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

Author

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  • Odile Blanchard

    () (équipe EDDEN - Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)

  • Arnaud Buchs

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Odile Blanchard & Arnaud Buchs, 2014. "Teaching Sustainable Development Issues: An Assessment of the Learning Effectiveness of Gaming," Working Papers halshs-00946227, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00946227
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00946227
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arnaud Buchs & Odile Blanchard, 2011. "Exploring the Concept of Sustainable Development Through Role-Playing," Post-Print halshs-00630990, HAL.
    2. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
    3. Hans Gremmen & Jan Potters, 1997. "Assessing the Efficacy of Gaming in Economic Education," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 291-303, December.
    4. Gowdy, John & O'Hara, Sabine, 1997. "Weak sustainability and viable technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 239-247, September.
    5. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    6. Arnaud Buchs & Odile Blanchard, 2011. "Exploring the Concept of Sustainable Development Through Role-Playing," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 388-394, October.
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    Keywords

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

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