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ERIC Number: EJ781094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Puritan Day: A Social Science Simulation
Schur, Joan Brodsky
Social Education, v71 n7 p348-353 Nov-Dec 2007
Most students assume that a thriving society runs smoothly because people abide by the laws. But there are various informal, as well as formal, means of social control such as gossip, ridicule, and shame that function even in complex societies to achieve social control, or conformity to group norms. Good teaching ideas have the potential to lead to many spheres of inquiry, as well as to bring a school community together. In this article, the author describes what happened when she and her colleagues at the Village Community School (VCS) initiated "Puritan Day" for their eighth grade classes, who were simultaneously studying the trial of Anne Hutchinson in American history and reading Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" in English. During the simulation, eighth grade teachers became Mistresses and Masters, enforcing an expressly-made code of behavior for one day that led to a subsequent day of "shaming" the transgressors, followed by a debriefing. In the process, students learned a great deal about forms of social control as well as the meaning of tyranny--ideas they could later apply to other time periods as well. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A