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Computer Games: An Approach To Increase Critical Thinking In Mathematics

2565 words - 10 pages

There are many views surrounding the use of computer games in the classroom. Some argue that computer games are a valuable asset to the education sector while others are skeptical about this view. The truth is that people have changed the way they interact in the 21st Century and technology has played an important role. According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009, only twenty-six percent of U.S. students scored above level 4 (level 4 refers to the ability to complete higher order tasks) in the area of mathematics. This is lower that 32 percent of students in the other 33 countries assessed (Lemke, Sen, Pahlke, Partelow, Miller, Williams, Kastberg, & Jocelyn, 2004). With these statistics in mind, we come to the conclusion that there is deficit in the teaching/learning process of critical thinking skills in the area of mathematics. This study will examine the use of a computer game in the classroom as a mean to increase the critical thinking skills in mathematics. Three schools will be participating in this study with 20 students from each school. There will be a total sample of 60 participants. The students will be administered the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) as a pre/post test. The students will participate in a 30-minute tutorial class. The treatment group will be using a computer game to enhance their mathematical critical thinking skills for a period of 12 weeks. The expected results should demonstrate an increase of scores in the post-test from the treatment group compared to the comparison groups.

Computer Games: An Approach to Increase Critical Thinking in Mathematics
In recent years technology has changed the way people interact with one another. The advancements of technology have also increased the challenges of teachers in the 21st Century classroom. Skills that include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity are essential for the 21st Century learner (Lowther, Inan, Ross, & Strahl, 2012). The use of computer games has been proposed as an option to implement these essential skills through the use of computers and cooperative learning where students are motivated by companionship, collaboration, competition, and challenge (Trespalacios, Chamberlin, & Gallagher, 2011) Furthermore, computer games may have a positive effect on student motivation. These games have the capability of providing the needed motivation enhancement that the technology-dependent student needs (Petkov & Rogers, 2011). Students are driven to playing games because they are “fun”. The attractiveness of playing a computer game is focused on the experience rather than an external reward (Przybylski, Rigby, & Ryan, 2010). Many studies have focused on the motivational value of computer games classifying them as an effective tool that promotes student engagement (Chen, Liao, Cheng, Yeh, & Chan, 2012). In some cases the use of games are associated with the increase of self-esteem in students...

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