Challenges of Teaching Using Role Play

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Teaching is an art of communication that involves an interaction on the flow of information from a teacher to the learner. But a teacher is not supposed to be a reservoir of knowledge and a learner at a receiving end as a depositing lot. Before a lesson is delivered in class, a teacher needs to plan and prepare adequately the strategies that he/she is going to use in his or her lesson. Strategies are of greater concern and are considered as better foundation of scaffolds in the minds of learners. It is against this background that this academic paper attempts to highlight the likely problems that a teacher may face in using role playing to teach social studies as one of the strategy that may be employed. It will also look at the advantages of small group discussion over the whole class discussion. Then, a conclusion will then be drawn based on the highlighted points raised in the essay. Farrant (1980) defines role play as a spontaneous enactment of real life situations by learners who volunteer for the assigned roles. Each actor tries to fit the assigned role as well as they could. In other words, role playing can be said to be a discussion, debating or speech-giving situation whereby players portray a real life situation. It is learner centered approach of teaching social studies in which a learner is given an opportunity to explore their values, then consider and criticize them before evaluating, confirming and reconstructing them. An individual character, trait, irrationalities of human nature, instinctual behavior and individual self interest as well as sectional interest of elected public officials come into full play in decision making situations when role play is engaged. However, this strategy of teaching cannot go on smoothly without a teacher encountering problems when teaching Social studies. To begin with, the major drawback to teaching by role playing is the insecurity of class members. Some may react negatively to participating in a situation or...
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