The architects behind the board game, professional teaching fellow Ruth Lemon and learning designer Richard Durham at the University of Auckland’s education faculty, say it is designed for first year bachelor of education students struggling with history.
“Students were having real problems trying to engage with the revisionist, more accurate histories that we were trying to teach them and introduce them to,” Lemon tells EducationHQ.
“So I was looking for a way really to help combat that and give teacher trainees a chance to really understand accurate histories and to be able to engage with today’s issues in an informed way.”
Up to six players work together to progress through the board game, exploring the history of early Māori and Pākehā engagements in the process.
According to Lemon, learning this aspect of New Zealand history is important for students as they can apply it to their teaching or other career paths.
“If you're in New Zealand you're making a choice to teach in New Zealand, so you need to connect with the land with the histories with the cultures. And I would argue it's the same wherever you are,” she says.
Although the game is intended for university students, Lemon says it can be applied across all education levels.
“I've had feedback that it might work really well with high school students and I've had wider interests, so it's just thinking about how you could adjust it for the different levels,” she says.
Since developing the game, Lemon says there's been a lot of interest from schools and educators.
“I have schools that are lining up saying ‘please, we'd love to access the game’ or ‘we're a local school that is close to Hohi and we'd love to engage with the game’,” she says.
Taking about 45 minutes to complete, the board game also encourages exploration, collaboration and critical thinking skills.