Sweden has to be one of the coolest places for a kid to grow up in - First, they introduced the concept of schools with no grades or classrooms, then came Monstrum's amazing playgrounds and now, the coolest idea of all - 'Forcing' 13-year-olds to play Minecraft as part of the classroom curriculum.
The seed for this rather radical idea was planted when the government of Sweden organized a national school competition called 'Future City' for which classrooms were asked to submit their ideas about the kind of structures they envisioned in the Sweden of the future.
It was such a success that educators at Stockholm’s Viktor Rydberg school decided to continue this 'out of the box' thinking by incorporating Minecraft into the class curriculum for 13-year-students.
According to the teachers, the game which challenges kids to use their imagination by building virtual worlds complete with electricity grids, water supply pumps and anything else they would like to see in their future, allows students to think beyond the classroom frontiers. This they believe will help them make better decisions as adults, especially about things like the environmental impact of their actions. And while it may sound radical to most people they liken it to teaching a woodcraft class - except in this case, all the construction is being conducted in a virtual world.
So far, 180, 13-year girls and boys, have participated in this mandatory unit, which not surprisingly has been such a huge hit that the school is planning to make it a permanent addition to their curriculum. It of course augments, not replaces, core subjects like math and science. The educators say that even parents who were a little apprehensive about their kids playing video games at school, are now on board and fully support this decision.
We wonder if any school in the US would even consider such a drastic curriculum addition - And how parents would react. What do you think? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.
Resources: The local.se, gizmag.com