The Influence of Workshops and Role-Play in Education

Aug 28, 2020

Maths, English, Science, curriculum, lessons, homework, activity, education…all words which have inspired panic and terror in countless children (and adults!) throughout the ripples of time. Upon their mere mention, our minds eye trawls through the archives of our worst experiences; associating each with a distant, painful memory of intellectual inadequacy and classroom unease.

 

Based on my opening paragraph, I’m sure you can conclude that I didn’t particularly enjoy my early academic pursuits, and yes, I do believe it was down to the way they were taught. That’s not to say that the delivery of my education was poor, far from it. It’s just that they lacked a lot of imagination, and were devoid of any real influential, creative spark.

 

I needed to experience my lessons to get the most out of them, something which was rarely possible when I was a child. I’m delighted to say, however, that things have moved on since then and the commonality of workshops in the classroom has only risen; presenting unique learning opportunities to the children of today.

 

During hi-impact provided workshops, such as Breakout EDU, the benefits of a role-playing approach is all too apparent; encouraging children to talk, problem solve, trial solutions, strategise and, at times, even develop seemingly new personality traits which allow them rise to the occasion. One such example of this was evident at Devonshire Park Primary in February of this year, where I was told a number of children, usually quiet and reserved, were far more vocal during the session; acting with an air of confidence and assuredness rarely seen before.

 

It would appear as though young people revel in the opportunity to entertain small-scale escapism; viewing it as an enjoyable experience, rather than a stress-inducing, educational challenge.This allows them to break out from the confines of their own perceived limitations and push past boundaries previously thought impossible to cross. Additionally, by positioning themselves in a unique, fictional scenario, they are able to engage in a higher order of thinking; absorbing content on an experiential level and, therefore, remembering it long after the class has finished. 

 

The notion that children “learn through play” has long been established at foundation level education, but, for whatever reason, the practice of role-play becomes increasingly undesirable as a means of teaching as we progress through the curriculum.

 

Through our engaging and theatrical lesson plans, we are looking to challenge this. A vast archive of literature already exists which would appear to support this action, with many academics and scholars stating that children are able to use the unique environments established by role-play to better express their interests and needs, whilst also improving their social and linguistic comprehension skills in the process.

 

We believe that not only making learning experiences memorable and exciting, but also inspiring empathism and critical thinking, is too good an opportunity to pass up. 

 

If you’re interested in booking a workshop for September 2020 and/or beyond, you can contact us here. 

 

See below for some information on additional role-playing workshops we provide: 

 

  • Manhunt (Where children take on the role of detectives to solve a case of stolen identity)

 

  • Alien Contact Day (The classroom test out their puzzle solving abilities as they attempt to crack alien code and discover its origins)

 

  • CSI (The kids become Forensic Scientists for the afternoon to solve a murder)

 

 

 

Sources:  

https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XMxb5CNntvAC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=role+play+education&ots=Ksh2q_bSLB&sig=2jGQL79divkKEx1VtJoybRmkQPk#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

https://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/interactive/roleplay.html#:~:text=Role%20playing%20is%20a%20learning,allocation%2C%20or%20some%20other%20outcome.

 

https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/shutel/2014/07/04/role-play-an-approach-to-teaching-and-learning/