1 Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, School of Education (PORTUGAL)
2 Science Track - Toys and Games (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Page: 5118 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1343
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
The present communication is part of a theoretical study which has been developed by a working group made up of higher education teachers, - mainly dedicated to the formation of kindergarten educators and primary school teachers, and to the scientific divulgation directed and implemented with different publics: children, young adults, the elderly, people with special educational needs - and a professional with scientific training who works on the conceptualization and construction of didactic games. The overall goal of the study is to research: "What contributions can educational games make to the learning of scientific knowledge and the development of investigative skills in children and young adults?"

The study was based on theories of the field of psychology, resorting predominantly to the conceptualization of Anderson et al (2001) for the knowledge and cognitive skills, where the investigative skills take part. In order to obtain data which allows us to respond to our global objective, a number of activities were carried out:
(a) a set of didactic games linked to biological unity and diversity, were conceptualized and particularly directed to children in kindergarten and primary schools;
(b) some of the games were tested with three children and three young adults and their learning was analysed.

The games built were grouped into six large groups - games of sequence and memory; creativity; knowledge; logic; reasoning and deduction; laugher and discovery. The knowledge was grouped into three categories in increasing order of complexity: facts, examples and 1st order concepts; 2nd order concepts; 3rd order concepts and theorization. The investigative skills were grouped into six categories, also in increasing order of complexity: to memorize, to understand, to apply, to analyse, to evaluate, to create.
The results suggest that the game should be seen as a very serious resource for learning scientific knowledge and for developing investigative skills. Although, as expected, the learning / development of higher and more complex level of knowledge and investigative skills proved to be more difficult to attain, the truth is that there have been developments in these dimensions. We consider that the data obtained in the research contributes to a better knowledge about: the potential of didactic games in the contexts of formal learning; what and how to explore these games in order to provide a greater and better scientific education for our children; to improve the evaluation of the lessons learned - in terms of scientific knowledge and investigative skills - through the use of these resources.

[1] Anderson, L., Krathwohl, D., Airasian, P., Cruikshank, K., Mayer, R., Pintrich, P., Raths, J., and Wittrock, M. (Eds.) (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A Revision of Bloomʼs taxonomy of educational objectives. Boston: Edition Allyn & Bacon.
Didactic game, Scientific knowledge, Investigative skills.