Justice Matters: “Reacting to the Past”

Professor Paul Wright leads the ECG 100 course Reacting to the Past, Engaging the Present: Justice in Practice and Professor Richie Gebauer leads the ECG 100 course Justice and the Common Good.  Both of these Engagements with the Common Good courses employ a unique teaching method known as “Reacting to the Past” in which students assume the roles of historical figures. Students are asked to read key historical texts and to then participate in elaborate role-playing games in which they must try to achieve “victory objectives.”  Dr. Wright explains “Reacting to the Past” in this way: “…students must in essence “inhabit” their roles, getting into the minds and hearts of those historical figures they portray.” And Dr. Gebauer explains that the goal of “Reacting to the Past” is to: “…draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve speaking, writing, and leadership skills.”

Submitted by J. Hasse, Reference Librarian

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