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Experiential Learning in the Classroom: Reacting to the Past games

Tony Crider, Department of Physics, Elon University

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. 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 can also be modified to create one-week games appropriate for science classes or for introducing the pedagogy to new players. In this workshop we will briefly discuss the rules for Reacting to the Past games, restage a 1999 panel debate over Pluto held at the American Museum of Natural History, and consider assessment issues. Instructor materials for The Pluto Debate and other Reacting to the Past games are available online (www.rttp.org).

Session Resources

www.RTTP.org - Website with tons of "Reacting to the Past" game materials (free accounts for faculty).

Session Presentation [.pdf]

"Debating Pluto: Searching for the Classroom of the Future and Ending Up in the Past" [.pdf] by Tony Crider