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Keeping It Real: Teaching Middle East Conflicts with Simulations

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Abstract:

Teaching Middle East politics is challenging not only due to the complexity of the issues and numerous sides involved, but also due to ingrained attitudes of students. To promote active learning and effectively teach Middle East conflicts, I utilize simulated role-plays which differ from many other simulations in order to achieve two main educational goals. First, students learn the multi-faceted conflict in all its complexity by playing it out and hearing their fellow students voice actors' positions. This aids in visualizing the various sides and changing alliances. Second, students playing a role view the conflict from the viewpoint of the differing groups, comprehending the group's incentives for continued hostility. These are not negotiations or games. In my version, there is no attempt to reach a solution. Instead, the simulation is designed to demonstrate the grievances and positions of the actors. In addition, these role-plays incorporate actors uninvolved in diplomacy. I expanded the role-play cast of characters for educational purposes, achieving many of the benefits of simulations from these added players alone. By not narrowly focusing on diplomatic negotiations, these role-plays spurred insights into the situation on the ground, empathy for the common people, and surprising reversals in opinions on the actors.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

student (90), simul (82), conflict (54), group (51), posit (40), learn (38), play (36), one (32), role (31), player (30), question (29), class (28), palestinian (27), part (26), best (26), side (23), particip (23), interest (22), isra (22), war (21), role-play (21),

Author's Keywords:

Middle East, role-play, simulation
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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MLA Citation:

Baylouny, Anne. "Keeping It Real: Teaching Middle East Conflicts with Simulations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245614_index.html>

APA Citation:

Baylouny, A. M. , 2008-02-22 "Keeping It Real: Teaching Middle East Conflicts with Simulations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245614_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Teaching Middle East politics is challenging not only due to the complexity of the issues and numerous sides involved, but also due to ingrained attitudes of students. To promote active learning and effectively teach Middle East conflicts, I utilize simulated role-plays which differ from many other simulations in order to achieve two main educational goals. First, students learn the multi-faceted conflict in all its complexity by playing it out and hearing their fellow students voice actors' positions. This aids in visualizing the various sides and changing alliances. Second, students playing a role view the conflict from the viewpoint of the differing groups, comprehending the group's incentives for continued hostility. These are not negotiations or games. In my version, there is no attempt to reach a solution. Instead, the simulation is designed to demonstrate the grievances and positions of the actors. In addition, these role-plays incorporate actors uninvolved in diplomacy. I expanded the role-play cast of characters for educational purposes, achieving many of the benefits of simulations from these added players alone. By not narrowly focusing on diplomatic negotiations, these role-plays spurred insights into the situation on the ground, empathy for the common people, and surprising reversals in opinions on the actors.

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