Exploring minecraft as a pedagogical tool to motivate and enhance girls' literacy practices in the secondary English classroom

2017-03-02T04:19:57Z (GMT) by Marcon, Nerissa Mary
This study seeks greater understanding of how digital games can be implemented in English teaching, demonstrating the potential of Minecraft as a pedagogical tool to motivate and enhance literacy practices. With less research conducted into girls’ gaming in comparison to that of boys, this study investigates Minecraft’s capacity to extend girls’ literacy practices. Digital games are accepted in gaming research as integral to contemporary youth culture and their use within the classroom continues to be explored, with this research adding weight to Minecraft’s value for literacy learning. This small study, using practical action research, suggests that girls find Minecraft appealing for literacy learning in English classrooms. They chose to work collaboratively, while making personal connections with Minecraft’s characters and actions, reflecting engagement and active learning. Minecraft allows students to engage in a myriad of literacy practices both as players and external to the game. The girls negotiated design elements, developing awareness of virtual landscape navigation and gaming strategies involving decoding, encoding and problem solving. Girls shared their Minecraft play in Instagram, creating multimodal texts for an authentic audience. I argue that using digital games in English classrooms can productively assist teachers to bridge the divide between students’ outside- and inside-school literacy practices. Incorporating Minecraft as curriculum thus validates and draws from youth culture to enhance the formal learning process.