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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Finally! The simulation is in motion. You’ve
– set the model
– set the roles
– identified the tasks
– demonstrated the process
– connected it to the students’ learning needs and expectations
And now the students take charge of their own learning . I guess that means that you can “go home” or do a crossword puzzle at your desk. (more…)
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. (more…)