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Evolution and natural selection: learning by playing and reflecting

, , , , , , Department of Educational Sciences, University of Alcal

NAERJ Volume 3, Number 1, ISSN 2254-7339 Publisher: University of Alicante


Scientific literacy is more than the simple reproduction of traditional school science knowledge and requires a set of skills, among them identifying scientific issues, explaining phenomena scientifically and using scientific evidence. Several studies have indicated that playing computer games in the classroom can support the development of students’ conceptual understanding about scientific phenomena and theories. Our paper presents a research study where the role of the video game Spore as a learning tool was analysed in a Biology class. An ethnographical perspective served as the framework for the organization and development of a workshop comprised of five sessions with 22 4th grade students, and their Biology teacher. The results show that this video game could become an interesting learning tool to improve students’ understanding of evolution and natural selection. The students could combine their previous knowledge with the academic knowledge obtained though the simulation presented by the video game. To sum up, an attempt has been made to give some empirical guidance about effective approaches to the utilisation of games in classrooms, additionally paying attention to a number of concerns related to the effectiveness of video games as learning tools.


Herrero, D., del Castillo, H., Monjelat, N., Garca-Varela, A., Checa, M. & Gomez, P. (2014). Evolution and natural selection: learning by playing and reflecting. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research (NAER Journal), 3(1), 26-33. University of Alicante. Retrieved September 23, 2020 from .



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