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Open Access Global justice or other people's problems? Computer gaming and critical reflection in an international classroom

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Global social justice is often portrayed as a project of either developing appropriate dispositions or of amending the rules that govern global interaction. Despite policy pronouncements by many university vice chancellors on the significance of higher education in contributing to learning about global social justice, there is very little documentation of how university students engage with these aspirations. The paper describes and critically analyses doctoral students' responses to a computer game designed to develop insight into contemporary education and global social justice. Drawing on reflections from teaching the course and student assignments over three years, the paper considers some of the strengths and weaknesses of computer gaming as a learning resource for global justice issues in higher education. It highlights how the format of a game both sets specific boundaries to learning in higher education institutions and also limits the parameters regarding how the conditions of others are apprehended. The extent to which reflecting on computer gaming opens up space for more participatory debates concerning justice remains an open question.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-03-01

More about this publication?
  • London Review of Education (LRE) is an international peer-reviewed journal featuring rigorous, theoretically based research into contemporary education. Based at the UCL Institute of Education in London, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is an eclectic and engaging journal that features analysis across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Its articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy, and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to

    Calls for papers
    LRE is planning to feature the following subjects: learning in London; academic literacies. Please see publication homepage for deadlines and how to submit articles on these and other subjects.
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