Simulating History: The Use of Historical and Political Simulations in the History Classroom

Active History is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history.

In this week’s video, we continue the discussion on active and engaged learning in public school classrooms. Brent Pavey, Head of History at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, shares his vision of how to engage students in political and historical debates. He explains numerous simulations which he has implemented in the classroom from mock UN Security Council meetings to Confederation debates. Pavey explains that the goal of these projects is to “engage students so they can imagine fulfilling the shoes of political and historical figures.” He hopes that these types of projects not only allow students to learn the material in an interesting way, but also introduce students to historical debates with which Canada continues to grapple. Pavey also offers advice to educators about outcomes that are either unrealistic or historically inaccurate. He urges educators that debriefing with students is important because during reflection, learning will often occur.

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