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ERIC Number: EJ861176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
All the World's a Stage? Consequences of a Role-Playing Pedagogy on Psychological Factors and Writing and Rhetorical Skill in College Undergraduates
Stroessner, Steven J.; Beckerman, Laurie Susser; Whittaker, Alexis
Journal of Educational Psychology, v101 n3 p605-620 Aug 2009
Reacting to the Past is a pedagogy involving collaborative role playing in history-based games over a semester. This article presents results from a systematic assessment of this novel pedagogy conducted in 3 phases following student focus group interviews. Interviews indicated that the method was generally popular compared with traditional pedagogies, although several concerns about the course were raised. Quasi-experimental procedures were then used to examine consequences of the pedagogy on psychosocial variables and skill development at both the host (Phase 1) and affiliated (Phase 2) institutions. In both phases, students in Reacting to the Past showed elevated self-esteem and empathy, a more external locus of control, and greater endorsement of the belief that human characteristics are malleable compared with controls. Rhetorical skills were enhanced, but writing skills were unaffected. Phase 3 investigated individual differences in predicting course enjoyment and performance. Although individual differences correlated with enjoyment of the pedagogy, they were generally unrelated to grades received. These findings suggest that this role-playing pedagogy adds diversity to student experience while producing some beneficial psychological consequences and improvement in academic skills. (Contains 1 figure, 5 tables, and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Iowa; Massachusetts; New York
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale; Rotter Internal External Locus of Control Scale