How Learners are Developing Social-Emotional Skills with Minecraft

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In 2017, Microsoft worked with educational researchers at Getting Smart on a study of students learning with Minecraft: Education Edition. More than 90% of surveyed teachers cited problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration as skills gained through using Minecraft in the classroom. In the two years since the study, several additional reports have cited the social-emotional learning (SEL) benefits of Minecraft. Our educator community has shared stories like this one about students developing empathy, practicing conflict resolution, and demonstrating leadership skills—all when Minecraft: Education Edition is part of the classroom learning environment.

The Class of 2030 report predicted that by 2030, between 30 to 40 percent of jobs will require explicit social-emotional skills. Students interviewed for this study explained their interest in personalized learning: “to explore and make choices that unlock their curiosity and potential, and they want teachers who know and understand them as individuals.” Minecraft is committed to meeting students and educators where they are, with learning content and features that help them thrive in the classroom and beyond.

We’re excited to launch a new SEL content pack for BETT 2020. This set of special lessons and immersive worlds for Minecraft: Education Edition will help educators teach social-emotional skills and create more inclusive classrooms.

Mindful Knight

The Mindful Knight

Discover The Mindful Knight, an interactive world that introduces mindfulness, social awareness, and self-regulation through a series of exciting quests through a medieval world. This activity was produced by an interdisciplinary team of game designers, Microsoft Hackathon participants, and educators. The Mindful Knight introduces four mindfulness practices focused around self-awareness and management of emotions.

Digital Citizenship

Explore Digital Citizenship in this lesson about being a responsible internet user. As they explore a Minecraft world, students will encounter areas that address issues like griefing, trolling, plagiarism, and respectful online conduct. The accompanying lesson plan includes a discussion guide and sample social contracts for your classroom.

Inspiration Island

Inspiration Island is a floating theme park designed to introduce students and educators to Creative Mode in Minecraft: Education Edition. The lesson plan covers self-awareness, communication, and self-expression. This world was created by the Minecraft game design team and is available on all versions of Minecraft.

SEL Research Round-up

Here’s a round-up of research on how students develop SEL skill with games like Minecraft:

The Emotion & Cognition research that was conducted in 2019 in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) discovered evidence that not only are educators prioritizing social-emotional learning and student well-being, but they’re also “actively seeking ways to nurture it in their classrooms, across the school environment, and in their communities.” These new resources from Minecraft: Education Edition provide content to help teachers get started using game-based learning to promote SEL.

Read more stories about how Minecraft: Education Edition is impacting classrooms around the world here, and share your SEL stories with us on Twitter and Facebook by tagging @PlayCraftLearn or using the hashtag #MinecraftEdu.