In September, Minecraft: Education Edition launched a new world that focused on the indigenous Māori culture in New Zealand. Earlier in the same year, Microsoft teamed up with WWF to offer an interactive science curriculum for the game.
In the first major feature update for this year, a new world and lesson plan - The Mindful Knight - has been released for owners of the education-centric version of the famed Minecraft brand. This world sees players focused on completing a series of trials to obtain knighthood.
The Mindful Knight experience aims to the refinement of students' social-emotional skills, with specific focus on mental health. The learning objectives for the lesson plan have thus been outlined as follows:
- SELF-AWARENESS An individual has the ability to identify and name one’s emotions and their influence on behavior.
- SELF-MANAGEMENT & COPING SKILLS An individual develops and demonstrates the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts and behaviors in context with people different than oneself.
- SOCIAL MANAGEMENT An individual has the ability to make safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.
The basics of the characteristics of mindfulness can be run through in an estimated time of 50 minutes. This involves four trials, completion of each of which promises a reward of a different relic, with the ultimate goal of being granted the status of a knight. The trials requires the usage of various "mindful behaviours", and essentially aim to teach students that having the confidence to mind their feelings appropriately is more important than a material prize.
A major part of this experience focuses on the utilization of a camera and journal in the form of in-game items. These enable players to document their journey and educators to review and respond to these entries accordingly.
Educators who currently do not own Minecraft: Education Edition can learn more about it at the official website, and download it here. For those who own it already, the lesson plan should be available in-game, though the world files for Mindful Knight can be separately obtained here as well.