Published: 10-10-2011, 14:35

Role playing - American Education

A common technique used by psychologists and, with the permission and supervision of the school psychologist, by teachers attempting to give students a broad understanding of major social problems. Role playing is often used in resistance training to teach children not only to “just say no” but also how to do it and feel comfortable about doing it. Reciting a list of “don’ts” and “dangers” is seldom as effective as staging a drama with student participants—one urging another, “Just try it,” and the other, on stage, in front of peers, learning the confidence to say, “Get out of my face! Drugs are dumb! I didn’t think you were that dumb!” Similarly, role playing, under careful professional guidance, can be an effective method of teaching youngsters how to deal with such problems as race relations, teen suicide, sex and other social problems. Moreover, it can serve as an effective cathartic for feelings about racial tensions, parent-child tensions and teacher-student tensions.