Role Playing as a Pedagogy

Streaming Media


Role playing can be an effective pedagogy for engaging students in exploring big ideas within the context of complex historical events. In higher education, this concept has been promoted by the Reacting Consortium, an alliance of colleges, universities, and individual faculty committed to developing and publishing the Reacting to the Past series of role playing games. During these games students immerse themselves in a historical context, adopting roles informed by classic texts, and acting out controversies of the past. Student do their own research and make their own speeches bringing together political, ideological, and philosophical conflicts in a way that can be compelling, emotional, fun and surprisingly motivating.

Shoshana Brassfield, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Frostburg State University, Maryland, explores the pedagogical uses of role playing in her presentation for the Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy held in Clinton, New York. Professor Brassfield's talk focuses on lessons learned from a two week course centered on the role-playing game The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 BCE.

Type of Work


Event Name

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

Event Sponsor

Philosophy Department, Hamilton College

Event Location

Clinton, NY, USA

Presentation Date


Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Scholarship Series

Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy

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