odile Blanchard

    ()
    (PACTE - Politiques publiques, ACtion politique, TErritoires - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Grenoble - CNRS : UMR5194 - Université Pierre-Mendès-France - Grenoble II - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I)

  • Arnaud Buchs

    ()
    (Institut de géographie et durabilité - Université de Lausanne)

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    Abstract

    The article aims at assessing the effectiveness of a role-play in addressing two concerns: clarifying the concept of sustainable development and teaching sustainable development issues. The effectiveness is gauged by surveying students to reveal how the game matches a set of "significant learning" criteria defined by Fink (2003). Firstly, our article brings a short overview of how the concept of sustainable development has emerged and spread over time. Secondly, in order to assess the learning potential of our role-play, we examine how it addresses the six components of Fink's taxonomy of "significant learning": (i) foundational knowledge, (ii) application, (iii) integration, (iv) human dimensions, (v) caring and, (vi) learning how to learn. This taxonomy is analysed through a rigorous assessment methodology. The assessment shows that our role-play is highly praised by the players as it not only brings them foundational knowledge, but also allows them to enhance many skills. Thus, the framework of this role-play contributes to educating about sustainable development as well as educating for sustainable development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00946227.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00946227

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    Related research

    Keywords: education ; role-play ; significant learning; sustainable development;

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    1. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
    2. Hans Gremmen & Jan Potters, 1997. "Assessing the Efficacy of Gaming in Economic Education," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 291-303, December.
    3. Gremmen, H.J.F.M. & Potters, J.J.M., 1997. "Assessing the efficacy of gaming in economics education," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73907, Tilburg University.
    4. Arnaud Buchs & Odile Blanchard, 2011. "Exploring the Concept of Sustainable Development Through Role-Playing," Post-Print halshs-00630990, HAL.
    5. Gowdy, John & O'Hara, Sabine, 1997. "Weak sustainability and viable technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 239-247, September.
    6. Arnaud Buchs & Odile Blanchard, 2011. "Exploring the Concept of Sustainable Development Through Role-Playing," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 388-394, October.
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