On June 13th, 2012, Charles Nesson hosted a meeting on "Bringing Mindsports into the Classroom and Beyond: A Workshop on Curriculum Design and Civic Education" at Harvard Law School. A brief description of the event is below; a short report from the meeting will be posted to this website soon.
Building on recent educational trends that have sought to incorporate ‘strategic games’ and ‘games of skill’ into teaching practices, "Bringing Mindsports into the Classroom and Beyond: A Workshop on Curriculum Design and Civic Education" focused on developing a novel curriculum for teaching “mindsports”-- such as Dominos, Draughts (10 X 10 Checkers), Chess, Bridge, and Poker-- to diverse students across varied environments, communities, and contexts. Taught by outstanding competitors and designed to help learners develop intuitive thinking processes and skills, this innovative curriculum will employ various teaching styles and learning abilities, provide instruction at several levels of expertise and experience, and be adaptable to diverse learning environments. Resulting curricular models will help students to develop skills that have educational, emotional, intellectual and economic benefits, applicable not only to mind sport cooperation and competition, but beyond.
The day’s events were led by HLS Professor Charles Nesson. Also participating were members of the Harvard Law School Library, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the MIT Media Lab, as well as representatives of the United States Mindsport Association. All participants shared an interest in “learning through games.” The workshop focused on envisioning a strategy for developing school and after school curricular materials as well as associated online tools and resources, such as customizable syllabi and tutorials with masters. Key to roll out and implementation will be the development of guidance for new instructors, including teachers and librarians, on methods and tools for teaching mindsports in the classroom.
Throughout the day, participants investigated the connection between these practical activities and the future of civic education. How can being a strategic thinker or a ‘player in the game’ transform understandings of citizen engagement? Our goal is to enrich active citizenry and its instruction through a curriculum geared towards learners in traditional and non-traditional venues, including classrooms, libraries, and other centers of civic engagement and participation.