The use of simulation games is a well-established practice in many countries in schools and training although the research into its educational benefits is uneven and fragmentary and little work has been done on the didactic justifications of its use in the educational field; indeed, what there is tends to be more geared towards commercial rather than educational ends with little attention devoted to the underlying structures and concepts or the knowledge or processes one would like to stimulate. There is a considerable body of work on the design, realization and evaluation of simulation games in education but the variety of different criteria used indicates that there is no common theoretical framework regarding the learning epistemology in simulation games. Moreover, the work on methodological issues in the educational context is not explicitly orientated towards best didactic pratices. Reseach of validity and effectiveness of approaches, applicable to educational contexts, opens important pedagogical prospects in the education to complexity, to the extent that they can relate to widespread systems of competences able to integrate the instruments and means application in learning-teahing processes, guided by theoretical models able to orientate decisions and behaviors of the teaching professionality. The aim of this book is to draw attention on the epistemological and methodological aspects of learning through simulation games starting from a repertoire of meanings that can guide research in the educational field. Simulation games in schools can, indeed, represent an important practical and methodological innovation in the teaching of various subjects and the use of new forms of educational technologies that offer a scaffolding for the construction of knowledge and the development of channels of didactic communication. The subject area we have focused on in our work is mathematics, where there is a clear need to link different aspects involved in the learning process- cognitive, emotive social, motor and so on. The interaction in the games can activate connections that bring the aforementioned aspects together and contribute to the sharing of new meanings. This work describes an educational research project based on the main characteristics and functions of simulation games, and aims to encourage the design and realisation of learning environments for the process of learning mathematics and discovering its relationship with reality with reference, in particular, to the acquisition and mastery of a mathematical language by children in primary schools.
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