Integrating game-enhanced mathematics learning into the pre-service training of teachers
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Mathematical literacy is a core literacy that functions as a critical gatekeeper for participation in many aspects of modern society. Research has shown that the way mathematics is taught at school is highly associated with students' achievement and interest levels. Declining interest in mathematics and the need to raise the educational standards of youth in this discipline set a critical agenda for the revision of pedagogical practices. Digital games hold a lot of promise as tools for improving mathematics instruction at the school level. This chapter reports the main insights gained from a study that implemented a game-enhanced learning environment for the training of pre-service elementary school teachers. Teachers experienced some of the ways in which online educational games could help students internalize key mathematical concepts across the school curriculum and build their problem-solving skills, while at the same time improving their attitudes towards the subject. The course also familiarized teachers with the design principles for constructivist gaming environments. Findings indicate a positive impact on teachers' competence in selecting, evaluating, and productively using online games as an instructional tool.