The paper relies on Vygotsky's thesis that preschool children in role play are acting in the zone of proximal development (ZPD). One aim is to specify this thesis with respect to language development. The empirical investigations show that language is the central means of creating pretence. By explicit metacommunication, children collaboratively negotiate the plot, transform meanings and distinguish fiction from reality. Thus, metacommunication functions as a verbal frame, determining the meanings within play. Thereby children overcome sympraxic language use which is characteristic of toddlers. Another result is that role play changes during the preschool years. The paper argues that these changes can be subsumed under a general developmental phenomenon, namely the transition of interpsychic into intrapsychic processes. A point of special interest is why preschoolers, through role play, can act in the ZPD, although their ability to cooperate with other children is only at a nascent stage. To explain this, the paper discusses several aspects of psychosocial development.
Role-Play: A Strategy for Teaching Social Studies Essay
1635 Words7 Pages
Role-Play: A Strategy for Teaching Social Studies
One of the reasons social studies is viewed as a tough academic discipline is the result of force-fed historical dates and data. It is also one of the reasons that students think history is boring and irrelevant. Furthermore, their inability to relate to the culture and people of the past creates a what-does-this-have-to-do-with-me attitude early on in their education that directly influence their future performance. The misconception that social studies is about facts and dates is continuously supported by teachers who persist in using direct teaching and long lectures, believing that it is the most convenient way to teach students. Although lecturing is useful for presenting…show more content…
Because direct teaching focuses on the teachers skills, students do not learn basic social studies skills and concepts, such as cause-and-effect or problem-solving. These concepts, used in social studies classes, are especially important because they develop studentsf cognitive process in order to comprehend why certain events occur and how they happen. Hence, direct teaching is appropriate only when teachers need to convey specific information.
Role-playing, often over-looked as an effective and fun teaching strategy, is a more useful method that personalizes the information and makes it tangible for students. According to Strategies to Teach Social Studies, there are five main steps in role-playing: initiation and direction, describing the context, making roles, enactment, and debriefing. The initiation and direction stage is key to directing the success of the role-play because, in this step, the teacher identifies the topic and guides students in their exploration. During this step, the teacher sets up the situation of the event and explains the historical figures involved in the role-play. The second step allows the teacher to follow up by describing the context of the event. This step is important because it gives the teacher the chance to provide students with historical information in order to help students explore their characters and ensure that they are true to the