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Role-Playing Strategy | Teaching Strategies- Wandofknowledge

Role-Playing Strategy | Teaching Strategies- Wandofknowledge

Meaning and Definition of Role-Playing

Role-playing is a teaching strategy in which a situation is dramatized by a group by playing specific-roles, as desired by the situation under the direction of a teacher for deriving useful educational experiences. For example, the students for learning the working of a parliament or legislative assembly may dramatize the scene of the parliament of assembly by playing specific roles of speaker, ministers, ruling and opposition parties MPs or MLAs, Marshals, etc. Similarly, for acquainting students with the problems and ill effects of over affection and protection given to a male child by his parents, the situation may be enacted by the students by playing the roles of parents, brothers and sisters, child and other family members and companions. The role-playing strategy, thus, represents a spontaneous, unrehearsed life-like presentation of some situation for gaining insight into a specific problem or deriving useful educative experiences.

For making role-playing strategy to attain its desired objectives, it is essential to meet the following condition:

  1. The students who engage in role-playing must understand clearly the situation and the roles to be played by them for depicting the scene of that situation.
  2. The roles must be portrayed or played with quality.
  3. The roles or situations must have a real life quality.
  4. All the members of the group should be closely and actively attached to the role playing either as a role-players or observers.

Phases or Steps involved in Role-Playing

The role-playing according to Joyce and Weil (1980), may follow the following nine specific phases or steps in any classroom situation:

  1. Warming up stage: It is concerned with the creation of a problematic situation or citing of a problematic experience. For providing instructions about the topic, teacher may propose to enact the situations by asking the students to elect their class representatives.
  2. Selection of the role-players: It is regarding the selection of students for playing the specific roles as demanded by the situation. For some role-playing situation, more than one class representatives may be elected.
  3. Setting of the stage for role-playing: It is about making necessary environmental setting for role-playing activities.
  4. Preparing the observers: It is concerned with the assignment of the roles of observers to the students who are not acting as specific roles as demanded by the situation.
  5. Enacting the story, roles and situation: In this actual role-playing process, the role players may be asked to enact their specific roles as demanded by the situation.
  6. Discussion and evaluation: It is about free and frank discussion about the qualities of the roles like critical judgement of the qualities of the role played, difficulties experienced, the lesson drawn etc.
  7. Enacting again: It is regarded the re-enaction of the role playing activities in the light of the modification suggested in phase of discussion and evaluation. Since there have been many gaps and shortcomings regarding the stage and role-playing by the students, these may be rectified by providing fresh opportunity for enacting the specific roles.
  8. Re-discussion and evaluation: It is concerned with the discussion about the specific roles, their effects as generating responses and deriving useful implications leading to solid conclusions and educative experiences. The re-enacting of roles may be further be discussed and evaluated in the light of the final objectives to be realized for such role-playing.
  9. Deriving generalization: It is about making relevant generalization and learning useful lesson applicable to real-life situations.

However, the above steps are only suggestive. These are not binding. A teacher in the capacity of director of the role-playing strategy may modify them according to his convenience as well as the demands of the situation. It is not essential to provide opportunities for re-enacting and re-discussion. Therefore these two steps can be removed and steps can be reduced and condensed as-

  1. Selecting the situation for role-playing.
  2. Setting the stage and assigning the roles.
  3. Preparing for action (planning).
  4. Enacting the roles (execution).
  5. Discussion and evaluation.
  6. Generalization

The role-playing strategy may be well utilized for providing training to the pupil teachers and thus modifying their behaviour for imbibing teachers-like skills and other traits.

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