A recent study has been published that explores teachers' experiences of using Minecraft Education as an educational tool to foster the development of key competencies and skills in students. (Eadaoin J. Slattery, Deirdre Butler, Michael O’Leary and Kevin Marshall)
The article describes a study where semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 primary school teachers who used Minecraft Education in their classrooms during Ireland's Future is MINE initiative. The interviews were designed to explore teachers' experiences with Minecraft Education, focusing on problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Data analysis was conducted using reflective thematic analysis, and the findings were organized into themes. Dublin City University's research ethics committee granted the study ethical approval. Reflexivity was an important aspect of quality practices in the analysis, and the first author kept a research journal to document their thoughts.
The study explores how teachers used Minecraft Education as an educational tool to develop students' twenty-first-century competencies and skills. The study was conducted during a project-based initiative in primary schools across the island of Ireland. The study identified six themes, including encouraging student collaboration, supporting creativity, and students as active participants in their learning. The findings suggest Minecraft Education promotes genuine collaboration between students, fosters creativity, and encourages students to take responsibility for their learning. Minecraft Education has the potential to be a powerful tool for promoting creativity, providing a learning environment that encourages students to think outside of the box and come up with novel solutions. Additionally, providing students with opportunities for student agency can increase students' academic motivation and satisfaction.
I highly recommend this article to fellow educators looking for opportunities to leverage a student-centred approach to learning that incorporates game-based learning through Minecraft Education.