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Role play

November 10, 2019


Role Play

Strand- culture and identity
Sub-strand- culture and heritage


Role-play is an effective learning strategy in which students act the part of another character, thereby gaining an appreciation for others’ points of view as well an understanding of the complexity of resolving issues and problems in the real world. In the context of social studies, this strategy may be used to learn about issues and decisions of the past (and how things might have been different) or about current issues in the local community or in a broader setting. Aside from knowledge acquisition, preparing and conducting a role-play activity strengthens students’ knowledge acquisition skills, their creativity, their value clarification skills, and a variety of interpersonal skills identified in the curriculum outcomes.
Preparation for Role-Play:
 • Identify an appropriate issue or controversy, past or present, that requires resolution.
 • Select an issue that involves a number of parties, each of which brings its own perspectives to the debate or discussion.
 • Students should have a good general knowledge of the issue before roles are selected.
• Clearly identify the parties and individuals involved, and select roles accordingly.
• All students should have a specific role. In addition to participants in the actual debate, there might be members of a commission, court personnel, civic leaders, media, et cetera.
• Students conduct research to collect information about the specific views of the party or individual they represent in the role-play.
 • Students use information they have collected to clarify their viewpoints and to develop their arguments and strategies for maximum effect in the role-play activity.
• Students also seek to understand other viewpoints and to develop counter-arguments.
 • The nature of the role-play activity (council meeting, public hearing, court case, etc.) is determined and reviewed before proceeding. 
Conducting the Role-Play:
• Ensure that the physical setting (room, furniture placement, necessary equipment) is appropriate for the nature of the role-play.
 • Props and costumes may be included to provide a more authentic experience.
 • The issue and its real-life setting are reviewed before proceeding.
 • Unless playing a specific character, the teacher’s role should be limited to occasional procedural advice as appropriate. At no time should the teacher attempt to influence or favor a particular viewpoint.
• The role-play activity should have an appropriate real-life conclusion, such as a statement or decision announcement by the head of a commission, judge, or mayor.
 • In the case of a hearing or court case, the role-play should include an opportunity for the commissioners or jury to meet, discuss evidence provided, and reach a decision. Debriefing In order to maximize the role-play learning experience, it is critical for students to have an opportunity to step out of their roles and debrief, including a discussion on how they felt playing the role, and a review of the issues and the evidence and arguments presented. Individual students’ positions may or may not have changed; however, they will have a much better understanding of the issues as well as the complexity and importance of resolving real-world problems. Solving problems involves debate, negotiations, and consensus building.
Cultural heritage is part of the identity of every nation, and even youngest students need to be encouraged to preserve it. It is important that they try to understand the importance of cultural heritage, and the connection with the contemporary and responsible role of each individual in fostering and preserving it.
Among other things, school and teachers can also contribute to greater awareness of the importance and preservation of cultural heritage. The role of school and teacher is to encourage students to learn about different cultures, while preserving their national identity, their culture, social, moral and spiritual heritage 
By observing the Social Studies lessons, representation of cultural heritage content in randomly selected lessons of Social Studies was analysed. The results showed that at the observed lessons most of the teachers addressed the content from the section Historical development. This is followed by the content sets Hometown, Home landscape, and Traces of the past. Content sets Children’s rights, Participation in community, Social issues, and The state of Slovenia were not addressed at any of the observed lessons. At 29 observed lessons of Social Studies we noticed the treatment of cultural heritage. At 39 lessons the cultural heritage was not addressed. Most of the teachers who discussed the contents of cultural heritage in the observed lessons of Social Studies addressed the contents of Historical development. This is followed by the contents of Traces of the past, Home landscape, Hometown, and Slovenia―location and characteristics. The results thus presented the situation from the Curriculum for Social Studies . specially with the content of cultural heritage, it is important that students identify with it to understand why it is important and, consequently, know how to preserve it, and ultimately want to do so. Even though, sample of observed lessons teachers is not representative, it provides basics for planning broader research. There are also some cautions related to the use of structured observation techniques which can be structured into three subsections: theoretical and epistemological criticisms, methodological concerns and pragmatic concerns


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