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ERIC Number: EJ1146272
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1937-0814
A Means to an End: A Middle Level Teacher's Purposes for Using Historical Simulations
Gradwell, Jill M.; DiCamillo, Lorrei
Middle Grades Research Journal, v8 n3 p39-59 2013
Historical simulations are often criticized for being superficial, reinforcing negative stereotypes, and skewing students' view of history. Simulation critics argue if inexperienced teachers implement simulations, they may adversely influence students' psychological development, especially if students take roles as perpetrators or victims. Additionally, critics assert simulations can focus on the horrors rather than the accomplishments of the group under study, and deflect attention from current oppressions. These critiques come from various groups who are concerned with simulations related to issues of oppression, racism, or genocide. Despite these criticisms of classroom simulations, many teachers continue to use and embrace them to simulate different historical events. This article focuses on the espoused purposes of 1 eighth-grade teacher whose practice and views stand in contrast to the critics' assertions about historical simulations. We discovered he reported 4 different purposes for using simulations: to hook students into the unit of study, to provide them with a foundation of historical knowledge, to assist them in learning diverse historical perspectives, and to connect the past to the present. We argue he is a case of a teacher using simulations as a means, not an end, for meeting the many goals he has for his students as they learn history.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 8; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A