PRE-SERVICE PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
European University Cyprus
Open University of Cyprus
The article reports the main insights gained from a study that implemented a game-enhanced learning environment for the training of pre-service elementary school teachers. Teachers taking an undergraduate mathematics methods course experienced some of the ways in which online educational games could help students internalize key mathematical concepts across the school curriculum while at the same time improving their attitudes towards the subject. The course also familiarized teachers with the design principles for constructivist gaming environments. Findings indicate a positive impact on teachers’ competence in selecting, evaluating, and productively using online games as an instructional tool.
Empirical classroom research over several decades shows that, with some notable exceptions, mathematics instruction has been characterized by traditional, abstract formulation which seems to be readily understood by only a small fraction of students (Mor et al., 2006). The teaching of mathematics is viewed as unappealing to the majority of students, as outdated and unconnected with their interests and experiences (Goodrum, Hackling, & Rennie, 2001). Ideas are presented in an overly theoretical and abstract manner without sufficient opportunities for students to engage in problem solving and experimentation (Euler, 2011).
Technological advances have provided the opportunity to create an entirely new learning environment in mathematics by significantly increasing the range and sophistication of possible classroom activities. Access to technology provides teachers and students with tools which, when constructively used, can create opportunities for enhanced learning of mathematics. Although traditional, teacher-centered approaches to...