Abstract 6, Volume 9, Number 2, Summer 2014

Simulations and Games in the Civics Classroom

Christopher D.  Moore

Georgia State University

Cheryl Anne Beshke

University of Georgia

Chara Haeussler Bohan

Georgia State University

In this study, the authors evaluate the use of an election simulation game in the middle and high school social studies classroom. They consider how the game implementation reflected the practical use of constructivist and constructionist pedagogical principles.  A brief explanation of the literature on the use of technology in social studies classrooms is provided and a practical explanation of how teachers implemented the game is offered.  The ability to connect practice to theory afforded teachers important grounding and support for the use of technology in the social studies classroom.  Students benefitted from the process of engagement in a form of media that is natural to digital natives.  Challenges, with respect to the practical use of gaming in the social studies classroom, also are explored.

Keywords: civics, simulations, games, constructivism, constructionism, technology,                 practitioner research

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