"Can Students Learn the Process of Science through Role-Playing?"

Concurrent Sessions, AAC&U Conference on Engaged STEM Learning: From Promise to Pervasive Practice
March 24-26, 2011
Miami, FL

Two RTTP Concurrent Sessions featured at upcoming AAC&U Conference, Engaged STEM Learning: From Promise to Pervasive Practice

Creating Integrative and Interdisciplinary Environments

"Reacting to the Past: Can Students Learn the Process of Science through Role-Playing?"

Abstract: The Reacting to the Past (RTTP) pedagogy has proven to engage students at a deep level by having them debate big questions as part of elaborate role-playing games. RTTP has been applied successfully in a variety of institutional contexts and with students of every level of preparation for college, including ESL students. With the support of National Science Foundation, the RTTP collaborative is developing six chapter-length RTTP games suitable for inclusion in traditional STEM courses. These will complement the four existing book-length RTTP games related to science. This poster will present an overview and learning outcomes of the RTTP games.

David E. Henderson, Professor of Chemistry—Trinity College; and Susan K. Henderson, Professor of Chemistry—Quinnipiac University

Liberal Education and America’s Promise Featured Session: Creating Integrative and Interdisciplinary Environments 

"Reacting to the Past: The Pluto Debate"

The Reacting to the Past pedagogy, pioneered by Barnard College, consists of elaborate role-playing games set in the past and informed by classic texts. A well-tested tool for achieving the first LEAP Essential Learning Outcome, knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, Reacting to the Past is commonly used in writing-intensive, first-year seminars where students collaborate in factions to debate a “big question.” This pedagogy is now being expanded and modified for use in science classes. During this workshop, participants will play The Pluto Debate: The International Astronomical Union Defines a Planet. Before the session begins, they will be assigned roles as astronomers arguing over Pluto’s status as a planet and the definition of what constitutes a planet. They will then re-stage a 1999 debate that took place at the American Museum of Natural History. Finally, they will vote on the four resolutions proposed by the International Astronomical Union in 2006.

Tony Crider, Chair, Department of Physics, and Megan Squire, Associate Professor of Computing Science—both of Elon University

Additional Information

The preliminary conference program available at http://www.aacu.org/meetings/STEM/documents/STEM11Program.pdf.

Mar. 25, 2012 - 6:11 PM