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ERIC Number: EJ1062730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 95
ISSN: ISSN-0093-3104
On "Stepping Back and Letting Go": The Role of Control in the Success or Failure of Social Studies Simulations
Wright-Maley, Cory
Theory and Research in Social Education, v43 n2 p206-243 2015
This comparative case study presents one key challenge that 2 experienced teachers faced when using simulations: control. Simulations are activities that place high demands on teachers, including the ability to anticipate pitfalls in advance, act in multiple capacities, shape the direction of the activity without unduly interfering, and to be comfortable with the structured chaos that simulations engender. Together these demands strain teachers' restraint when it comes to control. Utilizing a series of interviews, observations, teacher visions of practice, and documents related to the simulations and context, data were collected on experienced teachers' perspectives and practices with simulations. As this article indicates, the use of simulations requires teachers to engage in (soft) control that is applied both subtly and conservatively to maintain simulation's dynamism, verisimilitude, and students' productive engagement. Without such discretion, (hard) control serves as a destructive form of intervention, serving to undermine these teachers' articulated goals. Although simulations are the instrument of this investigation, the findings presented in this article are relevant to the larger challenges social studies teachers face in their struggle with control as they aim to teach in more powerful and student-centered ways.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A