Parents definitely have influence over pedagogical approaches to learning and teaching, as stated in our course notes. Reading Bourgonjon (2011), he notes 3 levels where parental belief have impact:

  1. negative beliefs about video games
  2. video games and home rules
  3. public policy levels – access restriction to VG with potentially harmful content.

It appears that these 3 areas focus on negative parental belief. Video games seem to be apart from other media, such as TV because of the interactive nature whereby game experiences are usually shared with peers, rather than parents (Bourgonjon, p.1435).

“Besides acknowledging that games can have positive effects, like enhanced cognitive thinking skills, parents express concerns about (a) the balance between the children’s video game play and other activities, (b) the content of games, (c) the potential harmful effects, and (d) mediation strategies (Kutner et al., 2008). Their strategies to watch over the game playing habits of their children more or less resemble traditional mediation techniques, ranging from downright disapproval and restriction, over rule setting, to co-playing and talking about games (He, Piche, Beynon, & Harris, 2010; Kearney & Pivec, 2007; Kutner et al., 2008; Nikken & Jansz, 2006; Scharrer & Leone, 2008; Skoien & Berthelsen, 1996).” (p. 1435)

This reminds me of the advocation by Extra Credit for parents to participate more fully in the life of games of their children:

I wonder too, if even in the past five years, since the article was written whether there is now a greater acceptance of ‘perceived learning opportunities’ (Bourgonjon et al., 2010) for digital games by parents. While the author mentions diminishing gender differences in game play; gender is still an important element to consider. Informal surveys have been occurring within my school context, but nothing that I am aware of that looks at parental and community perceptions. Obviously a gap to be addressed. As an international school, the social barriers to acceptance of games in education (game based learning) is not an issue.  Apparently research indicates that mothers display greater support for media regulation than fathers (p. 1437). I wonder if this is across all socio-economic-cultural milieus?However, within my context there may be cultural barriers to consider. To overcome negative opinions, I would welcome parents into the learning environment, so that they may experience first hand the learning opportunities provided by digital games.

Reference:

Bourgonjon, J. (2011). Parental acceptance of digital game-based learningComputers & Education, (1), 1434-1444.

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