Susan Seay PhD is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the United States. She works in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction within the School of Education at UAB.
Sue came across the 7puzzle game from a Twitter friend called Jim Wilder (@wilderlab), who himself has bought and enjoyed lots of my games and actually uses them with his student teachers.
After seeing, playing and being won over by the 7puzzle game, Sue has since ordered a few copies for herself and sent me the following e-mail regarding the general use of games & puzzles in the classroom, a view we totally agree on as you can imagine!
The following is a fascinating read from a lady who certainly knows how to engage and inspire her university students – our educators of the future:
I am planning to use the 7puzzle game with classroom teachers I work with. I am trying to get teachers I teach in my university classes (and work with in K-12 public school classrooms) to use games as part of their teaching repertoire for several reasons. Having fun, solving problems, and developing logic while acquiring mathematical knowledge is one of the main reasons, but just as important to me, is the opportunity for children to develop autonomy.
In the U.S., many teachers, most actually, tell children where to sit, what to do, when to do it, how to do it … you get the idea. Using games and letting children decide which game to play, who goes first, who gets a certain color marker, what rules they mutually decide to use while playing, etc., without the teacher making those decisions for them, is an easy way for teachers to begin letting students think for themselves, rather than the teacher being the only one in the room actually making decisions and solving problems that arise.
Games are brilliant for developing physical, social and logico-mathematical knowledge. In the U.S., our educational system seems to be evermore in the clutches of businessmen and profiteers who only want to sell canned, scripted curriculum – one size fits all and boring as hell. Games are important to learning, relatively cheap compared to texts and curriculum packages, and, best of all, children LOVE playing games!
I’d really love to learn about other games you might have and how teachers in the UK are using the games. I am purchasing these myself (unfortunately, there aren’t many funds available for professors to buy materials at most universities these days), so am a little limited in what I can purchase, but I would love to see if some of the schools I work with would buy some of your games for their teachers to use in classrooms or in after-school programs. I will let you know if I can persuade some schools to purchase your games.
If you are interested in purchasing the 7puzzle game, or any other of my games for that matter, as well as consdiering booking me for an inspirational maths/puzzle day for your children, please get in touch by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.