It's too easy to point out Confucius' saying that ends with "I do and I understand". But it's also true! Learners must be highly involved in experiential teaching strategies to be successful 21st century citizens.

The Sum of McLeod’s Seven Key Components.

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If on the other hand you lean to the “Guide on the Side” approach it is equally important to recognize this. Are you committed to sometimes “messy” lesson structure? Are you tuned in enough to the dynamics of your class to grab the so-called discrepant event? Are you committed to using the simulation experience to catalyze discovery – constructivist learning?

These factors are of great value if your students are unfamiliar with simulation / role play’s expectations of them. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Come Next?

How many times have you taught a lesson or made a presentation and have seen your participants “continue the conversation” after you had completed the activity? It does happen I know. But how often have you observed that?

The fact that it  likely  is a rare “sighting” may be attributed to several root causes. One obvious one is that students, as they scoot off home, to lunch, to an activity or another class haven’t the time to ponder the wonder(s) of a class whose ending has been characterized by a piercing signal that the class is over and whose subliminal message is that they  should shed their  thoughts at the classroom door before they enter the hallway. Read the rest of this entry »

The Grand Finale

You’ve been able to “herd the cats”. You have monitored and adjusted against the students’ needs and your own instructional / learning needs. Students have engaged well and have followed the flow-process of the simulation and now you are able to bang the drums for the great crescendo, the Grand Finale.

Let’s talk about this. How did you design the simulation to end?

MATHEMATICALLY? That is, you fashioned a process that inexorably leads the simulation to specific conclusions. For example, Cutthroat, a Simulation of the Industrial Revolution, uses a Supply and Demand graph that dictates how many cars the Automobile Companies can sell at the price they set. A profit chart helps the companies decide whether they made money to sustain themselves. Computer simulations are even more complex about this approach. They will have logarithms that will determine the outcome along the flow of decisions made and not made. Read the rest of this entry »

I think Madeline Hunter said that a teacher makes 300 decisions a day. Anyone who has taught 25 students every 40 minutes can certainly think of 300 decisions in a period let alone a day.

The deciding during a simulation may actually compound that number. I have used the conducting the  orchestra metaphor before I know but it certainly applies here as well as we consider the teacher – facilitator role amidst the multi dimensions of experiential activity. Read the rest of this entry »