Committee of N: Playful Design in Teacher Education
Committee of N is a collaborative card game where players deepen their learning about educational policy and the history of education in the U.S. by creating new kinds of schools based on design constraints implemented through random card draws. In the core game play, players are randomly assigned educational values (e.g. belief in multiple intelligences or achievement on high-stakes tests) from a deck along with a specific school element (bell schedule, graduation requirements, etc.), and they then creatively design the element to reflect their defined values. By using cards as context for discussion, research, and design, undergraduate education students become animated about the possibilities of designing and imagining the school they would most like to teach in, grounded in theory and practice. By examining student work created in the normal course of class, by interviewing students and teaching staff, and by examining student artifacts, I will make the case that students are learning and reflecting as educational professionals. I will argue that game affordances and construction kit affordances help students create a constructive lens, marking a professional capacity to decompose existing learning environments as well as to modify and design their own.
Eric Klopfer, Professor, Director of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program
Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab
Barry Fishman, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Learning Technologies, University of Michigan