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Reciprocal Disconnectedness: Computer Games, Schooling and Boys at Risk


E-Learning Volume 4, Number 2, ISSN 1741-8887


Ethnomethodology is the analytical frame used here to recover embedded cultural discursive phenomena in the language of "at risk" middle-school boys as they talk about "computer games" and "schooling". What emerges is a rich picture of myths and heroes, identities of participation where member values and a discernible moral order are part of the "gaming" culture. A second picture emerges of "boys in school". Here "sleepers, avoiders and disconnected teachers" are disclosed through conversational structures as identities of non-participation in the classroom. Through student talk we learn that identities of non-participation are a reciprocal phenomena, wherein these students and their teachers co-construct a reciprocal disconnectedness, each to the other. To the individual learner, the computer game is "serious fun"; to the classroom it is a "peripheral distraction"; to the school community it is a marker for identifying boys "at risk" of disengaging. Each of these individual accounts stands only as a "partial" explanation of the role of computer games in schooling. The article argues that our ability to nourish learners' inner capacities is not dependent on the level or nature of technology, but on the creative learning applications it invokes.


Baskin, C. & Taylor, R. (2007). Reciprocal Disconnectedness: Computer Games, Schooling and Boys at Risk. E-Learning, 4(2), 150-160. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .

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