The first school in the United States to base its entire curriculum around gaming will open next month in New York City, Metropolis Mag reports. Quest to Learn (Q2L) will use games such as LittleBigPlanet, Civilization and Spore to teach students—20 to 25 sixth graders at first—everything from the value of teamwork, how to think strategically to solve problems and even about the price of war.
Lessons will take place over four 90-minute “domains,” or periods, that combine subjects (i.e. math and science) into easy-to-swallow packages such as “The Way Things Work,” which are then explored and administered through various game-related means. Q2L’s website explains how this approach will benefit students, and honestly, it sounds like the description for a real-life Jedi academy:
“Across the curriculum students act as socio-technical engineers in the creation of playful systems—games, models, simulations, stories, etc. Students will learn about the way systems work and how they can be modified or changed. Through designing play students learn to think analytically and holistically, to experiment and test out theories, and to consider other people as part of the systems they create and inhabit. Game design serves as the pedagogy underlying this work.”
The school received $1 million in funding from the Gates Foundation, Intel and the MacArthur Foundation, and that will carry the school until 2015, when New York City will assume financial control. It’s a pretty remarkable undertaking, and not just because it sounds like a school from the future.
Anyone else want to figure out a way to become 12-years-old again and enroll?