simulations. Second, it notes how these simulations replicate
fundamental political patterns at the national level of American government while placing the political process in a larger context. Third, it makes the case that the simulations do not compromise course content and, in fact, produce analytical gains for the student-participants. Finally, the paper emphasizes that these simulations contribute to civic education by giving the participants an insider perspective on American politics and providing them with the knowledge to have an impact on political life.
more than a decade and are designed to transform a political science classroom or civic education conference into a highly realistic active learning experience for the participants. Players confront and try to resolve political problems and they do so within a turbulent environment.
The macro simulation or full game is designed for as many as 75
participants and as few as 21 players (15 with minor modifications). The small size version of the basic simulation accommodates 15-30 participants. The medium size version handles 31-45 and the large-size works with 46-60. An additional 7-15 students can participate through the Supreme Court Module.
Each participant is added in a very specific order in an effort to keep
building a larger and more complex macro simulation. As the size increases, the Presidency grows to 7 people, the Congress expands to 51 (33 in the House, 18 in the Senate), the Supreme Court Module increases to 15 (9 Justices 6 attorneys and there are eventually two media players.
This simulation includes all branches of the national government and runs
from 3 to 12 sessions. Each classroom simulation session runs from 45-90 minutes and multiple sessions can be placed back-to-back for longer time periods, as in the case of a one-day conference. If done as an online segment of a course, a simulation session can last as much as a week. In the new online approach, the simulation occurs separate from classroom activities and class time is preserved for lecture and discussion.
The basic simulation includes the legislative and executive branches while
the Supreme Court Module adds in a formalized judicial branch. However, the
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