Training, consultancy and resources to improve teaching and learning
You are here > Members' Resources > Thinking Classroom Resources > Resource Detail
Navigation Find Resources
Navigation Resource Search
Navigation Resource Tags
Active Learning   Adjectives   Advance Organiser   AfL   Ambition   Analogy   Analysis   Andragogy   Architecture   Archive   Art   Assemblies   Assessment   Association   Astronomy   Audience   Audio   Audit   Autonomy   Behaviour   Big Data   Bloom's Taxonomy   Book   Boys   Brain   Brain Break   Brain-Based Learning   British Values   Bullying   Capacity   Careers   Challenge   Change   Characteristics   Charlotte Mason   Childhood   Christmas   Cities   Classroom Management   Coach   Coaching   Collaboration   Colour   Comedy   Communication   Community   Comparison   Composition   Computers   Conflict   Connections   Constructivism   Contemplation   Conversation   Cooperation   Counting   CPD   Creative Curriculum   Creative Thinking   Critical Thinking   Curiosity   Currciulum   Curriculum   Danger   Daniel Pink   Data   Debate   Decision Making   Design   Differences   Differentiation   Digital   Discussion   Display   Diversity   Doodling   Dragon   Dream   Drive   Dunblane   Dweck   Dyslexia   Early Years   Easter   Economics   Edit   EEF   Effective Practice   Effort   Emotional Intelligence   Empathy   Enquiry   Environment   Equality   Error   Esteem   Evaluation   Evidence   Existential   Exploration   Facts   Failure   Feedback   Film   Fitness   Flow   Freedom   Froebel   G&T   Games   Gardner   Gender   Gender Neutral   Genius Hour   Genres   Geography   Gifted Able & Talented   Glass Bead Game   Global   Goals   Grammar   Grit   Group Work   Growth Mindset   Gun Control   Happiness   Hard Work   Hattie   Health   Heterarchy   Hierarchy   High Order Thinking   History   Holiday   Home Education   Home Schooling   Homework   Horace Mann   Humour   ICT   Imagination   Inclusion   Independent Learning   India   Induction   Influence   Infographic   Innovation   Inspection   Inspiration   Integrative   Intelligence   Internet   Interview Preparation   Intuition   Investigation   iPad   Jerome Bruner   John Dewey   Judgement   Juggling   Justification   Knowledge   Language   Leadership   Learning   Learning Community   Learning Skills   Learning Styles   Lecture   Lesson Design   Lesson Starters   LGBT+   Listening   Literacy   Literature   Logic   London 2012   Lord of the Flies   MAGT   Mark Making   Marketing   Marking   Marzano   Mastery   MAT   Mathematics   Media   Mediation   Memory   Mentoring   Metacognition   Metaphor   Metzinger   MFL   Mindset   Mistake   Modal Verbs   Morality   Motif   Motivation   Multiple Intelligences   Music   Myth   Nature   Negotiation   Networks   New Year   Noise   Nuclear Power   Numeracy   Ofsted   Olympics   ONR   Opinion   Order   Organisation   Outstanding   P4C   Pace   Parents   Patchwork Thinking   Pattern   Pedagogy   Periodic Table   Personal Development   Personalised Learning   Perspective   Philosophy   Pixar   Planets   Planning   Plastic   Play   Plenary   Plot   Poetry   Politics   Positive Education   Positive Error Culture   Poster   Poverty   Praise   Prediction   Prioritising   Problem Based Learning   Problem Solving   Process   Productivity   Professional Development   Professional Learning   Progress   Protection   PSHE   Psychology   Punctuation   Pupil Voice   Purpose   QCI   Quality   Questioning   Questionnaire   Ranking   RE   Reading   Real Time Coaching   Reasoning   Reflection   Reform   Reframing   Relationships   Religion   Research   Resilience   Responsibilities   Revision   Rights   Risk   Roles   Romans   Rules   Sacrifice   Safety   Scaffolding   School Improvement   Science   Seasons   Secondary School   Self Knowledge   Selling   SEN   Sequencing   Service   Setback   Shape   Shooting   Silence   Similarities   Simile   Skills   Snow Angels   Socrates   Sorting   Space   SPAG   Speaking & Listening   Spellings   Sports   Story   Stress   Struggle   Study   Subordinate Clause   Success   Success Criteria   Summarising   Summer   Surprise   Sustainability   Targets   Teaching   Team Work   Technology   Template   Thinking   Thinking Classroom   Thinking Cubes/Dice   Thinking Skills   Thinking Stories   Timbre   Time Management   Tone   Transition   Trust   Tudors   Understanding   UNESCO   Vacation   Values   Video   Visual Learning   Visual Story   Visual Thinking   War   Weather   Well-Being   Welsh   Winter   Wish   Word Game   Work   World War 1   World War 2   Writing   Year 6   Year 7   Zen  

Everything is a Game

Everything is a Game An Article about board games and skills-based learning.

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Games Glass Bead Game Skills Problem Solving Collaboration
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.  Michael Jordan

The Only Option is...

You've probably heard this one before: two criminals, arrested on suspicion of a serious offence, are interviewed separately by the police. Each can either betray their partner and lie about their own involvement in the crime, or stay loyal by remaining silent. Rules that decide what happens next are:

  1. If they betray each other, they both serve 2 years in prison.
  2. If one betrays the other, who remains silent, the first will go free and the other serve 3 years.
  3. If they both stay silent, both serve 1 year in prison.

The question is, what should each criminal do? They can't discuss a strategy. Their choices are totally independent of each other. Game theory proves that the best choice is betrayal because it produces the 'least worst' combination of possible outcomes from each person's point of view.

What if?

But what if they could speak to each other, trusted each other, and made a joint decision? Clearly option 3 is now the only option; the price they pay for getting caught.

This thought experiment is the Prisoners' Dilemma which was framed in 1950 by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher. And it illustrates a key difference between two kinds of board game and two kinds of person.

Monopoly and Mysterium

Two more diverse games you could not find. Monopoly: the rule-based, dice-driven, grindingly-slow-death-defeat tribute to property ownership; and Mysterium, a cooperative murder-mystery where players are pitted together against the game itself and succeed through effective communication and creative visual thinking.

Monopoly is a zero-sum game: one person's gain is another's loss. They balance out. Someone wins. Everyone else loses. Mysterium is different; it's a positive-sum game. One person's discovery is a discovery for the whole team as they construct the narrative and deduce who the murderer is.

And isn't this the way with systems and people? And life in general. Some see it as zero-sum, others as positive-sum.

Why Board Games?

Creative thinking, collaboration, negotiation, communication, laughter, cooperation, deferred gratification, resilience, determination, analysis, relationship building, cognitive flexibility, happiness, modelling real life, patience and imagination. For starters. In fact, sociologist Michel Crozier in his seminal book, Actors and Systems (1977), models all organisations as games that the people in them are playing. And psychiatrist Eric Berne in Games People Play (1954) describes human interaction and relationships as just a series of different strategy games that we don't generally realise we're playing.

Trexit & Learning

They say that President Trump's approach to leadership is zero-sum. For him to win, someone else must loose. The news today, as I'm writing this, notes that he's is about to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. And Brexit. It's December '17 and the UK is bringing to bear all the negotiation capacity it has on to the issues of EU trade and Irish boarders.

I really hope that it is January 2018 and you are reading this.

What to learn from games in a world like this? The easy option is to recommend every school has a games club that helps pupils to develop 21st Century skills. That's a valuable but minimal response. How about something radical? How about this:

That school curricula should be formally based around the following skills and that these skills must to be taught, progressed and assessed from ages 4-18. These are not optional add-ons. They are as core as Literacy and Numeracy.

  • Negotiation
  • Collaboration
  • Win-Win Thinking
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Analytic Thinking

And every pupil plays board games every school week and, with their teacher's help, maps what they learn on to real life contexts.

I've yet to find an evidenced, compelling argument to NOT do this. Though I'd love to hear your thoughts. And all about your favourite board games.

And if you are intrigued by Mysterium, then visit Amazon or BoardGameGeek and read the reviews for more information.

Related Resources:

Glass Bead Thinking

Glass Bead Thinking Powerpoint


There are no Comments

Please Login to Comment