Engaging role play puts the outcome of historical events into the hands of students. Social pressure, choice and a desire to succeed drive most students to engage deeply with your course content.
Explicit roleplay has a rich history in education. Law students use mock-trials to hone their craft; counselors roleplay client contact sessions, and many disciplines require students give presentations or perform project work while acting in the role of the professional they hope to become. In fact, the dialectical method of Socrates is a form of roleplay, wherein participants adopt an aspect for an argument not necessarily their own.
In our last teaching tip we talked about the power of play and how celebrating successes, while minimizing the consequences of failure, can foster an environment of experimentation and discovery. In short, these are key elements that help make learning more fun. This week, we’re going to look at a practical examples of this principle applied in classrooms here at UAF.