Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Role Playing as a Teaching Method

In the article, Dr. Kanokwan and Zoe Pollack discuss the technique of role playing as used as a teaching method, primarily for students who are learning more about humanities and social sciences. The author reinforces the idea that role playing can involve students actively in the learning process by allowing them to act as stakeholders in an imagined or real scenario.

The author describes designing the role play and implementing a role play activity for students to perform in a humanities or social sciences classroom. The role play method enables students to develop a greater understanding and develop negotiation skills in a controlled environment. Students (or teacher) will need to select an event that illuminates key theories or may be of importance to the topic of study. Students are then given necessary background knowledge, either readings or assignments, and assigned roles as preparation. The length of the process can vary according to the aims the educator has for the activity.

In creating a role play activity for students, the author outlines steps for implementation of the activity:
1. Briefing Stage
2. Interaction State
3. Forum Stage
4. Debriefing Stage

This article demonstrates how role play can be used to create a stimulating environment for students to develop a deeper understandings of complex ideas. In addition, the author outlines the suggested way to perform additional role plays using topics designated as important for other educators.

Manorom, K., & Pollock, Z. (2006). Role play as a teaching method. Mekong Learning Initiative, Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/26109576/Role-Play-As-A-Teaching-Method-A-Practical-Guide


  1. Seems like a fairly standard list for almost any in-class activity, really. Tell them what to do, have them do it, have them talk about it among themselves and then tell them what they should have learned, as their teacher.

    That said, I imagine we'll be using a process fairly similar to this on Thursday for the in-class activity! :P

  2. Did the author of the article specify or recommend a number of times that the students should go through a role play exercise? I think repetition is also a key factor in helping the lessons learned from role-play stick.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I personally prefer this method of teaching and learning since it is actually considerably different from other methods. In my high school's history class, we each took on a role or character from the Missouri Compromise and had to defend our own goals and objectives against each other while trying to put together a compromise. Each student had to research their part or character and what their ideals and goals were, then we met together as one large group and went at it as our characters. It was an enlightening experience that brought us as close to the 1820s and 1830s as possible. (A few typos and errors were in the first post)