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Cooperative Games in Education

Building Community Without Competition, Pre-K–12

Suzanne Lyons Alfie Kohn

176 pages
Teachers College Press

Cooperative Games in Education is the first comprehensive guide to the world of cooperative play and games for pre-K–12 learning. It includes a thorough pedagogical rationale and guidelines for practice, a survey of related research and scholarship, engaging anecdotes, illustrations, historical background, and an array of sample games to try. In cooperative games, players win or lose together, sharing the experience of fun and challenge. No one can be eliminated in a cooperative game. What is eliminated is us-versus-them perception and zero-sum thinking. When students come to see each other as allies, rather than rivals, there are profound interpersonal effects that enhance community, inclusion, and a positive classroom climate where all can learn and thrive. This accessible, lively resource explains the value of cooperative games with guidance to help teachers use them for maximum social-emotional and academic benefit. Cooperative Games in Education will also interest the broader community of administrators, therapists, school psychologists, game designers, child-care providers, and others who care for children and need tools that foster healthy development, positive relationships, and joy.

Book Features:

  • Discussion of relevant research and theory.
  • Best practices for choosing and facilitating cooperative games, including how to integrate them into any curriculum, guide post-game reflection, and convert traditional competitive games to cooperative ones.
  • A full chapter of educational cooperative games correlated to their educational purpose.
  • Discussion of some of the most salient applications of cooperative games, such as social-emotional learning, academic subject-area instruction, cooperative learning, trauma-sensitive practice, bullying prevention, early childhood education, and more.
  • User-friendly features such as questions for reflection, end-of-chapter games, charming author-generated illustrations, and classroom vignettes.
  • A synthesis of interdisciplinary scholarship that includes the work of Montessori, Piaget, Froebel, and Dewey, as well as perspectives from neuroscience and evolutionary biology.
  • The fascinating history of cooperative games, from their origin as a tool for peace education to their current role as a pop-culture entertainment phenomenon.
Author Bio

Suzanne Lyons is a former physics and general science teacher; co-author of Conceptual Integrated Science, a textbook program used internationally and now in its third edition; a teacher trainer; and an award-wining game designer. Suzanne provides workshops and conference presentations on cooperative games, and she continues to educate the public through her website CooperativeGames.com.