Extracts from a independent study by Ms Sarah Lister and Pauline Palmer on the effects of Emile Maths Games.
Below is a summary of the results of a study conducted on the impact of Emile Maths Games in primary schools in Tameside in Manchester England by academics from the Faculty of Education of Manchester Metropolitan University – Ms Sarah Lister and Dr Pauline Palmer.
- There is a lot of evidence to support how the Emile Games help with both children’s conceptual understanding in mathematics as well as opportunities to be exposed to key mathematical language in either the children’s first language or in a second language.
- The games provide a meaningful context for children to engage with abstract mathematical ideas in a way that enables them to make progress in their learning.
- The games enable learners to revisit key concepts which allows them to develop deeper understanding of the ideas.
- Children enjoy playing the games. The characters and the story are designed to appeal to children of this age group. Playing them promotes a positive attitude to mathematics, a subject which research has shown, can provoke anxiety. Building positive attitudes early on supports learners in their later studies.
- Playing games enables learners to take risks and to try out ideas without fear of failure.
- The audio- visual nature of the games and the accompanying graphics meet the needs of all learners.
- The way that key vocabulary is developed and reinforced enable children to become more confident in their mathematics and in talking about their own ideas. It is this talk about the subject which can serve to refine thinking, enabling children to articulate key ideas for themselves.
- Children in this study were very clear that playing the games had given them time to think – as they were in control and could pause and go back to the help menu. Hence, the games encourage the development of independent learning which is key to success in education in the 21st century.
- The children also commented on how the games enabled them to practice the mathematics and after playing the game a second time, they started to remember/recall the mathematics and language more easily.
- The data also begins to offer some insight into the children’s cognitive processes and the important role the games play in developing their thinking. The children comment on how the games helped them think more and develops their concentration skills.
- There is evidence to show the positive impact of the Emile games in terms of self-esteem and confidence. The children recognise the value of being given space to make mistakes and that in the context of the games, it doesn’t matter. They understand that this is how they learn and the games allow them a second chance/an opportunity to re-visit the learning without the fear of failure. It is also a sharp reminder of the huge potential of games-based learning resources to boost learner motivation and engagement.
- The children also talked about it being hard and them really having to think but they did not give up. They persevered and in doing so, they found solutions to problems/these challenges and therefore the games helped to build resilience.