Teacher Agency and Dialogical Positions in Relation to Game-Based Design Activities

Thorkild Hanghøj, Birgitte Lund Nielsen, Charlotte Krog Skott, Stine Ejsing-Duun

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The aim of this paper is to present a framework for understanding how teachers experience teaching of game-based design activities with particular emphasis on teacher agency and dialogical positions. Building on earlier work, the paper presents theories for conceptualising teacher agency and dialogic positions when working with game-based design activities. The empirical context is the large-scale design intervention project GBL21 (gbl21.aau.dk), where students design and redesign games in mathematics, science and Danish. The participating teachers are introduced to a series of predesigned teaching units, which they have to adapt to their local school context. This brings us to our research question: What are the teachers’ experiences with the game-based design activities in the GBL21 units? In particular, we will thematically analyse how teachers position themselves and enact agency in data from group interviews with teachers from two schools that participate in the GBL21 project. Our preliminary findings suggest that the teachers put strong emphasis on 1) creating meaningful learning opportunities as seen from the students’ perspective, 2) scaffolding subject-related dialogues with the materiality of the games, and 3) balancing their adaptations of the GBL21 units in relation to the expectations to them as participants in a research project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on Games-Based Learning : ECGBL 2020
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9781912764716
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764709
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesEuropean Conference on Games Based Learning


  • learning, educational science and teaching


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