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Stacy Grice, Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D.

Exploratory Professional Development to Integrate Minecraft: Education Edition in the Classroom

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This project is a professional development proposal. The goal of this professional development plan is to motivate a group of teachers in my school (Chadwick Elementary School) to work along with me as we use Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) to enrich our students’ learning experiences in reading, math, and science. The teachers and students at Chadwick Elementary are constantly striving to develop and extend 21st century skills. It is our mission to utilize innovative learning tools that support and enrich our rigorous lessons while at the same time providing the students with a creative outlet from which they can demonstrate their individuality. Student choice and individualized learning plans are goals that can be achieved at Chadwick Elementary School. Minecraft Education Edition is one of the tools that can help us achieve those goals.

The Professional Development Plan that I created is meant to gradually increase teacher participation in the school. Not one teacher at Chadwick is proficient with M:EE (including myself), so I decided to introduce M:EE first to a smaller focus group of teachers interested in trying something new in the classroom. This group will collaborate on tasks as they explore the possibilities of utilizing M:EE in the classroom. Once the focus group has had some experience, I will use their help to diffuse the innovation to the remainder of the school. This Professional Development Plan leads the teachers at my school to come together as a community of learners. Fostering Communities of Learners (FCL) is a constructivist teaching model that emphasizes democratic, student-centred, and inquiry-based instruction “oriented toward the development of higher-order understanding by means of complex, authentic tasks, collaborative scientific research, and reciprocal teaching” ( Shulman & Sherin, 2004). Though I have altered this model to fit the needs of the teachers at my school, it serves as a basis for my professional development plan. Within my plan, the teachers will work together to create meaningful classroom tasks using M:EE. We will explore the many useful features of the program, and, together, we will find the best way to meet the needs of our students.

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