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.

Archive for the ‘Role Play in learning’ Category

Pulse Taking the Process: Managing the Magic

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…)

Watch Magic Happen, Making Magic Happen Part I

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…)

You Gotta Be in it to Win it

The last post briefly spoke to equal roles for all participants. This point is so important that I thought I’d spend an additional post on the premise. Remember too, that the previous post spoke about role-taking and role playing. Insofar as these concepts are important on whole they are that much more essential in designing roles so that each student / participant feels that whatever role they have taken has value.

Where the previous post elaborated on assuring that each role player understood clearly, their own and where applicable, their whole group’s tasks, this notion must be balanced by an even distribution of responsibilities for each. (more…)

Trolling Through Roles in Simulation Design

I once created what I thought was a great simulation designed to identify the causes of World War I. I created a simple model. I then set up groups of students to “play” the key countries in the conflict: Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, the United States.

Within each country-group I had the students take additional roles as Prime Minister/Czar/President etc.; as Foreign Secretary; War Minister etc. I took great care to

1. Clearly lay out the attitudes and beliefs of each country. (more…)

“What Gets Measured Gets Done”. How Do I Evaluate Experiential Activities?

On the one hand it is troublesome to me that this question needs to be answered. But on another I understand the need. We can rail against the tide about this age of accountability all we want but isn’t it the truth that the good teacher can always gauge how or to what extent their teaching, whatever strategies they use, work on  two levels; i.e. on the whole class and on the individual?

And on that same one hand again, assessing the effectiveness of experiential strategies, of simulation and role play activities, etc., can be troublesome to a teacher or to school leaders if their paradigm of measurement is superficial and / or quick fix.

And on that other same hand it falls to curriculum and lesson designers to align the goals of such strategies to blunt the naysayers’ criticisms by schooling THEM on how to assess experiential teaching for their true worth. (more…)