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 simulation is ready to go.

As any good facilitator, everything has been planned for. Participants are primed. Process is clear. Now it’s ready for action.

So start it already while also realizing that  now it is important to understand your own role in a good simulation experience.

There are at least two choices for you as simulation leader and here I steal, I forget from whom, the “Guide on the Side Versus the Sage on the Stage” mindset that every teacher must self-confront. Are you a facilitative instructor or are you a directive instructor?

The easy one to discuss is the latter and most likely, if you subscribe to the paradigm that you are Information – Giver Supreme, AKA “Sage on the Stage” you would have been hard pressed in the first place to have decided to use a published let alone to have designed a simulation. But assuming that for one reason or another you have come this far it’s really critical that you consciously recognize the role you will mean to play as the simulation kicks into gear.

You must decide if you “trust your students” to engage the process and to self-direct their activities so that as the simulation takes its course the sum of the students’ decisions and thinking are the energy and the direction of the simulation’s conclusions.

If you do trust their students’ abilities to do this,  it’s likely a result of your having taken the advice of these many posts to have empowered and trained them to follow the simulation’s processes and direction. If, as discussed in earlier posts, their activities steer the simulation to a place you’d not expected, you can use sophisticated dialogue strategies to help them analyze the sum of their actions.

If you do not trust them then you might self reflect whether you have set them up properly, particularly if they are not used to simulation role-play strategies. You can adjust and intervene and then turn them loose.

You can also be more directive then. Participants for sure will sniff out any teaching uncertainty you might have so it would be better to suggest and steer them even if it may limit students’ thinking and decision making skills’ mastery.

At least in the end the simulation will conclude with plenty of skills and plenty of content for you to analyze with your students.

And following the processes and dynamics of the simulation with your thumb “deep” in their pie, you have a successful experiential – based teaching experience!


Comments on: "Watch Magic Happen, Making Magic Happen Part I" (2)

  1. Jay Geiger said:

    The simulations we did in our 7th and 8th grade Social Studies classes at OBJHS were some of the most memorable highlights of my secondary education.

  2. Much appreciated. The strategy has application across K-12, Higher Ed, and Corporate too.

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