Handbook of Simulation Gaming in Social Education / Constitution Today

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About the author:

As an assistant professor at Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, hired in 1963 to teach in the experimental high school, Ron Stadsklev found that students felt trapped in an endless maze of arbitrary requirements, or a home life or job without promise. Only two things suggested to him a way out: his license to experiment with teaching methods, and a paper he discovered by James S. Coleman: “Relationship between Games and Learning.” When Stadsklev tried out his new Coleman-inspired Constitution Today game on the most boring part of his history class, the results spurred him to more experiments and an innovative thesis, A Comparative Study of Simulation Gaming and Lecture Discussion Methods, that in 1970 earned him an M.S. in Education from Northern State College in Aberdeen, North Dakota. More importantly, the research for that thesis was probably what landed Stadsklev one of only two prized year-long internships (1968-69) offered by the Social Science Education Consortium (SSEC) at the University of Colorado, where he “was responsible for becoming a leading authority on simulation gaming and how it relates to the new social studies curriculum being developed.”

In 1973, he accepted an offer from the University of Alabama as the Director of Experiential Learning Projects at the Institute of Higher Education Research and Service. There Stadsklev continued his field consulting, presented papers at numerous symposia, served as editor (and sometimes contributing editor) of several periodicals, and joined the boards of the prestigious Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training (SAGSET) and the North American Simulations and Gaming Association (NASAGA). Of Stadsklev's several publications, by far the most important is his two-volume Handbook of Simulation Gaming in Social Education (textbook, 1974; directory, 1975), containing articles by Stadsklev himself, James Coleman, Garry Shirts, and others. These books were used as texts in colleges and universities throughout the world and earned Alabama University, which published them, more money than was contributed by any other faculty member. Stadsklev himself gained in prestige, not just as a major prophet of the coming kingdom of simulation games, but as the inventor of an indispensable technique for debriefing the students who play them.

Handbook of Simulation Gaming in Social Education / Constitution Today

Authored by Ron Stadsklev

The Handbook of Simulation Games in Social Education, presents the "What", the "Why", and the "How" of Simulation Games.

  • What are Simulation Games?
  • Why use Simulation Games?
  • How do I create and use Simulation Games?

When this book was first published in1974. Ron Stadsklev was one of the few pioneers seeking to introduce Simulation Games as a new teaching technique. Now Simulation Games are in the mainstream and this expanded edition is even more salient than ever. Role playing, games, and social simulations have been around for a long time. In order for the game process to be educational, it must reward participants who understand and interact within the social model effectively. The Model of Autelic Inquiry presented in this Handbook shows how all these elements are incorporated into a Simulation Game. The biggest challenge is developing an entertaining and playable game element without distorting the isomorphism of the social model.

This handbook includes several experiential learning techniques. These techniques can be implemented directly from the material contained within the handbook and do not require a computer. The collection of essays which comprise this handbook illustrate how these teaching techniques are used. This handbook also discusses how to avoid the many pitfalls of Simulation Game design.

For example:

In the T Puzzle game, participants will experience how frustration effects a person's ability to accomplish difficult tasks and the emotional change that accompanies certain activities.

"The Land Use Simulation" is a social simulation, designed to demonstrate a process by which people can determine the best way to use their public land.

"The Constitution Today" is a simple simulation game, designed to motivate students to study the constitution in a meaningful and personal way. Students will also be using a parliamentary process called log rolling in order to achieve a high score. This simulation game was used in a comparative study of simulation gaming and lecture-discussion method to determine the amount of knowledge retained over time.

Publication Date:
1492223980 / 9781492223986
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / Social Science

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