Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2013)

Volume 10 Issue 1

ISSN: 1524-6345


Active Learning Through Classroom Role-Play:

How to Use Simulation of National Elections for Upper-Year Comparative Politics Courses

Laure Paquette

Department of Political Science

Lakehead University

Ontario, Canada

E-mail: laure.paquette@lakeheadu.ca


     The goal of this article is to propose the use of a multi-class role-play simulation of a national election in a liberal democratic state for an upper-year university course in the Comparative Politics of Industrialized States.  It has proven extremely effective in teaching students about the domestic politics of foreign countries.  This article describes the role-play simulation itself, outlines the content and concepts covered, explains how the simulation can be integrated into a twelve or fourteen-week course, provides a lesson plan, and discusses some analytical assignments to maximize student learning. The main effort is in the design of the simulation and the enforcement of its rules.  Once preparatory material is ready and the role-play is launched, however, the instructor can focus on the proceedings themselves. While simulation is suitable for the classroom, it may be possible to adapt it to distributed learning.

      Keywords: multi-class role-play simulation, comparative politics, elections,
                        industrialized countries, liberal democracies, cooperative competitive