Event Title

Bringing History to Life Through the Use of Simulation in an American Government Classroom

Faculty Advisor

Leah Nillas

Graduation Year

2018

Location

Room 102, State Farm Hall

Start Date

21-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 11:00 AM

Description

The social sciences have been given a stigma in education because of concerns of monotonous teaching styles and difficulties with engaging students in the content. This study aims to identify how the use of simulation in an American Government classroom can improve student cognitive engagement and increase retention of the content. In previous studies, teachers have found the incorporation of online simulation, problem-based learning (Pagnotti and Russell, 2015), and the use of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (1948) in the classroom lead to an increase in student engagement and motivate students to take control of their own learning. This study was conducted in a rural high school in an American Government classroom with twenty-three juniors and five seniors. Student work samples, video clips, teacher field notes, and student reflections and surveys were content analyzed. Students participated in three simulation activities (i.e., committee work, a 2-day role-play of the House of Representatives, and an online game on the US court structure). They collaborated, problem-solved, and debated during these simulations. In today’s classrooms, engaging students in the social science content can be challenging for teachers. This study aims to identify that simulations encourage students to become more invested in the content leading to higher content retention and learning outcomes.

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Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 11:00 AM

Bringing History to Life Through the Use of Simulation in an American Government Classroom

Room 102, State Farm Hall

The social sciences have been given a stigma in education because of concerns of monotonous teaching styles and difficulties with engaging students in the content. This study aims to identify how the use of simulation in an American Government classroom can improve student cognitive engagement and increase retention of the content. In previous studies, teachers have found the incorporation of online simulation, problem-based learning (Pagnotti and Russell, 2015), and the use of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (1948) in the classroom lead to an increase in student engagement and motivate students to take control of their own learning. This study was conducted in a rural high school in an American Government classroom with twenty-three juniors and five seniors. Student work samples, video clips, teacher field notes, and student reflections and surveys were content analyzed. Students participated in three simulation activities (i.e., committee work, a 2-day role-play of the House of Representatives, and an online game on the US court structure). They collaborated, problem-solved, and debated during these simulations. In today’s classrooms, engaging students in the social science content can be challenging for teachers. This study aims to identify that simulations encourage students to become more invested in the content leading to higher content retention and learning outcomes.