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Gauweiler, Cher N.
Imagination in action
h [electronic resource] :
b a phenomenological case study of simulations in two fifth-grade teachers classrooms /
by Cher N. Gauweiler.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to describe how two fifth-grade teachers help students understand social studies and language arts concepts through simulations. I observed two fifth-grade teachers, Lindsey and Paula, as they conducted a simulation focused on the Lewis and Clark expedition. I spent 100 hours over a period of eight weeks in the teachers classrooms. The following research questions guided my inquiry: 1. Why do the two teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two teachers implement simulations? 3. How do the ten students respond to simulations? 4. What do the ten students think about simulations? To answer these questions, I interviewed each study participant three times, analyzed teacher resource materials and student work samples, videotaped and audiotaped the students and teachers behaviors, and observed the teachers and students interactions.I followed a phenomenological theoretical orientation and reported my findings through a descriptive case study. A detailed account of the early, middle, and late stages of a simulation depicted the participants actions. I discovered that the two teachers used simulations because they believed simulations targeted students learning styles and enabled students to retain the material over time. Lindsey felt simulations allowed her to integrate content and create an active learning environment, and Paula believed simulations involved the students with authentic learning. To implement the simulation, the teachers increased students background knowledge on Westward Expansion, prepared them for their roles throughout the action phase, and evaluated student learning through written and oral assessments. I observed how two groups of five students interacted throughout the simulation.I learned how they formulated an identity for their team, discussed dilemmas, resolved conflicts, and completed their tasks. The students shared positive and negative opinions about their roles as captains, journal writers, interpreters, and privates. They explained how they had learned about the content, teamwork, and historical figures associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition. All of the students gained on their posttests. Four of the students made connections with the simulation content to their lives and experienced positive attitudinal and academic transformations.
Adviser: Dr. Kathryn Laframboise.
Co-adviser: Dr. Janet Richards
x Early Childhood Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Imagination in Action: A Phenomenological Case Study of Simulations in Two Fifth-Grade TeachersÂ’ Classrooms by Cher N. Gauweiler A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Childhood Education College of Education University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Kathryn Laframboise, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Janet Richards, Ph.D. Jan Ignash, Ph.D. Mary Lou Morton, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 21, 2005 Keywords: elementary, active learning, integration, social studies, drama Copyright 2005, Cher N. Gauweiler
Dedication I am blessed to have a family who has encouraged me throughout this doctoral program. My mother, Bridgette Lauren Gauweiler, and father, Richard John Gauweiler, have provi ded a constant source of Iove and encouragement for as long as I can remember. I will continue to strive and make them proud. Also, I am grateful to my wonderful husband, Patrick Little, for being my supportive partner and best friend. Last, I would like to thank the Lord, for Â“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens meÂ…Â” (P hilippians 4:13)Â…and that includes a dissertation!
Acknowledgments Even though dissertations connote a solitary effort, I could not have completed this project without the support of my committee. I am grateful to my co-chairs, Dr. Kathryn Laframboise and Dr. Janet Richards. I believe they are the ideal combination. Both provided insi ghtful and constructive comments that enriched subsequent drafts. They gave me substantial amounts of their time Â– a demonstration of how much they cared. In addition, Dr. Jan Ignash and Dr. Mary Lou Morton contributed thought-provoking sugges tions. They provided consistent support and inspired me to write becaus e of their positive feedback. I was fortunate to have worked with thes e four talented professors. Other faculty members of the Univ ersity of South Florida generously clarified my questions and addressed my concerns. I appreciated the professional expertise of Dr. Roger Brindley, Dr. Valerie Janesick, Dr. Carol Mullen, Dr. Suzanne Quinn, and Dr. Nancy Williams. The faculty, staff, and students at Miller Elementary School made this research study a delight. Dana Daniels, the principal, and t he teachers in this study welcomed me to the school and accommodated my numerous requests. Last, I will always remember the student s: Amanda, Becky, Chelsea, Harry, Hunter, Jasmine, John, Ryan, and Trev or. The Teepeeshon and Trailblazers live on.
i Table of Contents List of T ables ......................................................................................................v iii List of Fi gures....................................................................................................... ix Abstract................................................................................................................x Chapter One Â– In troducti on..................................................................................1 A Choice fo r Drama...................................................................................2 A Simulation of Â“Pilgrims Â’ Journey to Americ aÂ”..........................................4 Simulations in the Classr oom....................................................................5 Rationale fo r Propos al...............................................................................6 Purpose and Questi ons.............................................................................8 Design .......................................................................................................9 Limitations and Key Assumptions ...........................................................12 Definition of Terms...................................................................................12 Active Lear ning............................................................................. 13 Cooperative Learning ....................................................................13 Games..........................................................................................14 Hands-on Acti vities .......................................................................14 Role Pl ay.......................................................................................15 Simulation s...................................................................................15 Simulation Games.........................................................................17 Summary................................................................................................ 17 Chapter Two Â– Review of the Litera ture.............................................................19 Introducti on .............................................................................................19 Theories of Teachi ng and Learni ng.........................................................20 Traditional Model...........................................................................21 Active Lear ning............................................................................. 22 Rousseau ...........................................................................23 John Dewe y........................................................................24 Experiential Learning ....................................................................24 The Oregon Trail: An Example of Experiential Learning....25 KolbÂ’s Learning Cycle.........................................................27 The Learning Cycle a nd Simulati ons..................................27 Jerome BrunerÂ’s Theory of Devel opment...........................28 Constructi vism...............................................................................29 Simulations and C onstructivi sm.........................................30
ii Teachers and Cons tructivi sm.............................................31 Social Constructi vist Theory...............................................32 Simulation Design and Implementat ion....................................................33 Educational Drama........................................................................34 Drama in Educ ation............................................................35 Scenario: Curtains Up on Readi ng.....................................35 Integration of Language Arts and Social St udies................36 TeachersÂ’ Roles in Simulati ons.....................................................37 Example of Teacher-in-Role: Hope Elementary School.....39 Community of Learners ......................................................39 Problems with Teac her-in-Ro le..........................................40 Preparation for the Simulati on.......................................................41 Teacher Pl anning...............................................................42 Selecting Simu lations .........................................................43 Example of a Teacher-C reated Simula tion.........................44 Ethical Issues in the Choi ce of a Simu lation.......................44 Suggestions for Success ....................................................46 Design of a Si mulation ..................................................................47 Briefing ...............................................................................48 Action .................................................................................49 Culminating Ac tivity............................................................51 Debriefi ng...........................................................................53 Problems with D ebriefing ....................................................54 Assessment ..................................................................................54 Journals ..............................................................................55 Questionnair es...................................................................55 Advantages of Si mulations ............................................................56 Communicati on..................................................................56 Motivation and Attit udinal Chan ge......................................57 Affective Ga ins...................................................................59 Ownership ..........................................................................60 Disadvantages of Simulati ons.......................................................60 Implications fo r Teachers...................................................61 Implications for Student s....................................................62 History of Si mulation s .............................................................................64 The 1800 Â’s....................................................................................64 The 1960 Â’s....................................................................................65 The 1970 Â’s....................................................................................66 The 1980Â’s to the Pres ent.............................................................67 Reluctance to Use Simulati ons...........................................68 The Outlook for Simulati ons...............................................69 Research on E ffectivenes s......................................................................69 Evaluation in the 1960Â’s ................................................................70 Evaluation from the 1970Â’ s to the Pr esent....................................71 Classroom TeachersÂ’ Methods to Evaluate Simu lations...............74 Classroom St udies............................................................. 74
iii Anecdotal R eports..............................................................75 A Need for Re search .....................................................................77 Student Responses to Simulation s..........................................................78 Characteristics of Fi fth-Grade Stu dents........................................79 Student Responses in the Litera ture.............................................80 Implications for Ques tioning Stud ents...........................................82 Summary.................................................................................................84 Chapter Three Â– Methodolog y............................................................................86 Introducti on..............................................................................................86 Design ......................................................................................................87 Definitions of Qualitative Re search, Methods, and Design...........88 Descriptive Ca se Study .................................................................90 Phenomenology as a Res earch Appr oach....................................90 Participant s..............................................................................................92 My Background and Beliefs..........................................................92 My Role as a Researc her..............................................................94 Involvement in the Classr oom............................................94 Researcher Reflec tive Jour nal...........................................95 Pilot St udy.....................................................................................96 Description and Access to the Si te................................................97 Selection of Pa rticipant s................................................................99 Teachers ............................................................................99 Students .............................................................................99 Institutional Revi ew Boar d................................................101 Procedure for Data Collect ion and Anal ysis...........................................102 Observati ons............................................................................... 102 Intervie ws....................................................................................104 Teachers ..........................................................................105 Students ...........................................................................105 Audio-Visual Material ..................................................................106 Teacher Resource Material s.......................................................107 Student Work Sa mples ...............................................................107 Data Anal ysis.............................................................................. 108 Case Study Re search ......................................................108 Phenomenological Analysis ..............................................109 Ensuring Quality and Credibilit y.............................................................113 Trustworthi ness......................................................................... 113 Validity ..............................................................................114 Triangulation of Da ta Source s..........................................115 Critical Fr iend................................................................... 115 Member Che cking............................................................ 116 Limitati ons..............................................................................................116 Timeline .................................................................................................117 Summary...............................................................................................118
iv Chapter Four Â– Results ....................................................................................120 Introducti on............................................................................................120 The TeachersÂ’ Beliefs ............................................................................121 Lindsey Ro mano......................................................................... 122 Integration through Immersio n..........................................124 Learning Styles and the Mult iple Intelli gences..................125 Active Learning En vironment ............................................126 Feedback from Students and Parent s..............................127 Paula Wil liams.............................................................................128 Involvement in Aut hentic Cont ent.....................................130 Targeted Different Lear ning Modalit ies............................131 Learn the Material for Long-Term Retent ion.....................132 The Early Stages of the Simula tion........................................................135 Entering the Field ........................................................................135 Miller Element ary..............................................................135 PaulaÂ’s Cla ssroom........................................................... 136 TeachersÂ’ Preparation and Collaborat ion.........................138 Building Backgr ound Knowl edge.................................................142 Visualizing t he Journey ....................................................144 An Invitation and a Warnin g.............................................145 Description of Roles ....................................................................147 Captain .............................................................................147 Journal Wr iter................................................................... 148 Interprete r.........................................................................149 Privates ............................................................................149 My Reflec tion.............................................................................. 150 Mileage .............................................................................151 Motivati on......................................................................... 152 Lindsey Reviewed Lat itude and Longit ude.................................. 154 Revisiting Loc ation ...........................................................155 A Team Exercise in Resear ch..........................................158 A Possible Team.............................................................. 159 The Team s..................................................................................162 The Students in P aulaÂ’s R oom......................................... 164 The Students in Li ndseyÂ’s R oom......................................167 Forming an Ident ity.....................................................................171 PaulaÂ’s Te am................................................................... 171 LindseyÂ’s Team................................................................ 173 The Middle Stages of the Simula tion.....................................................175 Briefing ........................................................................................176 PaulaÂ’s Re view................................................................. 176 Lindsey Made it Real ........................................................179 Lindsey Integrat ed Texts ..................................................181 The Dilemma s.............................................................................184 The Teepeeshon Discussed Early Dilemma s...................185 The Teepeeshon Experienced Conflict in Later Dilemmas191
v Amanda Reacte d..............................................................194 Paula Inte rvened.............................................................. 196 My Reflections on Conflic t................................................197 Harry and Trevor Led the Early Discussi ons....................197 The Journal Writers Chr onicled the Debates ....................198 The Two-Day Dilemma..................................................... 200 The Unfinished Dilemma..................................................206 Harry and Trevor Reflect ed on their Debates ...................209 Hunter Asserted hi s Authorit y...........................................210 Distinguishing Reality from Fant asy.................................211 Lindsey and Paula Communicat ed their Expect ations................212 A Model Journal Entry......................................................213 Interpreter Cards ..............................................................219 PrivatesÂ’ Tasks.................................................................221 The Tasks ...................................................................................223 Humor Lightened the Tone ...............................................223 Choice Enabled Differentia ted Instruct ion........................226 Teamwork Help ed Raven .................................................228 RyanÂ’s Lack of Mo tivation .................................................230 My Ethical Dilemma ..........................................................233 My Unexpected Influence .................................................235 The Later Stages................................................................................... 240 Teacher Asse ssment.................................................................. 240 PaulaÂ’s Crit eria................................................................. 240 LindseyÂ’s Cr iteria ..............................................................241 Debriefi ng....................................................................................242 Paula Facilitated the Discussi on.......................................243 The Trailblazers Mobilize d................................................248 Lindsey Facilitated the Discussi on...................................250 Pretests and Po sttests................................................................257 The StudentsÂ’ Thoughts .........................................................................258 Characterizing Si mulations .........................................................259 Reflecting on t he Roles ...............................................................262 Captain .............................................................................262 Journal Wr iter................................................................... 264 Interprete r.........................................................................265 Private ..............................................................................266 Reporting What They Had Learne d.............................................268 Historical K nowledge ........................................................268 Teamwork .........................................................................269 Native Amer icans............................................................. 273 Making Connec tions......................................................... 274 Transformati ons...............................................................275 Summary...............................................................................................277
vi Chapter Five Â– Conclusi on...............................................................................281 My Role as a Researc her...................................................................... 282 Prior Kno wledge.......................................................................... 283 Examining Assu mptions..............................................................284 Collegialit y...................................................................................286 Summary of Cont ributions .....................................................................289 Teachers .....................................................................................289 A Pedagogical Choice ......................................................290 Differentiated In struction...................................................291 Integration of Curricula .....................................................292 Interactive Classroom .......................................................293 The Subtle Diffi culties .......................................................294 Students ......................................................................................296 Challeng e.........................................................................297 Teamwork .........................................................................298 Conflict .............................................................................299 Involvemen t......................................................................300 Ryan................................................................................. 301 Recommendations fo r Practi ce..............................................................302 Suggestions for Furt her Resear ch.........................................................304 Summary...............................................................................................305 Referenc es....................................................................................................... 307 Appendice s.......................................................................................................332 Appendix A: Sample Questions from Teacher Interview Protocols........333 Appendix B: Sample Questions from Student Interview Protocols.........335 Appendix C: Sample Student Interview Summary.................................337 Appendix D: Lewis and Clark Pret est....................................................340 Appendix E: Lewis and Clark Ma p.........................................................343 Appendix F: Sample Daily Dile mma......................................................345 Appendix G: Model C aptainÂ’s Lo g.........................................................347 Appendix H: Table of Contents for Interactiv e Student Notebook..........349 Appendix I: Latitude and Longitude Cha llenge.................................... 351 Appendix J: Task Descripti ons..............................................................353 Appendix K: Task Log ............................................................................355 Appendix L: JohnÂ’s Journal En try.........................................................357 Appendix M: HarryÂ’s Journal En try........................................................360 Appendix N: JasmineÂ’s Sacajawea R eport............................................ 363 Appendix O: RavenÂ’s In terpreter Card................................................... 365 Appendix P: AmandaÂ’s Sa cajawea Qu iz................................................368 Appendix Q: RyanÂ’s Inte rpreter Ca rd.....................................................371 Appendix R: BeckyÂ’s J ournal Entr y........................................................374 Appendix S: Equip an Expedition Ta sk..................................................377 Appendix T: HarryÂ’s Ex pedition R eport..................................................379 Appendix U: Capt ainÂ’s Log ....................................................................381
vii Appendix V: HunterÂ’s Report on S eamen.............................................. 383 Appendix W: Group Work Expectat ions................................................. 385 About the Aut hor .....................................................................................E nd Page
viii List of Tables Table 1. Rotation of Tasks for t he Action Phase of t he Simulati on.................148 Table 2. Comparison of Student Characteristics in PaulaÂ’s Classroom..........167 Table 3. Comparison of Student Characteristics in LindseyÂ’s Classroom......170 Table 4 Comparison of StudentsÂ’ Scores on Pretests and Po sttests............259
ix List of Figures Figure 1. KolbÂ’s Experiential Learning Model (Kol b, 1984, pp. 41-42)...........28 Figure 2. Diagram of PaulaÂ’s Classroom .....................................................138 Figure 3. Diagram of LindseyÂ’s Classroom..................................................154 Figure 4. BeckyÂ’ s Journal En try...................................................................186 Figure 5. AmandaÂ’ s Journal En try...............................................................194 Figure 6. Harry Â’s Journal Entry ....................................................................199 Figure 7. Rav enÂ’s Journal Entry..................................................................204 Figure 8. Lindsey and Paul aÂ’s Sample Jour nal Entr y..................................215 Figure 9. TrevorÂ’s T homas Jefferson Editoria l.............................................218 Figure 10. ChelseaÂ’ s Interprete r Card...........................................................220 Figure 11. Hunter Â’s Utility P ouch...................................................................223 Figure 12. Jasmi neÂ’s Bead Pa ttern................................................................228 Figure 13. RyanÂ’s Journal En try....................................................................235 Figure 14. RavenÂ’s Fi rst Draft of Cinquain .....................................................239 Figure 15. RavenÂ’s Fi nal Draft of Cinquain ....................................................240
x Imagination in Action: A Phenomenologic al Case Study of Simulations in Two Fifth-Grade TeachersÂ’ Classrooms Cher N. Gauweiler ABSTRACT The purpose of this research was to describe how two fifth-grade teachers help students understand social studies and language arts concepts through simulations. I observed two fifth-grade teachers, Lindsey and Paula, as they conducted a simulation focused on the Lewis and Clark expedition. I spent 100 hours over a period of eight weeks in the teachersÂ’ classrooms. The following research questions guided my inquiry: 1. Why do the two teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two teachers implement simulations? 3. How do the ten students respond to simulations? 4. What do the ten student s think about simulations? To answer these questions, I interviewed each study participant three times, analyzed teacher resource materials and student work samples, videotaped and audiotaped the studentsÂ’ and teachersÂ’ behaviors, and observed the teachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ interactions. I followed a phenomenological theoret ical orientation and reported my findings through a descripti ve case study. A detailed account of
xi the early, middle, and late stages of a simulation depicted the participantsÂ’ actions. I discovered that the tw o teachers used simulations because they believed simulations targeted studentsÂ’ learning st yles and enabled students to retain the material over time. Lindsey felt simulati ons allowed her to in tegrate content and create an active learning environment, and Paula believed simulations involved the students with authentic lear ning. To implement the simulation, the teachers increased studentsÂ’ background knowledge on Westward Expansion, prepared them for their roles throughout the acti on phase, and evaluated student learning through written and oral assessments. I observed how two groups of fi ve students interacted throughout the simulation. I learned how they formulat ed an identity for their team, discussed dilemmas, resolved conflicts, and comple ted their tasks. The students shared positive and negative opinions about their roles as captains, journal writers, interpreters, and privates. They ex plained how they had learned about the content, teamwork, and historical figures associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition. All of the students gained on their posttest s. Four of the students made connections with the simulation c ontent to their lives and experienced positive attitudinal and academic transformations.
1 CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION Imagination is more important than knowledge (Einstein, 2005, p.9) I used to have a poster with EinsteinÂ’s quotation displayed in my fourthgrade classroom. Often, after my student s had departed for home, I would sit at one of the studentÂ’s tables and reflect on that statement. I wondered how I might teach my students how to think in a more divergent manner. I reflected on the amount of time I had allotted that day fo r student-led conversations. I considered alternative ways I might have structured my social studies lesson. I asked myself if imagination had primacy ov er knowledge in my cla ssroom. Questions revolved in my mind such as, Â“Did I allot opportunities for my studentsÂ’ creative thinking today? Did I honor diverse responses? In what ways did I allow for student choice?Â” Although it was difficult to admit to myself, I recogni zed that often I inadvertently controlled not only every aspect of what I thought my students should learn but also how they should l earn it. I asked my students questions, but I pre-determined what I believed were correct answers. I allowed for student discussion, but I limited the scope and t opics of conversation. Even though I wanted to give students more autonomy, I was concerned that they would not be able to originate relevant dialogue without my assistance. I believed that multiple perspectives enrich a discussion. However, I did not know how to elicit these
2 responses in a room of 30 students. I would pose a question and the same four students would raise their hand to answer it. I knew that 26 other students had other ideas, but I didnÂ’t know how to involve them in discussions. Still, I envisioned a more student-c entered classroom where students generated questions that arose from their desire to know. I considered how I could introduce authentic tasks that allo wed students to examine issues from different viewpoints, engage in critical thinking, and practice problem-solving. Therefore, I decided to restructure my pedagogical approach for the following school year. I decided that I would experim ent with drama, a technique that I had enjoyed as a high school student and as an undergraduate in colle ge. I recalled how my teachers used drama to teach Greek mythology and world history. A Choice for Drama Through drama I believed I coul d encourage students to imagine, discover, and create alternate realities. Drama may include plays, dance, games, and simulations (Grady, 2000; Heathcot e, 1984a; Wagner, 1998). Each dramatic genre is distinct with different purpo ses and learning outcomes (Heathcote, 1984a). Wilhelm (1997, 1998) described the va lue of drama as twofold. Drama offers an alternative approach to the prin ted word and allows readers to connect with text through action. By extens ion, Heinig (1992) and Wagner (1998) claimed drama increases studentsÂ’ over all comprehension and understanding of content and enables them to examine te xt more closely. King (1996) equated drama as a type of transformational magi c Â– it invites students to learn more about a particular topic.
3 In my classroom, I started with creat ive dramatics activities. Creative dramatics provides an opport unity for students to respond to situations without a script or prior preparation (Jarolimek, Fo ster, & Kellough, 2005). As an example, after I read an African folk tale my students would ask if they might retell the story through drama. I observed my fourth graders as they transformed rulers to sticks and orange crepe paper to fire. Some ru mmaged through our prop box as they located objects to portray a certain char acter, such as a peasant or a prince. Other times they used props to embe llish their parts in Readers Theater productions. Readers Theater is a tec hnique that allows students to read dialogue from an actual story as if they were practicing for a play. Parts include narrators and characters. However, in Readers Theater students do not memorize their lines and limit their movements (Anderson, 2002). I recognized that Readers Theater motivated st udents to reread text and encouraged participation. My studentsÂ’ innovation and excitement inspired me to fa cilitate more lessons that fostered small group interacti on and opportunities for active learning. I sought other ways to teach through dram a. I then introduced simulations when I taught fourth, fifth, and si xth grades. I recalled how my studentsÂ’ behaviors changed when I implemented simulations into my language arts and social studies classes. Their enthusiasm for t he content increased as they realized historical people were real. Instead of reading about patriots, they became them. Through the simulated experience, they discovered the content in a different manner than with a traditi onal approach that relie d heavily on a textbook and
4 worksheets. Simulations allowed st udents to encounter authentic, vicarious learning. Because simulations are related to the field of drama, they share some of the traits of drama such as characte rization and invention. Through concrete experiences, students process abstrac t concepts and issues. Simulations present opportunities to examine val ues and increase decision-making skills (Kellough & Roberts, 2002). A Simulation of Â“PilgrimsÂ’ Journey to AmericaÂ” To clarify this point, I offer an exampl e of what a simulation might look like in a social studies unit on the PilgrimsÂ’ journey to America. Imagine the following scenario: six groups of fifth-grade students wit h four or five students to a group huddle around desks. Some cover their ey es while others study the person holding a Â“fateÂ” card. At first glance t hey are ten and elevenyear old students. Yet, in their minds and through their acti ons, they are pilgrims ranging in age from fifteen to fifty. At this point they are unsure if t hey will lose a loved one, have their journey to America postponed for se veral weeks, or earn extra money for supplies. Students read their fates as a team member plots the journey with a permanent marker on chart paper. The gr oup members sigh a collective groan when they realize their Â“brotherÂ” is missing. Meanwhile, a nearby team cheers because they have learned that they will hav e excellent weather on their voyage. The simulation I describe above corresponds with the information in the studentsÂ’ social studies and language arts texts. In addition to the knowledge they gain from informational and fictional works focused on Pilgrims, the students
5 experience the historical event through a simulation. Approximat ely three to four times a week students meet in their groups and enter a simulated reality. At the end of four to six weeks, they will disco ver who has safely made the journey to America and who has not. Simulations in the Classroom Simulations are a type of experient ial learning (Clegg, 1991; Kolb, 1984; Moon, 2004; Ruben, 1999; Thatcher, 1990) that is spontaneous, unrehearsed, and not directly taught (Jones 1980, 1987) Simulations enable students to learn about a subject through interaction and discov ery. Participants act in accordance with assigned roles and make decisions as if they were those individuals (Greenblat, 1988; Hess, 1999; Jones, 1989). In a simulation, the dialogue is unscripted because the students do not r ehearse. Instead, they use their background knowledge of t he topic and interpretation of their characters to recreate a particular event. Simulations tend to be student-c entered rather than teacher-centered. A teacher adopts the role as a facilitator who creates situations for students to engage in a simulated rea lity (Jones, 1988; Petranek, Corey, & Black, 1992; Seidner, 1978). Simulations for educational purpose s originated in the United States. Classroom teachers use them in subjects such as, geogr aphy, history, religious studies, chemistry, math, social studies, journalism, speech, and politics (Clegg, 1991; Horn & Zuckerman, 1980; Robbins, 1988; van Ments, 1994). Although some people are not familiar with simulation s, they have existed in some form in education since the 1960Â’s (Martin, 1978; Morie, 1996; Seidner, 1978).
6 Classroom teachers modify simulations for various instructional purposes. Simulations range from introductory exercise s to culminating events that require significant student research and preparat ion (Kaldhusdal, Truesdale, & Wood, 1998; McCann, 1996; Morie, 1996). Rationale for Proposal I conducted this study to report in detail what happened in two classrooms in which simulations were employed. Some people equate simulations to a fun diversion that is not representative of actual learning (Jones, 1993). The two teachers I observed have used simulations for several years to teach social studies and language arts curricula. A de scriptive account from my observations and a report of the experience from t he teachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ perspectives provided a comprehensive portrayal of a simulation. In addition, this study contributes to the research in the field of educational drama and to future studies of simulations in elementary classrooms. Some teachers employ simulations in order to integrat e the language arts and social studies. These subjects are nat urally interconnected. Both explore how people communicate and provide studen ts with tools on how to learn about others. Activities that replicate histor ical events with th ese subjects allow teachers to involve students in hands-on learning (Fennessey, 2000; Fredericks, 2000). Simulations enhance studentsÂ’ cogni tion and higher-order thinking skills (Cordeiro, 1995; Heinig, 1992: Morie, 1996; Mayer, 2002; Wagner, 1998; Wilhelm & Edmiston, 1998). Simulations also encourage cooperative learning and group problem-solving (Cordeiro, 1995; Heinig, 1992), are intrinsically
7 motivating (Barkley, 2003; Fennessey, 2000; Hess, 1999), and may improve metacognition (Smey-Richman, 1988). In particular, elementary age students enjoy simulations and drama because they are at ease with imaginary worlds and are able to adopt different roles thr ough informal storytelling (Gallas, 1991; McCaslin, 2000; McCaster, 1998; Milli ans, 1999b; Richards & Goldberg, 2003; Robinson, 1980; Taylor & Walf ord, 1972; Walker, 1999). In this sense, they are immersed in their minds through a ty pe of drama that is unrehearsed and unscripted. Simulations align with a current view of multiple literacies. Although many people still associate reading and writ ing with print-based texts, an enhanced understanding of the multiple literacies a llow teachers to extend traditional book learning to alternative forms of communication (Hagood, 2000). These modes incorporate primary sources, art, Internet websites, primary sources, magazines, DVDÂ’s, music, and artifacts (Richards & McKenna, 2003). Multiple literacies involve sound, movement, color, and visual representations and encourage social interaction and collaboration (Tur bill, 2002). Likewise, simulations permit students to locate information beyond books and share their knowledge in forms besides writing. Even though simulations produce cogni tive and affective benefits and have endured for decades, the research in this area is minimal compared to other disciplines (Duke, 2000; Gos en & Washbush, 2004; Millians, 1999b; Ruben, 1999). In contrast to other teac hing methods, many teachers do not use simulations often. Some teachers are not aware of simulations or are unfamiliar
8 with how to implement simulations (Hess, 1999). Others consider simulations to be time-consuming, expensive, and am biguous (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Lee, 1994; May, 1997; McCaslin, 2000; Mori e, 1996; Taylor & Walford, 1972; Thatcher, 1990). Wagner (1998) reported that from 1989 to 1997, 17,671 dissertations in the field of reading and 16,542 dissertations in the field of writing were submitted to Dissertations Abstracts International. In comparis on, only 71 in educational drama, creative drama, and drama in education combined were listed. I searched Digital Dissertations to conduct a search in the field of simulations. I used the keywords Â“simulation(s), teacher(s), and elementaryÂ” as well as other combinations. I found 71 citations that ranged from 1969 to the present. Most of the studies centered on computerized simulations, simulations in the math and sciences, and simulated studies with pre-se rvice teachers. Three simulations, dated 1969, 1992, and 1993, addressed teachersÂ’ beliefs in relation to how and why teachers use simulations in the social studies classroom. Computerized simulations have their relevance (Aldrich 2004), but they c annot replicate the interpersonal contact and discussion (H ess, 1999) that non-computerized simulations provide. Therefore, my study contributes to this underrepresented area. I describe and analyze how simu lations were implemented in two elementary classrooms. Purpose and Questions The purpose of this research was to describe how two fifth-grade teachers help their students understand social studi es and language arts concepts through
9 simulations. The teachers conducted a simulation on the Lewis and Clark expedition from early April to late May. I included five students from each classroom in the study. I observed the t eachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ interactions over an eight-week period, videotaped and audi otaped selected lessons, reviewed teacher resources and student work sample s, and interviewed the participants to report their attitudes and beliefs. My gui ding questions for this study were as follows: 1. Why do the two teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two teachers implement simulations? 3. How do the ten students respond to simulations? 4. What do the ten student s think about simulations? Design A qualitative approach was the most appropriate way to answer my research questions. I collected data in depth and detail, and I was the instrument for data collection (Bogden & Biklen, 2003; Patton, 2002). A qualitative case study is a holistic, comprehensive portray al and analysis of a specific event (Merriam, 1988). I chose a descriptive ca se study with tenets of phenomenology as my guiding research approach. Phenom enologists seek to report the lived experiences of a group of people by c apturing and describing their perceived realities in a particular context (Hol stein & Gubrium, 1994; Hopkins, 1994; Moustakas, 1994; Patton, 2002). My purpose was to understand what happened in classrooms where teachers used simula tions and how they and their students ascribed meaning to their expe riences in a simulation.
10 I maintained a researcher reflective journal for every session that I observed in the classroom. My journal enabled me to record my thoughts and gain clarity about my experiences. In additi on, I wrote field notes for each visit and analyzed the data on a continuous basis I collected the following data: indepth interviews with the teachers and ten students (Seidman, 1998), taperecorded and video-taped sessions, teacher resource materials, and student work samples. I analyzed the interv iew data through phenomenological analysis methods (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). I used the data that I collected from fieldwork in order to explain what I had observed (Patton, 2002). I used purposeful selection with tw o fifth-grade teachers who have used simulations in their classrooms for six year s. Purposeful selection is a process in which researchers select a sample from which they can learn the most. The benefit of purposeful selection is that it provides detailed information and allows a researcher to investigate a particular ar ea of interest (Berg, 2004; Merriam, 1988; Patton, 2002). The two teachers had worked together for seven years. They had agreed that I could carry out research in their classrooms. I had volunteered in the classroom once a week for two hours from September, 2004 to March, 2005. My time in the classroom allowed me to create a rapport with the students and establish trust as a visitor. When I collect ed data in April, I transitioned from the role of visitor to one of participant-observer. I previously had worked with thes e teachers for three years as an intermediate teacher at Miller Elementary School. I believe my prior relationship with them facilitated more candid res ponses in interviews. In addition, I
11 completed a pilot study with one of these teachers in a doctoral course on qualitative research. My study examined why teachers used simulations in their social studies and language arts classr ooms and why others did not. I surveyed six fifth-grade teachers and asked them if they incorporated simulations in their classrooms. From that survey, I chose tw o teachers who reported they used simulations. I interviewed them three ti mes over a span of eight weeks. Each interview lasted about 30-45 minutes. I selected this method because Seidman (1998) claimed that each interview serv es a purpose and allo ws participants to reflect on their responses between meeti ngs. In order to include an alternative perspective, I interviewed a teacher who reported she did not use simulations or role play. I learned that the two teacher s used simulations because simulations helped students to understand and remember t he content, interested them in the material, and involved them in the s ubject matter. Judy chose not to use simulations because she preferred a more controlled, structured environment. She claimed she was uncomfortable wit h drama and thought that students acted Â“sillyÂ” in dramatic activities. The teachers I observed implemented th ree to four simulations a year on topics such as, Journey to America (Pilg rims), The Oregon Trail, and Immigration to Ellis Island. Each simulation lasted approximately six weeks. They introduced a simulation on the Lewis and Clark expedit ion in April, 2005. I secured written letters of approval from the principal of the field work site and from the school district.
12 Limitations and Key Assumptions Limitations of the study included time constraints because of statemandated testing dates. The testing coor dinator of the school district gave permission that I collect data after the exam s in March until the end of the school year in May. Although appropriate for a qua litative study, the sample size for my study did not allow generalizations to ot her teachers who use simulations in their classrooms. The responses of student s were unique and did not reflect the experiences of their peers. A key assumption to qualitative resear ch is that the researcher is the primary instrument of data collection. Therefore, my perceptions and beliefs were integrated into the research process and influenced my assumptions and conclusions. I attempted to avoid bias by asking open-ended questions during interviews, transcribing interviews ve rbatim, and maintaining a researcher reflective journal. In addi tion, I requested another doctoral student familiar with qualitative research to review my fiel d notes and themes. I asked the teachers and students to review writt en summaries of my finding s from their interviews and shared the case study with the two teachers. Definition of Terms One of the major criticisms in the literature is that practitioners and researchers do not apply consistent termino logy when they re fer to simulations (Berting, 1989; Crookall, 1995; Greenbla t, 1988; Hertel & Millis, 2002; Jones, 1989). Often authors contradict one anot her and interchange terms. However, differences exist (Bredemeier & Greenbl at, 1981; Gibbs, 1975; May, 1997). For
13 example, many associate simulations wit h games, role play, and plays. Authors of games viewed simulations as a type of game, while authors on drama in education perceived simulations as role -playing exercises (Jones, 1980). As a result, Jones (1988, p.9) stated Â“termi nology is the dragon at the simulation gate.Â” He offered this metaphor partly because many educators do not understand the nature of si mulations and confuse simulations with games. The terms are not synonymous. For the purpose of this literature review, I define the terms simulations, simulation games, and role play. Also, I supply the meanings of active learning, hands-on ac tivities, and cooperative learning. Active Learning Although all learning involves a ce rtain amount of active experiences (Thatcher, 1990), the premise of active learning is t hat students are mentally engaged in the area of study. Active l earning incorporates more complex conceptual patterns and cognitive procedures than a lesson on rote memorization. This type of learning o ccurs when students set individual goals, plan activities to meet them, evaluat e the consequences of their actions, and share their thoughts with other s (Wells & Wells, 1992). Cooperative Learning Cooperative learning concerns an instru ctional approach that emphasizes peer interaction as an integral part of t he learning process. Co operative learning practices vary from simple to complex. So me activities allow students to work as partners. Others inco rporate student teams with each person assigned a specific role. The major concepts of cooperativ e learning are the following: Positive
14 Interdependence, Individual Accountabili ty, Equal Participation, and Simultaneous Interaction (Kagan, 1994). Some teachers adopt cooperative learning structures for a simulation. Games Games are contests with established rules, winners and losers (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Gibbs & Howe, 1974; Gredler, 1994; Seidner, 1978). To many, the term Â“gamesÂ” c onnotes that parti cipants will enjoy themselves and have fun (Clegg, 1991; Jones, 1988). Games end after each session and are not intended to replicat e reality (Gredler 1994). Cruickshank and Telfer (1980) distinguished betw een academic and non-academic games. Amusement characterizes non-academic games like Bingo or baseball. In contrast, academic games include Sc rabble and crossword puzzles and are designed for players to learn an objective. In each type of game, students play to meet predetermined objectives and follow established rules. Although games have been associated with simulations, for th is study I will not focus on games in the classroom. Hands-on Activities In the classroom, hands-on activities are often referred to as hands-on methods or learning. The term refers to how teachers involve students in physical and intellectual (minds-on) experiences Teachers provide opportunities for students to manipulate and handle objec ts and to discuss what they have learned (Jarolimek, Foster & Kellough, 2005).
15 Role Play Like simulations and games, authors hav e not defined role play well in the literature (Bonwell & Eison, 1991; Wagner, 1998). Role play requires individuals to imagine themselves in a particular sit uation or to adopt anotherÂ’s mindset in a certain context (Taylor & Walford, 1972; van Ments, 1994). Role play is a component of a simulation. The center of a ll dramatic exercises, role play cannot be extricated from the simulation (Wagner 1998). One way of understanding this relationship is to imagine an umbrella as the simulation and role play as the handle. In other words, role play is a c entral part of the even t, but it is not the entire activity. Preparation, discussion, and re flection are also important elements in a simulation. Bonwell and Eison (1991) clarified that role pl ay may last less than an hour while simulations last several hours or days. In addition, role play is not equivalent to acting. An acto r interprets a character in order to entertain a group of people (van Ments, 1994). In contras t, students use role play within simulations to experience an unfamiliar situation and increase their understanding of the events that happen. Simulations One of the most distinct differences between games and simulations is that in a simulation, students do not tr y to win. In addition, simulations are ongoing in that the teacher controls the amount of ti me that they will last. Simulations occur during a class period or could take place over several weeks
16 (Hertel & Millis, 2002; Jones, 1988; Marks, 1992; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvain & Stockburger, 1992). Interaction during a simulation enabl es students to understand an event and experience it through the perspective of another person. For instance, teachers might ask students to pretend that they are immigrants who have to leave their country. Students adopt the persona of another person and write, speak, and act as if they were someone else. The teacher does not tell them what to say or how to behave. Instead, the students decide how they will interpret and portray their characters. Moreov er, simulations tend to be open-ended and ambiguous. In some cases, the goals are to explore values, opinions, emotions, and attitudes (Jones, 1987). A simulation is a representation of realit y (Morie, 1996) that is a more simplified recreation of an actual or imaginary worl d (Greenblat, 1988; Beard & Wilson, 2002; van Ments, 1994). Furthermore, Jones (1987, 1988) clarified that simulations are non-taught events and can be serious. Participants are embedded in the interaction of informa l and formal dramatic reenactments and have ownership in determining events and t he final outcome. Jones (1980, p. 10) provided the following explanation: With a simulation the participants ar e on the inside, with the powers, duties, and responsibilities of shaping eventsÂ…Action and interaction take place. The situation changes. Causes have effects and decisions have consequences. The participants are involved, they participate, they
17 become absorbed in the interaction. It can be said that the participants are the simulation. On a related point, Seidner (1978) distinguished between three different types of simulations: all-machine, person-machine, and person-person simulations. All-machine simulations ar e entirely computerized and seldom used in the classroom. Person-machine simulati ons involve the interaction between a human being and a machine. For example, in driverÂ’s education programs, some cars are wired so that st udents could experience what driving drunk feels like. Finally, person-person simulations ar e most popular in the classroom and recreate social, dynamic systems. Anot her term for them is social-system simulations (Gredler, 1994) In this kind of simula tion, participants make decisions based on a certain event. Thei r choices and interactions propel the simulation. In this dissertation I studied a social-system simulation. Simulation Games Even though simulations and games ar e separate genres, some materials contain the characteristics of both si mulations and games (Gredler, 1994). Jones (1987) wrote that some authors of simula tions include point-scoring devices in the simulation for assessment or compet ition. For this reason, Gibbs (1975) distinguished between simulations, gam es, and simulation-games. Jones (1987, p. 14) argued terms like simulation -game are Â“hyphenated horrorsÂ” and should be discarded because they confuse and mislead participants. Crookall (1995) believed that it is impossible to declar e a solid definition for simulation-games
18 due to the socially constructed nature of them. Rather, Cr ookall claimed that definitions should rema in tentative and open. Summary The study examined how and wh y two fifth-grade teachers used simulations as a form of experiential learning (Kolb, 1984; Thatcher, 1990) in fifth-grade classrooms. As they participat ed in a simulation from the beginning to the end, I observed and interviewed the tw o teachers and five students in each of the teachersÂ’ classrooms for an N of 10. I adopted a descriptive case study design with tenets of phenomenology as my guiding approach. I utilized phenomenological analysis methods for in terviews (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). The information that I collected, analyzed, and reported will contribute to the knowledge base on drama in educat ion and inform other teachers on how they could use simulations in their educational environments.
19 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction The Chinese proverb Â“I hear and I fo rget. I see and I remember. I do and I understandÂ” appears often in simulation li terature (Greenblat, 1988; Hertel & Millis, 2002; Lee, 1994; Morie, 1996). In seve ral sources writers have used this explanation to justify simula tions as a valid educational tool, especially in social studies classrooms (Hess, 1999; Marks, 1992; Morie, 1996). Indeed, simulations are interactive. Teachers and students enga ge in conversations as they recreate historical events, adopt diffe rent identities, and experi ence alternate realities (Blatt, 1995; Fennessey, 2000; Keech, 2001; McCann, 1996). Together, they learn about historical events such as T he Oregon Trail or The Revolutionary War. They internalize major themes such as culture, people, places and environments, and individual development and identit y (Fredericks, 2000; Keech, 2001). The National Council for Social Studies (1994) standards includes all of these concepts. Within these standards are questions such as: What happened in the past? Why do people behave as they do? Simu lations offer teachers a means to teach the standards through the integration of language arts and social studies. Besides the notion that simulations may be enjoyable (Blatt, 1995; Hertel & Milllis, 2002; Morie, 1996; Wo lfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992), simulations offer cognitive and affective benefits as well. They motivate students to learn more about a given topic, result in more positive attitudes toward a discipline,
20 and add variety to the cla ssroom (Cordeiro, 1995; Heinig, 1992; Morie, 1996; Mayer, 2002; Wagner, 1998; Wilhelm & Edmiston, 1998). In my study, I looked at how two fifth -grade teachers used a simulation to teach about the Lewis and Clark expedition in their language arts and social studies classes. My research questi ons determined the major areas for this literature review. I wanted to underst and why teachers used simulations, how they implemented them, and w hat students had said about them in the literature. Therefore, I organized this review into five major sections The first section offers the literature on sele ct theories of teaching and learning in the context of simulations. The second describes the des ign of a simulation and examines how different teachers have implemented them in their classrooms. The third section discusses the development of simulations from a historical perspective. The fourth analyzes the research on the effe ctiveness of simulations, and the fifth reports what students have said in thei r experiences through a simulation. I conclude with a summary of the chapter. Theories of Teaching and Learning A single theory cannot provide a foundation for curriculum design. Educators adopt diverse perspectives, re search findings, and their experiences (Jarolimek, Foster, & Kell ough, 2005; Terwel, 1999). Howe ver, in the literature authors link certain educati onal theories most often to simulations. These theories are experiential le arning and constructivism ( Clegg, 1991; Inbar & Stoll, 1972; Kolb, 1984; Moon, 2004; Ruben, 1999; Smith & Herring, 2001; Thatcher, 1990). Both of these chall enge traditional paradigms such as behaviorist theory
21 and traditional models of instruction. In this section I will contrast traditional theories of teaching and l earning with active learning and describe experiential learning and constructivism. Also, I will explain how these two ideologies connect to why teachersÂ’ use simulati ons in their classrooms. Traditional Model In the United States, the traditiona l model of teaching and learning originated to the late 1800Â’s and the early 1900Â’s. Behaviorist learning theory dominated educational circles. Many teac hers awarded learners for their efforts, perceived studentsÂ’ minds as empty vessels, and viewed intelligence as inherited (Abbott & Ryan, 1999b; Broo ks & Brooks, 1993). Today, traditional methods of teaching and learning depict the teacher as the kno wledge expert who controls the amount of information students learn and how it is transmitted (Marlowe & Page, 1998; Rogoff, Bartlett, & Turkanis, 2001; Ruben, 1999). The majority of the time the teacher relies on textbooks, wo rkbooks, and a fixed curriculum as the students work alone to find the correct ans wers (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Wolfe, 2001). Greenblat (1988) explained that the traditional model of teaching and learning poses several limitations. The most significant one is that in the conventional model students are passive re cipients of information. The teacher presents information in a sequential manner and leads discussions before or after a lecture. When teachers ask st udents to contribute their thoughts, extroverted students may dom inate the discussion while reticent students stay silent. Yet, the quiet ones could have the best ideas.
22 Furthermore, Ruben (1999) and Brown ( 1998) stated that traditional approaches to education are not compatible with how students learn outside the classroom. Often these activities entail collaboration and peer interaction. Vygotsky (1973) and Piaget (1976) em phasized the relevance of peer involvement in learning. Yet, in traditi onal models students mainly work in isolation. Brown (1998, p. 199) descri bed the activities that some students experience after school: Small groups of friends navigate to all parts of their communities, invade stores, explore vacant lots and bui ldings, seek out culverts and ponds, construct tree houses and forts, list en to music and engage in countless other creative activities. School -tired bodies are renewed, and dulled curiosities become sharpened as t he youngstersÂ’ feet hit neighborhood turf after school hours. Compared to how students interact outside the classroom, the arrangement of traditional classrooms inhibits conversati on and activity (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Flynn, Mesibov, Vermette, & Smith, 1994; Sharrock & Watson, 1986; Taylor & Walford, 1972; Wells & Wells, 1992). Students do not consider the material to be relevant in their lives and disengage fr om the content (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Wilhelm, 1997). In contra st, simulations enliven t he classroom and integrate knowledge into the real world (Hess, 1999). Active Learning Active learning is the cornerstone of simulations (Diulus & Baum, 1991; Greenblat, 1988; Hertel & Millis, 2002; Marks, 1992; Thatcher, 1990; Wolfe,
23 McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992). Thatcher ( 1990) stated that all learning requires a certain amount of active experiences In order to learn, students must be connected with the skills to be mastered. Teachers reported that they used simulations as an instructional method bec ause they believed in the benefits of active learning (Antinarella & Salbu, 2003; Brown, 1998; Diulus & Baum, 1991; Greenblat, 1981c; Ruben, 1999; Shields, 1996) Active learning in simulations enable students to have ownership in the learning process, communicate with their peers to solve problems, make abstract concepts tangible, and transfer knowledge to a more authentic situation (Heitzmann, 1974; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992). Yet, centuries before simulations gained popularity in the 1960Â’s, thin kers and researchers such as Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and Rousseau wrote about the benef its of active learning (Marlowe & Page, 1998; Stover, Neubert, & Lawler, 1993). Active learning is not a contemporary concept. Rousseau. For example, Rousseau, a thinker during the Enlightenment, discussed in LÂ’Emile an educational program that exposed participants to artificially created situations. Rousseau not iced the classical education of his time required students to read and memorize passages. Rousseau believed these exercises stifled studentsÂ’ active learni ng processes. He thought that students grew Â“passive, destructive, deceitful, se lfish, and stupidÂ” and that Â“education was boring and beyond the childrenÂ’s comprehen sionÂ” (Marlowe & Page, 1998, p. 14). RousseauÂ’s ideas resonate with the ra tionale for educational simulations in the twentieth century (Inbar & Stoll 1972).
24 John Dewey. In turn, RousseauÂ’s ideas inspired DeweyÂ’s. Dewey (1915) wrote that Rousseau was am ong the first to perceive learning as essential to studentsÂ’ growth and that adults should c onsider studentsÂ’ interests and needs in school. Dewey (1900, 1915) believed teac hers should direct studentsÂ’ active experiences and advocated dramatization as one possibility. He discussed how a fourth-grade class at the Francis Parker School investigated Greek culture. The students studied Greek history, constr ucted Â“houses,Â” wrote poems based on myths, and recreated battles and festivals. Although he did not use the word Â“s imulation,Â” DeweyÂ’s descriptions typified simulations. Later, Dewey (1938) addressed the conflict between traditional and progressive approaches to education and argued that students should learn through experience. By ext ension, Dewey (1916) wrote that the reconstruction of the meaning from experience causes l earning. In other words, when students reflect on an event they transform tacit u nderstanding to the conscious level. Reflection, an important component in a simula tion, mirrors this statement. Wagner ( 1998) and Kolb (1984) credited De wey as one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth cent ury. His theory of Â“learning by doingÂ” molded the progressive era in education and shaped later theories on experiential learning. Experiential Learning Educators rediscovered experiential le arning in the 1960Â’s, an alternative to traditional instruction that dominat ed during the 1950Â’s (Clegg, 1991; Marlowe & Page, 1998; McCann, 1996; Ruben, 1999). Moon (2004) claimed Boud,
25 Cohen, & WalkerÂ’s (2000) definition best describes experiential learning. Boud, Cohen, & Walker wrote that experiential learning shares the following elements: experience is the foundation and stimulus for learning; l earners actively construct their experiences; learning is holistic, socially and culturally constructed; and learning is influenced by the social and emotional context of an event. In short, people learn from their experiences (Kol b, 1984; Moon, 2004). As a result, some instructors might use simulations becaus e of their beliefs in the benefits of experiential learning (Pedersen, 2000; Ruben, 1999; Thatcher, 1990). Because all simulations are a form of experiential lear ning (Clegg, 1991; Kolb, 1984; Moon, 2004; Ruben, 1999; Thatcher, 1990), simulations enable students to learn through the discovery of an ongoing process or a given scenario. Students have the responsibility to create their actions and evaluate the outcomes (Diulus & Baum, 1991). This ex ample demonstrates how experiential learning manifests in the classroom. The Oregon Trail: An example of experiential learning. McCann (1996) organized a pioneer simulation with his ni nth-grade English class in order to interest his students in Willa CatherÂ’s novel, My Antonia McCann introduced the simulation. He explained the students w ould reenact the pioneerÂ’s journey along the Oregon Trail once a week for five w eeks. McCann informed the students that they would work in small groups to respond to problems, write about their experiences, and report to the class. He then assigned students to one of six different families. Within the family each student represented a role such as mother, father, oldest child, or youngest ch ild. The students used role play while
26 they were in the simulation. In role, they faced challenges and dilemmas that actual pioneers would have met. McCann st ated that the simulation caused the students to apply their own experiences to reflect on pioneer life. In addition, the activity prompted the students to consider what was important to them. They had to make decisions about what items thei r character would bring with them on the covered wagon. McCann reported that the simulati on increased student curiosity in My Antonia The students read the book, and some even enjoyed it. Beyond that, McCann mentioned his studentsÂ’ written and oral responses to the novel reflected issues that arose in t he simulation. McCann (p. 66) wrote, They appeared to have some insight into the fear, disappointment, and difficulty of those people who left home to make a new life on the prairie. They noted that the characters had to make value j udgments, and for some characters, the material thi ngs that once seemed very important diminished in valueÂ…Second, the students also seemed to have an understanding of Jim BurdenÂ’s (main c haracter in the novel) and Willa CatherÂ’s need to provide a record of the experience of moving to a new surrounding, facing and overcoming hardships, and taking the experience with them wherever they went. The simulation enabled students to experienc e the Oregon Trail vicariously. They relied on their background knowledge and emotions to understand their characters. Interaction with their peers infl uenced their decisions as they learned more about an unfamiliar event.
27 KolbÂ’s learning cycle. McCannÂ’s portrayal of hi s studentsÂ’ experiences with a simulation reflects KolbÂ’s (1984) m odel of the learning cycle. Kolb believed learning is a process. Learning en sues when learners transform their experiences into knowledge. To demons trate this definition, Kolb created a model cited often in the lit erature on experiential lear ning (Beard & Wilson, 2002; Diulus & Baum, 1991; Golub, 2000; Moon, 2004; Thatcher 1990). As shown in Figure 1, KolbÂ’s model described four par ts of the learning process: concrete experience (CE), refl ective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC), and active experimentation (AE). In the first stage, concrete experience, students learn through a direct experience of an ev ent. During the second stage, reflective observation, the students review their exper ience. In the third stage, abstract conceptualization, the students consider what they have learned. Then, in the fourth stage, the student engages in active experimentation. They transfer what they have learned from the earlier stages to adjust their thin king and attempt a different way to solve a problem. The learning cycle and simulations. Thatcher (1990) ap plied KolbÂ’s theory to the design of a simulation. If the ex perience is constructive, simulations facilitate learning. In relation to KolbÂ’s model, simulations reproduce the learning cycle by their design. In simulations that extend over a period of several weeks, students receive the concrete experienc e when they engage in role play as a certain character. Then, they reflect on t he activity after each session. After they consider what they have learned through the reflection, they return to the experience. The cycle continues throughout the entire length of the simulation. In
28 Figure 1 KolbÂ’s Experiential Learning Model Note. From Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development (pp. 41-42), by D. Kolb, 1984, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Reprinted with permission. McCannÂ’s (1996) example of The Oregon Trail, the journal reflections enabled students to review what they exper ienced. When they entered the role play again, the reflection process caused them to reconsider their fu ture actions. Jerome BrunerÂ’s theory of development. Just as KolbÂ’s learning cycle connected abstract and concrete concepts, Bruner devised a theory that included these components. In BrunerÂ’s (1966) theory of development human beings interpret reality through three different stages: enactive, iconic, and symbolic. Enactive knowledge refers to lear ning through movement, iconic through Concrete Experience (CE) Reflective Observation (RO) Abstract Conceptualization (AC) Abstract Experimentation (AE)
29 observation, and symbolic through speech. In role play, students use their bodies (enactive), create images in their minds (observation), and use language (symbolic) to articulate t heir experience (Wagner, 1998). Bruner believed that as students grow older, they transition from the enactive stage to the symbolic stage. T eachersÂ’ awareness of these stages allows them to meet their studentsÂ’ needs and inte rests. Bruner mentioned Â“dramatizing devicesÂ” that attract studentsÂ’ attention and help them to identify with an idea or a phenomenon. For instanc e, students could have props and artifacts in a simulation for Native Americans and Pilgrims. They could create arrows, hats, and pouches. The concrete objects help them to understand how the early settlers hunted, looked, and traded. Yet, they rely on abstract thinking to internalize the emotions the Native Amer icans or Pilgrims might have felt. For instance, they may wrestle with feelings of anguish if they lose family members during the winter or excitement when they master how to hunt. Constructivism BrunerÂ’s ideas about teaching and l earning resemble principles of constructivism (Eggen & Kauchak, 1999). Bruner (1965, p. 87) stated that discovery learning Â“helps the child to lear n the varieties of problem-solving, of transforming information for better use, hel ps him to learn how to go about the very task of learning.Â” In addition, Gagnon and Collay (2001) and Flynn, Mesibov, Vermette, and Smith (2004) credited psyc hologists Piaget and Vygotsky as the pioneers of constructivist t heory. In opposition to the teacher as the transmitter of
30 information, Piaget (1976) and Vygotsky (1986) proposed learners construct meaning through their individual experi ences and interaction with others. An important distinction posits constr uctivism as a theory about learning, not teaching (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Marl owe & Page, 1998). In a constructivist classroom, learners blend thei r prior and current experie nces to make meaning and learn more about a certain subject (Abbott & Ryan, 1999a; Applefield, Huber, & Moallem, 2001; Smith & Herri ng, 2001). In turn, teachers provide activities that encourage problem solving and in vestigation of a concept in depth. Constructivist principles do not state that students determine what should be taught. Instead, constructivism is a method for students to learn content in a more effective manner (Flynn, Mesibov, Vermette, & Smith, 2004). Constructivists agree that when st udents control their learning they discover answers on their own, create indi vidual interpretati ons, and express an enhanced understanding of a concept. Cons tructivists share a common belief that the teacher-directed cl assroom inhibits studentsÂ’ creativity, autonomy, and thinking. In the teacher-directed cl assroom, students depend on the teacher for information (Brophy, 2002; Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Gagnon & Collay, 2001; Marlowe & Page, 1998; Smith & Herring, 2001). Simulations and constructivism. In order to convey how a simulation connects to constructivism, I provide the following example. Blatt (1995) organized a simulation on ancient Gr eece with her thir d graders. As an introduction to the simulation, she allowed the students to determine their characters. First, she arranged the desks in clusters so that students could sit
31 with their new Â“family.Â” She distribut ed a list of popular Greek names and a handout on the Greek alphabet. The st udents chose a Greek name and an age eight-years old or older. After that, eac h family had to determine how they were related to one another. Most of the time students typified mo thers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. They selected a family name based on the alphabet. In that way, the class trans formed to the Alpha, Beta, and Sigma families. After each activity the student s wrote in their diaries about their experiences from the vi ewpoint of the Greek person they embodied. This activity was constructivist because the students decided how the characters were connected. They applied their knowledge of family structure to create a new one. In addition, they co mpared their understanding of the English alphabet to the Greek one. The teacher did not interf ere with their discussion. Instead, she provided the resources for t hem to execute the activity. As the simulation continued, the students desi gned a home for their family based on pictures and read Greek myths. Often, t heir diary entries reflected information from the stories. Teachers and constructivism. Teachers who foster constructivist learning environments may struggle at first. Flynn et al. (2004) synthesized their findings from 20 years of work with teachers w ho transitioned from a teacher-centered classroom to one more student-centered. The researchers found four themes that the teachers had in common. The teachers required a minimum of three years to gain comfort with a strategy, collaborated with a colleague or friend, changed their teaching gradually, and made several mistakes. Since simulations
32 are constructivist by design (Inbar & St oll, 1972), they offer teachers an avenue to explore constructivism. However, nov ices to simulations might experience similar feelings that Fly nn et al. (2004) reported. Social constructivist theory. Related to constructivism is social constructivist theory. Vygotsky (1986) intr oduced the idea that learning is a social experience. He delineated a three-stage pr ocess in the social construction of knowledge. First, learners create personal meaning themselves. Second, they engage in conversation with their peers to construct a common meaning. Third, they discuss their thoughts within a la rger community. The entire process enables learners to adjust their origin al ideas based on othersÂ’ perceptions. Opportunity for collaborative talk is an esse ntial part of constructivist classrooms (Nuthall, 2002; Wells & Wells, 1992; Wells 2002). By their design, simulations offer teachers and students an opportunity to engage in extensive conversations in order to solve a problem or role play a scenario. Today, many perceive social intera ction as a powerful way to learn. Interactive classrooms allow students to communicate with their peers to solve problems. As a result, student conver sation facilitates thinking. Through discussion students articulate their ideas and have them validated by others (OÂ’Neill, 1995; Stover, Neubert, & Lawlor, 1993). Still, not all social interaction in classrooms equates to meaningful discu ssion. Researchers should focus on classroom interaction and the contexts t hat provide these opportunities so that learning occurs (Kumpulainen & Wray, 2002) As a method of social interaction, well-designed simulations facilitate communication because they encourage
33 student talk and cooperation. Often, this discussion ensues during the action and debriefing stages of a simulation. I descri be these areas in the next section. In summary, teaching and learning t heories are multi-fa ceted. In the classroom, teachers use simulations bec ause they believe in the benefits of active learning. In addition, they ma y give credence to theories such as experiential learning and constructivism Inspired by Dewey, both ideologies invite student participation and foster independent thinking. Proponents of simulations reference these theories to justify their purposes in the classroom. Teachers who use simulations have their students interact in ways different from those in more traditional environments. Opportunities for student involvement and autonomy are built into how si mulations are created and enacted. Although the experiential nature of simulations pervades the literature (Clegg, 1991; Inbar & Sto ll, 1972; Kolb, 1984; Moon, 2004; Ruben, 1999; Smith & Herring, 2001; Thatcher, 1990) three ar eas are not clear. Researchers have not reported how teachersÂ’ beliefs about teaching and learning correspond to their decision to use simulations. Se cond, they have not adequately addressed how teachers handle challenges that ar ise during the simulation. Third, researchers have not analyzed how teacher s stimulate meaningf ul conversation among simulation participants. These are issues I explored when I conducted my study. Simulation Design and Implementation Simulations are related to the field of drama. They share some of the traits of drama such as characterization and in vention. Simulations offer concrete
34 experiences so that students could process abstract concepts and issues. Simulations present opportunities to examine values and increase decisionmaking skills (Kellough & Roberts, 2002). Moreover, they embody a specific design. Many teachers execute simulations based on this format. In this section I provide a context for simulations in the field of educational drama and relate the teacherÂ’s role in the process. Also, I explain the design of a simulation and describe how different teachers have implemented simulations in their classrooms. I conclude this secti on with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages for their use in the classroom. Educational Drama Drama encompasses scripted or unscr ipted formats and requires minimal effort or pre-planning (Fennessey, 2000; Richards & Goldberg, 2003; Wagner, 1998). In contrast to plays that require extensive time and preparation, teachers enhance learning in a specif ic content area through im provisational drama. Spontaneous and unscripted, improvisationa l drama includes cr eative drama or drama in education (Beard & Wils on, 2002; Grady, 2000; Wagner, 1998; Wilhelm, 1998). Beard and Wilson (2002) and Robbins (1988) clarified that drama in education centers on the learnerÂ’s growth and development rather than on a performance to entertain an audience. Specifically, simulations are part of drama in education (Heathcote, 1984a). T he value of these activities in a language arts and social studies classr oom is that educat ors teach content through the recreation of actual event s (Cordeiro, 1995; Fennessey, 2000; Smith & Herring, 2001).
35 Drama in education. Baj (2004) credited Doroth y Heathcote, a former actress and a teacher and trai ner of the invention and de velopment of drama as a secondary school subject. The term Â“drama in educationÂ” developed in Britain from the use of classroom skits and pl ays (Grady, 2000). Heathcote coined the term when she taught lessons in histor y, geography, biology, and sociology. For example, a common topic of social studi es is immigration. After students read about the immigrantsÂ’ experiences, student s Â“walk in the time of the eventÂ” (Heathcote, 1983, p. 695). They explore how it feels to be an immigrant on a journey to a new country. They discuss the challenges they confront as that person. Then, they write a one-page diary en try from an immigrantÂ’s perspective. Heathcote (1984a) wrote that teachers approach dr ama in several ways. Each strategy creates a different ki nd of learning and results in separate outcomes. In a simulation, students and teachers recreate an event and explore the process of interactions (van Ments, 1989). They incorporate different actions and learn that each one obtains various re sults. Students experience a myriad of emotions and ideas as they engage in role play as a certain character. Drama generates thought, feeling, and language through a variety of authentic contexts (Edmiston, Enciso, & King, 1985; Ga y & Hanley, 1999; Wagner, 1998). As a result of the recreation of events in a simulation, students gain an in depth understanding of a phenom enon (McCaslin, 2000). Scenario: Curtains Up on Reading. OÂ’Hara (2001) recounted a program called Curtains Up on Reading. The programÂ’s purpose was to engage students in critical and creative thinking thr ough simulated experiences, such as the
36 American Civil War and the Underground Railr oad. As an alternative to a lecture of chronological events, the students ex plored them through action. The theory postulated the sensory experience w ould merge studentsÂ’ current knowledge with the unknown. As a result, they w ould improve their understanding of an event. OÂ’Hara kept a journal that descr ibed one specific activity. The following entry demonstrated the intensity of t he experience for a fourth-grade class: The students went into role, imagining that they were slaves trying to escape to Canada with Harriet Tubman as their leader. We mapped out the school site beforehand: the hal lways became dark passages through which we had to navigate, any ot her students or staff we saw were overseers, a specific point in our classroom became CanadaÂ…The leader of the pack of runaway slaves sang softly from Canada, calling to the young slaves as they bounded into freedom (OÂ’Hara, 2001, p. 13). In this instance, students utilized their im agination to convert their classroom to another country and their teacher as a hist orical figure. OÂ’Hara explained that after two years of involvement with the Curtains Up on Reading program, the pilot group of fourth-graders increased their state reading scores by 31% and their writing scores by 79%. In ad dition, students communicated their understanding of language arts skills such as, characterization, setting, and main idea. One limitation to this claim was t hat other factors may have influenced the studentsÂ’ improvement. The author did not mention these in the article. Integration of language ar ts and social studies. The Curtains Up on Reading program exemplifies the way teacher s integrate drama with history and
37 language arts. Students read about hist orical events and then reenact a scenario. The social studies and l anguage arts complement one another because they both involve human intera ction. Likewise, drama personalizes these subjects and provides insight into human motivation. Students realize history is a story of real people and their lives (Smith & Herring, 2001; Fredericks 2000). In order for students to understand anotherÂ’s perspective, they adopt a different mindset through role play. In a similar manner, teachers modify their roles throughout the simulation. TeachersÂ’ Roles in Simulations Bruner (1965) discussed how two differ ent teaching styles the expository mode and the hypothetical mode, affect st udent learning. In the expository model the student is passive while the teacher is active. The teacher provides information, or the exposi tion. In the hypothetical mode the teacher and the student discuss ideas. This dialogue enc ourages collaboration and discovery. Both modes are connected to teachersÂ’ ro les in simulations. In a simulation, a teacher provides information that student s need to know thr ough exposition. For instance, the teacher explains background information and leads class discussions. Yet, the majority of t he time the teacher should adopt the hypothetical mode. In this way, the t eacher guides the students as a facilitator who provides a context for students to learn. Teachers should allow students more autonomy throughout the simulation (Jones, 1980; May, 1997; T hatcher, 1990; Wolfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992). TeachersÂ’ roles in si mulations are multi-faceted. They are
38 managers, organizers, facilitat ors, and learners. As a facilitator the teacher provides resources for the participants and ensures that the materials are used judiciously (Jones, 1988; Seidner, 1978). Bolton (1984) and Wagner (1998) claimed Heathcote was a pioneer during t he early 1960Â’s with the use of teacherin-role, also called Â“mantle of the exper tÂ” (Heathcote & Her bert, 1985; OÂ’Neill, 1995). In this model, the teacher joins st udents as an equal participant in the dramatic activity. First, the teacher s hares information that students need in order to solve a given problem. Then, the teac her models how to ent er the imaginary setting through the dramatic metaphor. The teacher-in-role is similar to the teacherÂ’s function in several simulations. For example, the teacher could adopt the persona of a government official who presides over a city council. As t he Â“officialÂ”, the teacher communicates the problem that the students need to solv e. The students have to hire new employees, but they do not have enough funds in the cityÂ’s budget. The council members need to decide how to allocate the money. As the fa cilitator of the activity, the teacher encourages the student s to think about certain areas. For instance, the teacher mentions that the citizens in the town believe that their taxes are too exorbitant. In addition, the teacher asks the students to imagine artifacts or settings or might question st udentsÂ’ decisions. Other times teachers could assume subdued roles as they listen to students debate problems. Heathcote (1984b) wrote t hat throughout any dramat ic activity teachers should create environments that value and respect studentsÂ’ contributions, negotiate conflicts, and prepare for unexpe cted elements. On a related note,
39 students might act immature when they par ticipate in these events. Teachers need to uphold high standards for studentsÂ’ abiliti es to stay in character. Also, if students are not sure what to do, the t eacher should give them the necessary information to continue in the simulation (Mantione & Smead, 2003). Example of teacher-in-role: Hope Elementary School. Some teachers immerse themselves in role during a simu lation. For instance, Barb Johnson, a third-grade teacher, planned a simulation with her class. They researched their community and school as it existed 100 y ears ago. After weeks of research and preparation, the students arriv ed at school on the day of the simulation as if the classroom was a one-room schoolhouse. Johnson adopted the role of an early twentieth-century teacher. She placed slates and slate pencils on the desks, pulled out tin drinking cups, and wrote a quotation from the Bi ble on the board. Johnson thanked the student who brought a rabbit for her stew and the students who fixed the spoke on her wagon. S he admonished students for misbehaviors such as one who attempted to fly off a barn roof and another who stayed home to plow. Throughout the day she displayed typical behaviors for a teacher in the year 1900 (Morris, 2002). JohnsonÂ’s par ticipation encouraged the students to stay in role and demonstrated her effo rts to recreate an authentic simulation. Likewise, the students applied their knowl edge of what they had learned to their characters. In this case, Johnson mainta ined her authority as the teacher but allowed the students to make decisions based on their assigned characters. Community of learners. JohnsonÂ’s collaboration with the class is similar to a community of learners (R ogoff, Bartlett, & Turkanis, 2001; Ten Dam, Volman, &
40 Wardekker, 2004). In a community of learners approach, students and adults are part of learning activities in a form of heterogeneous collaboratio n. Adults provide leadership; however, adults and students are in a partnership rather than an adversarial relationship. Moreover, the participants seek a common goal that allows everyone to contribute. Thr ough the shared experience, simulations provide an opportunity for students and teac hers to construct meaning together (Wenzler & Chartier, 1999). In a simulation, the relations hip between teachers and students is paramount. Teaching style impacts learni ng-related outcomes. Teachers affect the learning, attitude, and student perception of t he experience. However, researchers have not systematically examined how teacher behaviors and instructional delivery influence simula tions (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981; Gosen & Washbush, 1999, 2004; Gr eenblat, 1981a, 1981b; Ruben, 1999; Seidner, 1978). For this reason, I observed how two teachers executed simulations in my study. Problems with teacher-in-role. Teachers do not have to participate in role-playing, but students enjoy it when they do (Blatt, 1995; McCaslin, 2000). Even when teachers do not adopt an assi gned character, some might feel disconcerted with their altered respons ibilities. As educ ators, they are accustomed to a certain amount of contro l in the classroom. They may struggle in their transition from di rectors to facilitators (Jones 1980; May, 1997; Thatcher, 1990; Wolfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992) If teachers provide substantial
41 assistance, they detract from the idea behin d the simulation: allow students to have control over their learning. Teachers should not intervene when students disagree or fail to achieve adequate progress during a simulation. Inste ad, they must allow the participants to make decisions in their roles (Jones, 1987,1988; Morie, 1996; Thatcher, 1990). As a form of experiential learni ng, teachers should perceive errors as inevitable and even desirable. Jones (1987) explained the students should have the independence to make mistakes. For in stance, the survivors could die, the journalists might not meet their deadlines, and the pres ident may not cover all items on the agenda. As a result, student s learn that their actions have consequences. Preparation for t he Simulation Before teachers mention to the cla ss that they will begin a simulation, they need to plan beforehand (Hyman, 1977; May, 1997; Seidner, 1978). They should consider how long the simulation will last, how the simulation connects to course content, and how they will m anage the students (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Hess, 1999; Shay, 1980). Beyond that, teachers should experience a simulation as a participant before they se rve as a facilitator. This opportunity allows teachers to understand how their students might feel in a simulation. Kamimura (2002, p. 480) provides a ra tionale for teacher participation in a simulation: Â“We cannot talk about the ex perience of climbing a mountain unless we climb it. We cannot talk about the ex perience of going down a river on a raft unless we do it.Â” A workshop that teac hes educators on the use of simulations
42 allows them to discuss their frustrati ons and provides an opportunity to share ideas for implementation (Diulus & B aum, 1991; Marks, 1992). In addition, teachers could observe a simulation in another classroom or pilot one with a small group. Teacher planning. Simulations require extensive planning. Researchers define teacher planning as a psychological process and a practical activity. From the research on cognitive psychology, teac hers visualize the future, consider the outcomes, and develop an instructional plan At the same time other researchers have characterized planning as Â“the things that teachers do when they say that they are planningÂ” (Clark & Peterson, 1986). Teacher planning ranges the shortterm of a day or a week to the long term, such as, a semester or academic year. The instructional decisions teachers ma ke during planning affect the content, materials, social aspects, and activities of a lesson (Borko & Shavelson, 1990; Shavelson, 1987). Although an essential aspe ct of effective instruction, most teachers do not have sufficient time to plan within their allotted hours. As a result, many teachers plan when students are not present. Rather than an isolated event, teacher planning is recursive as t eachers refine and adjust their decisions (Borko & Putnam, 1996). Most teachers decide on the subject ma tter first. Then, they consider the materials, objectives, and evaluation pr ocedures (Borko & Shavelson, 1990). When planning, teachers re fer to their knowledge of the content, classroom activities, students, teaching, school c onventions, materials, and school texts (Borko & Putnam, 1996). In addition, teac hers align their strategies to the
43 classroom objectives and state and local st andards. They consider the strengths and weaknesses of their students (Tileston, 2004). Selecting simulations. First, teachers should choos e a topic that they are knowledgeable about (Crooka ll, 1995; Greenblat, 1988) or they could engage in research to learn about the subject. M illians (1999a) suggested teachers read several books about the subject, review at lases, study visual arts, listen to different types of music, and examine arts and crafts. Second, teachers could decide to desi gn their own simulation or purchase commercial ones (Greenblat, 1986, 1988; Millians, 1999a). If teachers design their own, Hess (1999) claimed they s hould allot 10-15 hours of work time to write the roles for student s. Also, they need to decide on a relevant problem, collect resources, and consider possi ble outcomes (May, 1997). In contrast, Morie (1996) and May (1997) recommended that teachers new to simulations should purchase commercial materials and then follow the steps to enact it. Teachers should determine if the publisher gave them permission to reproduce the materials so that they do not have to purchase another set every year (Jones, 1987). Some simulations are expensive (May, 1997; Morie, 1996). Third, Jones (1987) and Seidner (1978) recommended teachers analyze simulations for quality. Better simulati ons provide clues and opportunities for participants to consider during the action, but they are subtle. As a result, students incorporate problem-solving stra tegies to make decisions. Some simulations have a weak design or are superfluous to course content. Teachers should ensure that the simulation matches specific academic objectives.
44 Example of a teacher-created simulation. Some teachers prefer to write their own simulations. Millians (1999a) a fifth-grade teacher, had designed one large simulation for his classroom every year. In the past, he had used the U.S. Civil War, the Middle Ages, China, the 20th century, and the modern world. For some years, he framed the school yearÂ’s studies on a broad topic such as the age of exploration. The gener al topic allowed him to create specific areas of study throughout the curriculum. Millians wrote his simulations after extensive research on a particular topic. He chose a setting, developed characters, and planned for conflict and challenges. Millians allocated substantial time to assign characters to particular students. In one situation, he did not want tw o of his African American students depicted as slaves in a Civil War simulati on. Therefore, he ens ured that they would not have this option when he wrote a character list. He assigned boys to male roles and girls to female ones. Although costumes and props were not necessary, he believed that they added authenticity and engaged students to their assigned parts. As a result, students used props that they had constructed. Millians did not allow devices such as hunt ing spears, knives, and other tools, but students mimed them if they needed to. In any case, props were minimal. Ethical issues in the choice of a simulation. Whether or not teachers write their own simulations or purchase commerc ial ones, they should be cautious with certain topics. Some teachers believe t hat students will develop empathy if they experience feelings of prejudice or racism As an example, Dvorak (1998, p. xiv) stated,
45 We study history to learn from the mistakes others have made. Through drama, we can find out what led to those mistakes and how we can prevent similar incidents from ha ppening again. If every person in the world knew what the victims of t he Holocaust thought and felt, would there ever be another Holocaust? In this instance, Dvorak pointed out drama helps students to identify with Holocaust victims. Although Dvorak did not mention simulations, the inference is that students reenact a par t of the Holocaust. On the contrary side, Totten (2000) obj ected to any dramatic activity or simulation to teach the Holocaust. Tott en argued a simulation would simplify a tragic part of history that should never be reduced to a r epresentation of reality. Instead, the author suggested teachers sele ct primary documents such as firstperson accounts of survivors and documentar ies that explain the reality. Totten provided an example of a group of seventh-grade student s. They were confined to a designated space that was supposed to resemble a cattle car, a form of transportation that was used to transpor t Jews. The students giggled, pushed each other, and stepped on each otherÂ’s toes Meanwhile, the teacher read them an account of a survivorÂ’s explanation of the cattle car. At the end of the simulation the teacher said, Â“Â’Now you have some idea as to what the Jews went through! You should never forget it!Â’Â” (p 166). Totten stated that a simulation to teach the Holocaust is simplistic, gives incorrect information, and is ahistorical. Although they have honorable intentions, so me teachers might not realize that
46 some subjects are too volatile to teach through a simulation. In these cases, they should employ a different method. Suggestions for success. Besides the choice of an ethical simulation, Cruickshank and Telfer (1980) and Shay (1980) recommended teachers consider certain factors before they attempt one. They stated teachers should select an appropriate simulation based on instructi onal objectives and consider how much time is required. They need to plan how they will introduce the activity and execute it based on studentsÂ’ backgrounds a nd abilities. In addition, May (1997) advised teachers to search for a well-wri tten simulation that matches studentsÂ’ interests. Deliberation on these areas c ould result in improved student response and achievement. Teachers should decide how to dist ribute the roles. Some students will receive better parts than others (Cruicks hank & Telfer, 1980). Furthermore, Morie (1996) suggested if the simulation is tea m-oriented, the teacher divides the class heterogeneously by personalities and academi c abilities. For a more successful simulation, the optimal group size is four to five members. Many small groups generate better interaction. Also, groups might behave better when the students decide who their leader will be in stead of the teacher. Blatt (1995) offered six strategies fo r teachers to increase their chances of a successful simulation. As a third-gr ade teacher who uses simulations, Blatt shared several examples: 1. Think of a believable idea that bot h the teacher and st udents will perceive as serious.
47 2. The teacher needs to have written resources like books so the simulation will not Â“die an early deathÂ” (p. 60). The books should be at the studentsÂ’ reading level, accessible to ever yone, and related to the subject. 3. Include collegial help or guest sp eakers. The music teacher and art teacher may be valuable resources. 4. Provide blank books so students can wr ite their notes, stories, dialogue, etc. Blatt called these books Â“The Adventure Book.Â” 5. Costumes are not mandat ory but students may find th at they are more in character if they wear them. A bo x of old clothing serves several purposes. Students wear the costumes not throughout the day but only when they are immersed in the simulati on. Name tags are also helpful so the students can call each other by their assigned name. 6. Listen to students and ask for their advice. After the planning stage, then teac hers are prepared to introduce the simulation. Simulations conform to a format, and I discuss it in the following section. Design of a Simulation In the literature, discussions on si mulation design prevail (Clegg, 1991). One possible reason is that design is tangi ble. Teachers interested in simulations can read how to implement them and then follow the pre scribed stages (Crookall, 1995; Greenblat, 1988; Hyman, 1977). Organi zations such as the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA), and the So ciety for the Advancement of Games
48 and Simulations in Education and Traini ng (SAGSET) agreed on the structure of a simulation (Klabbers, 2003). That is, mo st simulations have three major parts: the briefing, action, and debriefing (G reenblat, 1988; Hyman, 1977; Jones, 1987, 1993). Well-designed simulations are more concerned with the process than with the ultimate product. In other words, students should ask questions to understand a problem rather than search for a solution. In the subsequent sections I discuss each stage of a simu lation and describe how teachers assess their students. Briefing. In the briefing stage, teachers introduce t he activity to the students and build background knowledge about the topic (Jones, 1988). Students learn facts through mini-lessons, readings, and videotapes about the subject. Teachers review select vocabul ary, articulate basic concepts, and explain the purpose of the simulation (Hess, 1999; Morie, 1996). In longer simulations, teachers divide the briefing into separate parts over a series of several days or weeks (Jones, 1980). For example, Hess (1999) described the preparation for a simulation titled Â“Constructing a New American Governmen t.Â” The simulation recreated the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia At that time 12 of the 13 American colonies met to co-author the U.S. Consti tution. Before the students entered the action phase of the simulation, they l earned some information about the state that they represented. St udents located their state on the map, reviewed the needs of their state, and previewed so me of the issues to be resolved.
49 Other times teachers sele ct students to act out a particular component of the simulation so that ot hers understand what they are expected to do (Seidner, 1978). However, teachers should not spend extensive time in the briefing stage because students could lose interest (Crui ckshank & Telfer, 1980). In addition, if teachers reveal the objectives or expec ted outcomes, they might influence how students make decisions in the acti on phase (Hyman, 1977; Jones, 1993). Action. Like the briefing stage, the acti on phase occurs over a number of days. After the students receive the briefi ng they are prepared to enter the action phase. At this time, the teacher transitions to a facilitator (Jones, 1987). Since the students have received their assigned roles, t heir responsibility is to interpret how their characters would behave based on t he information that they possess. That is, they do not have complete freedom in t he creation of their roles (Clegg, 1991). The following passage described a student role in a simulation on the Â“Age of ExplorationÂ”: Juanita, a Spaniard, feels her age more and more each year. Now 55, she has had a long life with her husband Bartolo, the village woodworker. Her children are her delight, although inside she still grieves painfully for the four she lost over the years. She must watch out for the others, and she sometimes fears that she will lose t hem and end her time on earth in pain and alone (Millians, 1999a, p. 223). In the same simulation, others repr esented Bartolo and the children. The descriptions of their parts allowed students to interpret their characters. In some cases, conflicts arose due to the simulati on design. For example, in a simulation
50 on Pioneers, some characters believed st ealing was acceptable to survive while others did not. The difference of opinion generated a debate on values. Therefore, the roles gave students a sense of purpose (Wolfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992). Role play enables t he students to gain insight into othersÂ’ behaviors and the results of their ac tions on others (Bouwer, Machado, & Bredeweg, 2002; Heathcote, 1984a; van Ment s, 1989). At any rate, the students act as they believe their characte r would under certain circumstances. Whereas each simulation has comp lications, students must negotiate, persuade, and cooperate with each other to solve a problem (Gredler, 1994). For instance, in a pioneer simulation on a j ourney through The Oregon Trail, students resolved issues titled Â“calamitiesÂ” and Â“dile mmas.Â” An example of a calamity was that bandits attacked a groupÂ’s wagon and st ole their money. In comparison, a dilemma caused the students to make a choice. The students met a starving family that would not su rvive unless the group gave them 20 pounds of food. If the group chose to help them, then they might not make it to their next destination (McCann, 1996). These events propelled the student s to consider alternate ways to solve problems, engage in group decision-making, and experience the results of their actions. Overall, the action stage might be student sÂ’ favorite part because they are able to participate in peer teaching and learning. They do not have a teacher who directs them on what they should or s hould not do (Hyman, 197 8). At times, the action could be intense. For instance, Millians (1999a, p. 216) described the action during a simulation on the Civil War with a group of fifth-grade students:
51 We usually played a 30-minute turn, allowi ng us time before and after to prepare and to clean up. I set the stage, reminding them of past and present issues and of any current challenges, and then they begin to interact. It was always very busy, noisy, and rich. Much of my time was spent conferring with individuals or refereeing and watched, for I could thereby learn so much about my st udents, their understandings and lacks thereof, their interests, and their needs in the future. This anecdote highlighted MilliansÂ’ role as a facilitator. At the same time the students conversed throughout the action. An important and inherent component of simulations, communication involves how humans interact with each other (Crookall & Oxford, 1986; Greenblat, 1981a; Horn & Zuckerman, 1980; Hyman, 1977; Saunders, 1986; van Ments, 1989). For teachers of social studies and l anguage arts, communication is one of the major benchmarks. In language arts, students convey ideas and information through listening, speaking, reading, writing, and view ing (Florida Sunshine State Standards, 2004). In social studies, students investigate themes such as people, places, and environments and individuals groups, and institutions (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994). T he action phase of a simulation allows students to participate in various levels of communication and learn how they can influence anotherÂ’s point of view. They r ealize how their individual actions impact their group. Culminating activity. Although not necessary, the final action phase of a
52 simulation results in a finale such as a covert mission, a search for hidden treasure, or a defense from attackers (Marks, 1992). Blatt (1995) completed a simulation on ancient Greece through the in troduction of an earthquake. Part of the action phase required the st udents to write diary entries as their characters. Students wrote the last entry in the mi ddle of an earthquake. The students had their writing slide off the page mid-sentenc e. Then, they wrot e an epilogue for a person to read years later. For another example, after a simula tion on the election process called Â“Virtualville Votes,Â” two f ourth and fifth-grade classes celebrated the event with an inauguration ceremony. For weeks st udents planned fund-raising activities and campaigned for office through a primary and general election. The last day of the simulation parent volunteers dec orated a local building with flags and balloons. The students who won the electi ons recited speeches when they were sworn in (Kaldhusdal, Truesdale, & Wood, 1998). One caveat for a culminating activity is that this component is optional. Simulations do not have to be extravagant at any stage (Jones, 1987). Yet, in an effort to recreate England in the peri od of Charles Dickens, some teachers maintain that they should transform the lib rary to resemble a London street in the 1850Â’s (Antinarella & Salbu, 2003). The effe ct is one of overwhelming exhaustion (Antinarella & Salbu, 2003; Barkley, 2003). Jones (1980) mentioned teachers could mutate the spontaneity of a simulation to a theatrical performance. Simulations do not need to have props or scenery because they can take place with bare walls and no rehearsal time.
53 Debriefing. Also known as reflection, this stage is the most important (Bigelow, 1980; Crookall, 1995; Heathc ote, 1984c; Hyman, 1977; Jones, 1987; Lederman & Kato, 1995; Thatcher, 1990). In fact the final success or failure of a simulation could depend on this phase (Big elow, 1980). The teacher shifts from the role of a facilitator to a director who guides the discussion. The debriefing process enables teachers and students to articulate what happened and transform the experience into learning (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981; May, 1997; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvaine, & Stockburger, 1992). In addition, debriefing facilitates critical thinking as students compare and contrast their experiences with others (Hertel & Millis, 2002). In order to be meaningful, reflecti on should be deep and co ntinuous (Moon, 2004). Therefore, in longer simulations, debriefing sessions should occur several times (May, 1997; Thatcher, 1990) and last as long as the action part of a simulation (Jones, 1987; Wolfe, 2001). T hatcher and Robinson (1985) delineated the following stages of the reflection: 1. Recognize the impac t of the experience on each participant. 2. Identify and deliber ate on the processes of the simulation. 3. Distinguish the facts and ideas that arose in the simulation. 4. Determine the ways that emotion was included and affected the individual and the group. 5. Identify the different perspectives of each of the par ticipants and explore the complexity of the simulation.
54 Thatcher (1990) suggested the debriefing transpire through informal or formal discussions, written reports, or indivi dual commentaries. The teacher could devise a response questionnaire that covers the most important points. Then, the participants could write about their exper iences before a class discussion. The feedback would also be valuable for the teacher to realize what happened in the simulation from each personÂ’s perspective. Problems with debriefing. Even though teachers guide the discussion after the simulation, they should not be dictator ial. In addition, they should allow some time between the action and debriefing stages Mature insights develop over a period of time (Jones, 1987). If the teacher expedites t he debriefing session, then deep reflection will not occur. Also, teachers should try to include every participant. Still, some students might not have a chance to share their thoughts (Thatcher, 1990). Assessment The debriefing stage represents the time when teachers assess what students have learned. An essential par t of a simulation, assessment prompts students to perceive the simulation as a meaningful endeavor and not as a diversion (Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Hess, 1999). Assessment could be formal or informal (Jones, 1987; Morie, 1996). If teachers choose a more formal method such as a research paper, then they have to consider if the assignment will affect student behaviors and final outcomes of th e simulation (Morie, 1996). Students might not focus on the process because they are concerned with the product.
55 Journals. Some teachers require students to maintain journal entries throughout the simulation and then collect them at the end (Millians, 1999a). For example, Petranek, Corey, and Black ( 1992) assessed through student journals. They graded students on four Â“EÂ’sÂ”: events, emotions, empathy, and explanations. They explained this proc ess in the debriefing phase. The students wrote about the pivotal events in the si mulation and described the emotions that they experienced. Then, they lear ned to empathize and connect to other studentsÂ’ reactions. Third, they used explanat ion to interpret diffe rent individualsÂ’ actions. Last, they examined the action in the simulation, applied their knowledge to the world, and created theories to ex plain their insights. The instructors awarded the highest grades to students with the most insightful analysis. One limitation in this r eport was that the authors did not include samples of studentsÂ’ work so that the reader could differ entiate among the quality of responses. Questionnaires. Besides journals, another informal type of assessment are questionnaires. Jones (1987) stated questionnaires assess the participantsÂ’ behavior, skills, and knowledge. Also, teachers evaluate the simulation as an event in comparison to other simula tions that they have used. Jones recommended the teacher, author of the simulation, or t he participants write the questions. The teacher should try not to curtail responses. Open-ended questions should be first, and then factual questions should appear later in the questionnaire. Jones (1987, p. 103) included the following examples: The thing that surprised me wasÂ… How did your talking help your thinking?
56 How did you behave? Comment about anything that ma ttered to you as a personÂ… Would you have liked more time for any of the parts of the simulation? How could you have done better? Teachers should be careful, however, that the questionnaire doe s not limit what students might want to say or what they ac tually think. The teacher could ask, Â“Is there anything else I need to know about t he simulation?Â” or state, Â“Tell me more.Â” The assessment process enables teachers to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the simulation. Then, they are able to use the information when they plan future simulations. Advantages of Simulations Wilhelm and Edmiston (1998) and Wagner (1998) suggested that drama bridges the divide between cognition and affect. Due to the holistic and experiential nature of dram a, thinking, experiment ation, and feelings are intertwined. As a dramatic activity, simu lations offer another way to learn. The majority of research in this area is empirical (Jones, 1987; Millians 1999b), although some efforts have been made to quantify learning ga ins (Clegg, 1991; Feinstein & Cannon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004). Communication. Teachers who use simulations believe they augment studentsÂ’ oral and written communicati on skills (Marks, 1992; McCann, 1996; Morie, 1996). During the action phase of a simulation, students negotiate, compromise, and discuss possible solutions towards a problem. In the debriefing stage students draft and edit their journal responses. They articulate their
57 thoughts for class discussions and evaluate their experience. In each stage they communicate for a purpose. Specifically, role play encourages st udents to interpret what others would say and how they would act. This awarene ss applies to real life. In society, people anticipate othersÂ’ feelings and thoughts in order to respond in an appropriate manner. In a simulation, st udents do not talk about people. Instead, students become them. Then, they us e verbal and non-verbal language to represent that personÂ’s point of view (van Ments, 1989). As an illustration, a third and fourth-g rade class created a social studies simulation called Â“Classr oom City.Â” The students dec ided that they needed to declare a city council meeting because t heir business partners were not helpful. They agreed to adjust the agenda to allow for a meeting. At the same time, the classroom teacher honored their request through her role as city manager. She told the students that they could convene after recess (Keech, 2001). The interchange among the student s portrayed how they addr essed problems that arose. They negotiated their need for a meeting with the teacher and adjusted their schedule. In situations like this one, students practiced problem-solving through role play (van Ments, 1989). Motivation and attitudinal change. Jensen (1998) and Lumsden (1994) claimed that motivation is dependent on the context. In other words, when teachers give students a task that they perceive as worthwhile, the students transition from a lethargic stance to an energetic one. For many students, simulations motivate them to learn (Barkley, 2003; Fennessey, 2000; Hyman,
58 1978; Morie, 1996; Seidner, 1978). In additi on, many researchers for the last three decades have claimed that simulations affect studentsÂ’ attitudes towards a subject matter. They influence studentsÂ’ interest towards a topic (Greenblat, 1981b, 1988; Hyman, 1978; Mo rie, 1996; Wentworth & Lewis, 1973). Druckman (1995) added that participant sÂ’ attitudes are contingent upon their experiences with the simulation. Since participantsÂ’ em otions are idiosyncratic, this area is one that is complicated to confirm. Some simulations will work better than others. As a result, the students will not feel the same as others. Taylor and Walford (1972, p. 34) wrote that Â“without doubt, motivation is the clearest and least disputed gain atta ched to simulation in the classroom, despite the difficulties in measuring itÂ…but why simulations arouse and sustain a high level of interest, enthusiasm, and ex citement, is relatively unresearched.Â” Over 30 years later this claim is still true. Gosen and Washbush (2004) stated that most people agree that students will want to learn if they perceive an activity as worthwhile. However, motivation cannot be categorized into a single variable. They contended that out of necessity the ma jority of the research on simulation efficacy will emerge from classroom studies. Even though emotion is difficult to measure, anecdotal reports from teachers support the motiva tional potential of simulations. For instance, Hess (1999) claimed that in a simulation, st udents who have considered subjects like politics, history, and economics as boring and irrelevant gained interest through a simulation. Simulations offer a different approach to learning that arouses student interest. After a simulation on discrimination, Fennessey (2000, p. 4) shared a
59 comment from Chelsea, a 10-year ol d student, about her feelings towards history: Learning history is great f un, but becoming history is capturing! Learning history from textbooks can be done, but I assure you, we wonÂ’t be eager to come to school. Becoming slaves and whites, and learning teamwork was wonderful. I was, and IÂ’m sure ot hers were, too, so eager to come to school, I was dreaming it! ChelseaÂ’s response informed the teacher of her experiences with the simulation. Student feedback influenced the teacherÂ’s deci sion to continue wi th simulations. However, Fennessey did not include any negative comments from students. The purpose of her book was to encourage teac hers to use drama in the social studies classroom. Affective gains. Some simulations delve in to topics such as racism. Through a simulation students develop empathy and an increased tolerance for differences (Greenblat, 1988; Hyman, 1978; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvain, & Stockburger, 1992). Based on their cla ssroom experiences, McCaslin (2000) and Antinarella and Salbu (2003) stated simulations help students to develop critical judgment about how society functions. In addition, students explore imaginative thinking and emotion (Kell ough & Roberts, 2002; Jarolime k, Foster, & Kellough, 2005). Jones (1993) wrote that imaginative activities like simulations enrich innovative thinking, question conventi onal wisdom, and facilitate more openmindedness. In role play students fantasiz e and brainstorm different possibilities (Diulus & Baum, 1991).
60 Ownership. Furthermore, simulations accord participants ownership in the learning process. Through their assi gned roles students share a sense of purpose and enjoy the responsibility of student-led discussions (Hyman, 1978; McCaslin, 2000; Wolfe, McIlvain, & St ockburger, 1992). Petranek, Corey, and Black (1992) stated that students recognize each other as resources and appreciate the opportunity to make choice s. Hess (1999) mentioned that at times reserved students overcome their reticence through role play. He described how one student demonstrated diplomatic skills. By the second day of the simulation she juggled three separate negotia tions in different groups. In addition, simulations allow student s to explore different personalities and behaviors. Other times they adopt a diffe rent gender or race (Grady, 2000). In any event, teachers need to be aware of the oversimplification of concepts or characters (van Ments, 1989). In the debriefing stage, teachers should discuss different perspectives so that the simu lation does not reinforce stereotypes or perpetuate generalizations. T he teacher should include non-examples for every example that the students pres ent. For instance, if student s believe that all of the pioneer wagon drivers were men, then t he teacher could introduce a character such as Charlotte in Pam Munoz RyanÂ’s (1998) novel Riding Freedom The book is based on a real woman who bec ame a famous wagon driver. Disadvantages of Simulations Yet, not all simulated experiences are enjoyable or motivational. Each individual will have a unique experience an d will have a different reaction to the
61 event (Hyman, 1977). In other cases, so me simulated experiences could cause distress or anxiety in students and teachers. Implications for teachers. Heathcote (1984a) mentioned because a simulation is open-ended, each person incor porates different ideas that could create confusion for inexperienced teacher s. Also, some teachers are not able to formulate patterns from the disparate ideas that students and teachers explore. Everyone involved in the simulation must ag ree to pretend in a simulated reality. If someone does not, then the teacher has to persuade that person. Teachers cannot control certain facets of a simu lation nor their outcomes (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Heathcote, 1984a; Jones, 1987; Morie, 1996). Heathcote (1984a) wrote that other unr esearched problems include teache rsÂ’ levels of comfort with noise and space. Teachers harbor different noise and space thresholds. At times the action phase may be chaotic. Some t eachers cannot attend to the noise of large groups of students engaged in conversations when they work together in role. Other factors include ex pense and time. Some co mmercial simulations are expensive (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; May, 1997; Morie, 1996) and others require substantial periods of instruct ional and planning time (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; van Ments, 1975; McCaslin, 2000; Morie, 1 996; Taylor & Walford, 1972). Often teachers are not able to afford simulation materials, or the school might not have the funds to purchase t hem. Many simulations are continuous and require several weeks to complete (Hertel & Millis, 2002; Jones, 1988; Marks, 1992; Morie, 1996).
62 On the other hand, some advocates of simulations claimed that simulations are able to compress large amount s of content into a smaller span of time. Hyman (1978) and Cruickshank and Te lfer (1980) stat ed teachers could create a scenario and highlight the key points of a particular topic. Cruickshank and Telfer described this phenomenon as the abi lity of simulations to Â“telescope timeÂ” (p.77). For inst ance, students could learn the out comes of their actions in a shorter period than for the actual event. In a simulation on the election process, students run for office, debate issues, campaign for the presidency, and declare the winner in a matter of weeks. Implications for students. Some simulations contain limited participation. As a result, some students could be excluded (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Morie, 1996; van Ments, 1975). The teac her has to generate additional parts for the students who do not have a role. Ev en if students are in cluded, cooperative learning might not appeal to everyone or motivate them to work (Marks, 1992). Some students prefer to l earn on their own and do not feel comfortable in small group interaction. In addition, so me students will not like simulations (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Greenblat, 1981c). Others are disorganized and unable to complete the simulation (Mark s, 1992). At times students will be absent for the action phase. On those days other students have to adjust their parts. When absent students return to class, they will be confused about what happened. To summarize this section, simula tions are a part of the field of educational drama. They offer specific advantages and disadvantages to social
63 and academic learning. In addition, they adhere to a distinct design that incorporates role play and reflection. Teachers act as facilitators to guide students through the process. At times they explain background information. On other occasions teachers encourage students to problem-solve independently. At any rate, simulations enhance communicati on and address the social studies and language arts state and national st andards. Developed in the 1990Â’s, the standards outline curriculum expectations for specific content areas (Florida Sunshine State Standards, 2004; National Council for t he Social Studies, 1994). For decades teachers have used simula tions in various formats and subject areas (Clegg, 1991; Gosen & Wa shbush, 2004; Gredler, 1994; Ruben, 1999). One of the strengths in the research is that aut hors agree on the design of a simulation (Greenblat, 1988; Hym an, 1977; Jones, 1987,1993; Klabbers, 2003). Books on the structure and application of simulations enable facilitators to implement them in a classroom (Cle gg, 1991; Greenblat, 1987; Jones, 1993). In addition, authors have discussed the impor tance of the debriefing stage and alternative ways for students to shar e what they have learned (Jones, 1987; Lederman & Kato, 1995; Millians, 1999a; T hatcher, 1990). Through written and oral reflection students transform their experience to learning (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981; May, 1997; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvaine, & Stockburger, 1992). In contrast, some areas for further investigation include how simulations affect student motivation and attitude to wards the subject matter (Gosen & Washbush, 2004). Moreover, the disadvant ages of simulations such as time
64 constraints and teachersÂ’ comfort leve ls with noise and space (Heathcote, 1984a) require further research. Also, all students do not enjoy simulations (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Greenblat, 1981c), but their comments are not included in the literat ure. Classroom experiences comp rise the bulk of research for both the benefits and limitat ions of simulations ( Clegg, 1991). Many of the authors do not elaborate on the disadvantages of simula tions that allow for a more balanced portrayal of simulations in the classroom. In my study I looked at the advantages and disadvantages of simulati ons in order to present an in-depth account from multiple perspectives. History of Simulations Possibly due to the interdisciplinar y nature of simula tions (Hyman, 1977; Klabbers, 2001), the history of simulations is one that is not replete in the literature (Crookall, 1995). However, a brief overview of simulations from a chronological perspective explains how simulations expanded in education. I report the development of simulati ons from its origins in the 19th century to the present. The 1800Â’s Simulations are not a recent phenomenon. The origins of simulations as military training events are well-document ed (Cruickshank, 1968; Inbar & Stoll, 1972; Jones, 1987; Taylor & Walford, 1972; Troyka & Nudelman, 1975; van Ments, 1994). Jones (1987) and May (1997) explained that the first organized use of a simulation was with the Prussian army in the 1800Â’s. The Prussians tested the competency of potent ial military officers. They asked the officers to
65 participate in simulated situations and ma ke decisions based on the context. In another case, the British army assigned ro les such as officer, survivor, or engineer to various military personnel to assess them in areas such as cooperation, leadership, and creativity. Prescribed roles in a simulation are evident in simulations today. The 1960Â’s Simulations have existed in some form in education since the 1960Â’s (Charles & Stadsklev, 1973; Cruicks hank & Telfer, 1980; Gredler, 1994; Heitzmann, 1974; Martin, 1978; Morie, 1996; Ruben, 1999; Seidner, 1978; Sharrock & Watson, 1986). Ruben ( 1980, 1999) stated the traditional information-transfer model was the most endemic until this decade. The teacher imparted information to students through boo ks, lectures, and articles. Although simulations offered an alternative to the tr aditional model, the idea to use them in the classroom was a novel one (Ruben, 1999). Some teachers implemented simulations at the elementary school level, but higher education embraced them. By 1968, simulations were the most popular innovation in teacher education pr ograms (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980). Cruickshank (1968) described one simulati on that enabled teacher-educators to analyze student behaviors in a simula ted classroom environment. The preservice teachers adopted the role of Â“Pat Ta ylor.Â” Taylor is a first-year fifth-grade teacher. The participants assumed her role and tried to solve 31 teaching problems presented through film. In this simulation there were no correct answers, but facilitators encouraged the teachers to experiment with different
66 solutions to curtail misbehavior. Like th is simulation, most practitioners did not develop their own simulations and reli ed largely on commercial publications in the 1960Â’s (Heitzmann, 1974). In the nex t decade, publications expanded even more. The 1970Â’s Commercial materials multiplied duri ng this decade. As a result, some editors wrote directories that included t hem (Belch, 1973; Charles & Stadsklev, 1973). One of the most popular ones was Horn and ZuckermanÂ’s Guide to Simulations for Education and Training (1977). The authors evaluated and listed over 1200 simulations for educational purpose s, a triple increase since the first edition published in 1971. The ma jor criteria for inclusion in the directory were the accessibility of a simulation for its potential users and the cost. Simulations proliferated during the 1970Â’s (Clegg, 1991; McCann, 1996; Ruben, 1980) to the degree t hat Hyman (1978) referred to simulations as one of the most popular trends in classroom teaching. Researcher s thought experiencebased methods would bridge the divide between theory and classroom practice and increase communication among the students. Consequently, researchers revisited DeweyÂ’s works, such as Education and Experience as well as the theories of Jerome Bruner in the 1970Â’s (Horn & Zuckerman, 1977; Ruben, 1980). Dewey and Bruner had advocated for experiential methods of learning and opportunities for student discovery. Seidner (1978) proposed three event s influenced the popularity of simulations in the 1970Â’s. They consist ed of the examinati on of the role of
67 socialization in education and the transition from more traditional methods, the emphasis on active learning and discovery learning, and the introduction of the simulation-game. Teachers and students tout ed the use of simulations and other types of experiential learning met hods in the 1970Â’s and early 1980Â’s. Simulations offered an option to the tradi tional model of teaching and allowed for interaction, collaboration, and active l earning. They cultivated complicated and divergent teaching and learning outcome s (Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980; Hyman, 1978; Seidner, 1978). Designers of simulations studied the structure of simulations in more detail. As a result, national and internat ional simulation organizations agreed that they needed to differentiate among simulati ons. They divided them into separate areas of interest such as education, health care, and the military (Dukes & Seidner, 1978; Klabbers, 2003). At that time, simulations focused on a particular subject area and were not interdi sciplinary (Crookall & Arai, 1995). The 1980Â’s to the Present Simulation designers decided that simulations needed more rigor in the early 1980Â’s (Duke, 2000; Crookall & Ox ford, 1986). Duke (2000) wrote that although thousands of practitioners used si mulations, no standards delineated between effective and ineffective practi ces. In 1981, the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan approv ed a certification program in Gaming and Simulation. Students enrolled in c ourses for different subjects and accumulated credits in this area. The University of MichiganÂ’s program enabled students to engage in interdisciplinar y exchange and experimentation.
68 Nevertheless, after the surge in popularity during the 1960Â’s and 1970Â’s, teacher enthusiasm for simulations started to wane. This decline is evident in the availability of director ies and handbooks on simulations (Morie, 1996). Since 1980, no other comprehensive directorie s or handbooks have been published. The exact reason why is unclear. McCann (1996) mentioned that simulations are a casualty of the proverbial pendulum s wing since educational trends fluctuate. Jones (1987) suggested the educational em phasis on transmission of facts that dominated in the 1980Â’s could have been a factor. Even still, simulations remained in use in some areas. Reluctance to use simulations Hess (1999) provided several reasons for the infrequent use of simula tions. One of the major ones is that many teacher education programs do not address simulati ons in their classrooms. Therefore, pre-service teachers are not taught in how to use them. Even if teachers are aware of simulations, they could be deterred by the costs of commercial publications and do not have the time to crea te their own. Another possibility is that some colleagues perce ive teachers who use simulations as outsiders because simulations are used infr equently (Crookall & Arai, 1995). If teachers do incorporate them, some colleagues view simulations as fun but irrelevant. Jones (1993) claimed fa cilitators should approach the simulation as a serious endeavor and to consider rele vant learning as more than factual knowledge. Motivation, human feelings, and values are also important in education. Each simulation should be eval uated on its strengt hs and weaknesses within the context that it occurs. The debr iefing stage illuminates these points. On
69 the other hand, Jones (1993, p. 21) just ified the criticism for a simulationÂ’s significance when students treat the activi ty as Â“fun and gamesÂ” (Jones, 1993, p. 21). Other times simulations provide parti cipants with a brief experience. They introduce the participants to certain events, but their scant content does not allow students to engage in a deeper level of choi ce, discovery, or learning (Millians, 1999b). The outlook for simulations. Nonetheless, advocates of simulations remain optimistic. Bielecki (2000) and Lobuts and Beazley (1999) claimed simulations will expand in the twenty-first century because they blend classroom theory with real-world application. Ot hers stated teachers should a ttempt experiential models in the upcoming decades (McCann, 1996; Ruben, 1999; Millians, 1999b). Current debates in the field include that more research should be conducted about simulations (Feinstein & Cannon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Ruben, 1999). In addition, teachers and trainer s should be included in regional and national meetings on simulations to learn recent developments. To summarize, I cited a brief history of simulations in order to relate how simulations developed in the field of education and how they have endured over the years. The previous section addresses the need for additional research. I analyze the studies that have been c onducted in the next section. Research on Effectiveness A controversial area in the liter ature (Clegg, 1991; Crookall, 1995; Feinstein & Cannon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Jones, 1987; Morie, 1996), simulations are difficult to quantif y. Researchers claim that evaluation
70 methods for simulations remain necessa ry but problematic (Gosen & Washbush, 2004). Almost all of the studies by simulation researchers have been administered in business courses at the college level (Clegg, 1991; Gosen & Washbush, 2004). As a result, the findi ngs are not generalizable to other populations. In addition, the availabl e research has not been written and distributed for a wider audience (Millians 1999b) and is nominal compared to other fields (Duke, 2000; Gosen & Wa shbush, 2004; Ruben, 1999). In this section I analyze the literature published by researchers and classroom teachers that point to a need for further studies. Evaluation in the 1960Â’s Boocock and Schild (1968) traced the evolution of simulations in the 1960Â’s through three distinct phases. At the time, Boocock and Schild used the term simulation and games interchangeably. They titled the first phase Â“Acceptance on Faith.Â” This stage lasted between 1962-1963. Teachers introduced simulations as Â“games,Â” exhibi ted enthusiasm towards the technique, and carried them out with no evidence of their effectiveness. They claimed that their studentsÂ’ excitement and interest in the material warranted their use. Similarly, researchers studied the creat ion of simulations rather than their educational merit. The second phase lasted from about 1963-1965. This stage, called the Â“Post-Honeymoon Period,Â” defined how researchers decided to control experiments with simulations. The results were either negative or inconclusive. They concluded that possibly Â“gamesÂ” t each, but they do not know how. In
71 addition, they could not distinguish betw een the design of a good simulation or a poor one. One of the most im portant studies cited was by Cherryholmes in 1966. Cherryholmes summarized and synthesized a variety of repor ts. One of the major findings was that simulations might motivate students, but there was no evidence that they were more effectiv e than other teaching methods to teach facts or problem-solving skills. Boocock and Schild called the final phase, from 1966-1968, Â“Realistic Optimism.Â” While so me researchers were discouraged by their earlier findings, they continued to fi eld test simulations in a variety of educational environments. They discovered t hat simulations in isolation may not teach content, but their potential to incr ease student interest and motivation in the subject matter could facilitate learning. Therefore, they believed simulations included considerable promise for education. Evaluation from the 1970 Â’s to the Present After the introduction of simulati ons to educators in the 1960Â’s, researchers carried out few studies on the efficacy of simulations. Little empirical evidence existed (Charles & Stadsklev, 1973; Gibbs, 1974). For the studies that had been completed, limitations included too short of a time period for experiments and insufficient sample size s (Clegg, 1991; Cruickshank & Telfer, 1980). Some researchers evaluated simulations within commercial publications. A fourth edition of Horn and ZuckermanÂ’s book, The Guide to Simulations/Games for Education and Training listed several hundred published games and simulations on a variety of topics for t he classroom (Horn & Cleaves, 1980). Horn
72 and Cleaves included 24 essays from facilitators who used simulations several times. They believed that the detailed description would provide a rationale for teachers to attempt them. In particular, the directory focused on different aspects of communication like intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cro ss-cultural. For each simulation, the authors examined the following areas: significanc e, validity, reliability, flexibility, popularity, accessibility, and cost. They wanted to connect the use of simulations to the significance and validit y of current research in communication theory. Also, they suggested that simulations are re liable in that teachers could expect particular outcomes. However, one discrepan cy with this claim is that simulations do not have predictable outcomes (Br edemeier & Greenblat, 1981; Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Hess, 1999; Jones, 1987). Besides Horn and CleavesÂ’ book, Gr eenblat (1987) co mpiled a handbook for simulation design with 70 examples from the social sciences. Within the book she aligned teaching objectives to each simulation. The objectives included the following: (a) increasing motivation and in terest, (b) teaching new information or reinforcing prior knowledge (c) skill development, (d) attitude change, and (e) self-evaluation or evaluation by ot hers. GreenblatÂ’s approac h is aligned with Gosen and WashbushÂ’s (2004) claim that teaching objectives should match experiential learning ones. In addition, Clegg (1991) reviewed 800 articles, documents, and books pertaining to K-12 social studies simulati ons from the period 1955-1989. Most of the literature included anecdot al reports and general books on how to select and
73 use simulations. Clegg claimed that the majo rity of the research studies did not have a comparison or control group. If t hey did, researchers did not select random samples or clearly define Â“traditional Â” instruction. Based on his survey of the literature, Clegg suggest ed simulations offer great educational potential but researchers should strengthen their met hods. Beyond that, he wrote that few studies have looked at interpersonal rela tionships during a simulation, how the teacher establishes a positive classroom environment through the duration of a simulation, and the effects of the teacher as a facilitator. Researchers stated that the literature on simulation effectiveness is not relegated to one field (Feinstein & C annon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Ruben, 1999). Separate researchers condu ct studies on simulations but do not communicate their findings to one another. The fact experience-based instruction traverses many disciplines means the impact Â“is so pervasive yet subtle that it may easily go unacknowledged. The subtlety comes from the fact that the paradigm has been thoroughly integrated into t he fabric of diverse activities in a wide range of fieldsÂ” (Ruben, 1999, p. 501). The dispar ate nature of the studies makes the literature difficul t to compare and contrast. Hyman (1978, pp. 158-159) wrote, While the research on simulation (sic) is still in its early stages of development, teachers will have to re ly heavily on statements by educators that are not supported by research data. Some educators believe that due to the nature of simu lation we will never get empirical data to support the claims of simula tion users. That is to say, the
74 qualities which make simulations attr active simply are not measurable. Over two decades later, HymanÂ’s asse rtion applies to how classroom teachers share their experiences with simula tions. Gosen and Washbush (2004) stated that out of necessity most of the res earch to validate simulations will have to come from classroom envir onments. Moreover, they claimed the scarce studies posit a challenge for the learning assessment field. Millians (1999a) stressed that the most important goal for educators is to ensure that a teacherÂ’s choice of pedagogy benefits students and enriches thei r education. Prompted by this belief, he is one of many educators w ho contributed to the literature on simulations in education. Classroom TeachersÂ’ Methods to Evaluate Simulations For this review, I located 18 books and 25 articles published by either former or current classroom teachers. The majority of the authors explained how they taught through simulations with most of the articles published in journals for practitioners. The books provided numer ous examples of simulations that teachers have implemented in their classrooms. Few sources included quantitative methods to support learning gain s. Instead, the majo rity of teachers used qualitative measures such as observations, informal interviews, and document analysis to support their use of simulations. Classroom studies. Millians (1999a) gave a pretest and a posttest for every simulation he conducted. For one simulation, he provided the test scores for 14 students. On average, the students increased from an 87 to an 89 on the posttest. Millians explained although the di fference is slight, he mentioned that
75 students were motivated to do well on the test from the beginn ing. Later, they performed well on other tests such as geography and science that contained content from the simulation. In addition to his brief quantitative evidence, Millians supplemented his article with several j ournal samples from his students. In another instance, Lee (1994) planned a field study with two fifth-grade classrooms. She wanted to determine if si mulations affected student learning in a unit on labor unions in the 19th century. The control gr oup of students studied the topic through a traditional lecture and te xtbook method. In contrast, the experimental one learned the material th rough a simulation. After the classes completed a test at the end of the unit, she concluded that both methods produced similar results. The only differ ence was the students in the simulation were more aware of the plight of laborer s. Lee based this finding on the studentsÂ’ written comments. LeeÂ’s study corres ponded with earlier research studies that found simulations complement other teachi ng methods rather than replace them (Boocock & Schild, 1968; Cruickshank & Telf er, 1980; Petranek, Corey, & Black, 1992). MilliansÂ’ and LeeÂ’s studies have weaknes ses. They used small sample sizes and did not elaborate on their statisti cal measures in sufficient detail. These studies would be difficult to replicate with such minimal information. Moreover, both authors created their research instru ments. The test items did not undergo any external tests for va lidity and reliability. Anecdotal reports. Besides quantitative measures such as test scores, several teachers rely on qual itative methods to support the use of simulations.
76 Sometimes teachers neglect teacher obs ervation and judgment as legitimate assessment tools. Yet, teachers are tr ained professionals whose observations should be an influential part of hands-on instruction (Fly nn, Mesibov, Vermette, & Smith, 2004). Competent teachers assess studentsÂ’ learning in part by their informed observations of student behavior. Their daily judgments about studentsÂ’ needs guide their instructional decisions (Jarolimek, Foster, & Kellough, 2005). In experiential activities, raw data ex plain what the students have learned (Lederman and Kato, 1995). In order to disco ver this information, teachers need to observe students and interview them In a simulation, the roles are individualized and idiosyncratic. Conseq uently, students will have different experiences and feelings about the acti vity (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981). Some might have positive attitudes towa rds the subject while others do not. Also, if studentsÂ’ roles require them to research a topic in more detail, then they will have specialized knowledge in certain areas. For instance, Millians (1999a) provided three examples from a si mulation of the United States in the 1850Â’s. One student, Kate, chose to in vestigate how she could adapt her farmland to a sheep pasture. With Millians Â’ guidance, she studied oviculture (sheep farming) for two months. She applie d her knowledge to her character as well as her end-of-year history and scienc e projects. Two other students, Mark and Ben, read independently ab out the timing of the California Gold Rush. They wanted to learn how they could use the in formation for their characters in the action phase of the simulation.
77 Teachers might discover what students have learned from a simulation through observations and interviews. As an example, Blatt (1995, pp. 72-73) described the way she used continuous a ssessment in a simulation: Â“I am constantly watching and thinking and enter ing information about individuals into the storehouse of information in my mind. I carefully note how they react to each other, their written responses, what t hey say, and how they act.Â” Likewise, Millians (1999b, p. 216) claimed that his Â“intuitive and anecdotal sense of their excitement, interest, and discoveryÂ” caus ed him to believe that simulations are effective. Also, he reported former st udents return to inform him that they remember specific content they lear ned through the simulation. MilliansÂ’ and BlattÂ’s comments are indicative of the way many teachers ju stify the use of simulations in the classroom. Howeve r, teachersÂ’ insights should be augmented with more concrete evidence to convince skeptics that simulations are viable. A Need for Research Since the development of educati onal simulations in the 1960Â’s, researchers have articulated the need for more research (Clegg, 1991; Crookall, 1995; Feinstein & Cannon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004). Studies have been carried out in different fields, but res earchers have not effectively shared their findings with one another (Feinstein & Cannon, 2002; Gosen & Washbush, 2004; Ruben, 1999). The research base includes studies that are not well-designed and have inconsistent research methodolog ies and varied constructs to evaluate learning (Clegg, 1991; Feinstein & C annon, 2002). In addition, the context
78 specific environments of cl assroom studies do not allo w generalizations to other settings (Lee, 1994; Millians, 1999a). Hess (1999) recommended that teac hers assess the strengths and weaknesses of a simulation. They should question if the simulation communicated the material to be lear ned and if the students interacted in a productive manner. The information teacher s gain from assessment help them to answer these inquiries. In the literature, several of the authors praised the value of simulations in terms of increased student motivation, positive attitudes towards the subject matter, and for their abilit y to engage students in the content (Antinarella & Salbu, 2003; Blatt, 1995; McCann, 1996; Morie, 1996). They supported their claims with firsthand a ccounts. In order to provide more convincing evidence, future researcher s should elaborate on their methodology. In addition, they need to balance their argument for simulations with the limitations of them. Th ey should include comments from students who did not enjoy them or had difficulty in role. Student Responses to Simulations Jones (1987) stated that simulations are best defined not by titles or goals but by what happens in participantsÂ’ minds. Students are on the inside of an event with the power and responsibility to deal with a troublesome situation. They are not merely reading a case study and making decisions about it. In a sense, they are the case study. Still, one of many areas underrepresented in the literature is what students have said about their experiences in a simulation.
79 This section is comprised of three parts. In my study, I interviewed and observed fifth-grade students. Therefor e, the first section describes characteristics of fifth-grade students and how simulations should be used with them. The second discusses what students have said in the literature about their experiences in a simulation. The third explains techniques to elicit more detailed student responses. Characteristics of Fifth-Grade Students Simulations are a natural part of studentsÂ’ growth. The ages of 10-12 is an optimal time when students can benefit as a participant in a simulation (Millians, 1999a). To some degree teachers should be awar e of certain traits if they would like to conduct a simulation with a particular age group. Since I looked at students in two fi fth-grade classrooms, I explain the characteristics of students in this age gr oup. McCaslin (2000) described the traits of fifth-grade students in the following areas: mental, social, interests, and activities. Mentally, 10 and 11-year olds perceive the motivation for charactersÂ’ behavior as important and are able to cr eate characters with deep insight and comprehension. Moreover, t hey enjoy vocabulary. T hey can create appropriate dialogue for certain time periods and hav e increased problem-solving abilities. Socially, they are able to analyze feelings an d work well in team events. Yet, they need guidance in how to communicate tac tfully on othersÂ’ work efforts. Fifthgraders interests are widespr ead. Often they are less in terested in fantasy and fairy tales and more intrigued by real peop le and acts of heroism. Students could spend 40-60 minutes on a variety of events. They are spontaneous, yet, they are
80 able to maintain focus for extended per iods of time. In addition, they are perceptive and thoughtful. Knowledge of studentsÂ’ developmental tr aits informs the teachersÂ’ role as a facilitator. On the positiv e side, teachers should capitalize on studentsÂ’ abilities to think in a more abstract manner. St udents begin to demonstrate interest in complex social relationships. However, teachers should be sensitive to the potential volatility of emotions and tens ion. They should plan on how they will introduce concepts such as change, death, power, family, and fears. In addition, some fifth-graders are hesitant to exhibit ce rtain social or physical characteristics. Teachers need to understand the needs and pers onality of their particular group. At all times they should create a setting t hat students could participate in at their comfort level (Heathcote & Bolton, 1995; Millians, 1999a; Taylor & Walford, 1972). Student Responses in the Literature Adults have written most of the repor ts on simulations in the classrooms. The majority have not included many co mments, if any, from the students who have experienced them (Hightshoe, 1997; Keech, 2001; King, 1996; Morris, 2002; Rothberg, 1998; Shields, 1996). If they did, the q uotations are limited. For instance, in the simulation on elections, Â“Vir tualville Votes,Â” a fourth-grader wrote, We got to really feel how it would feel to be a real person in the real world. We learned how to write long paragr aphs and to keep persevering. I even liked the election after I lost. I might have lost something on the outside,
81 but I gained knowledge in my brai n (Kaldhusdal, Truesdale, & Wood, 1998, p. 35). The author of the article did not elabor ate beyond this statement. Older students are able to elucidate what they have lear ned in detail. As a result, the debriefing phase of the simulation is an optimal time for reflection. Teachers could use the studentsÂ’ comments to make adjustments for future activities. Later, these thoughts could be synthesized and presented in a description of a simulation. In another instance, after a simu lation titled Â“The BudgetÂ” for an economics class, eighth-gr aders wrote more humorous responses such as: Â“I learned that I am in no hurry to get married and I may NEVER have any kids!Â” and Â“Can I get the divorce now? My husband has been driving me crazy. He was so CHEAPÂ” (Yalen & Magathan, 1995, p. 19). These students showed that they identified with their roles, even if they were not complimentary. Although comical, the comments do not reflect w hat content the student s have learned. In a separate study, Lee (1994) conduc ted a research project with two fifth-grade classes. The students studied la bor unions, collective bargaining, and working conditions from the perspective of laborers in the beginning of the 19th century. Lee included a heading titled Â“St udentsÂ’ Preference for simulation (sic)Â” (p. 64) and cited 16 quotations from students. Most of the responses were one or two sentences long. They related to thei r favorite parts of the lessons and said that they had fun. Even when the st udents mentioned that they Â“had a better understanding,Â” the responses di d not elaborate why.
82 The articles that provided student responses have limitations. Some are too brief for a reader to comprehend the effe ct of the simulation on the learner. Others included only the references that su pported the use of a simulation. Not all students enjoy simulations (Cruicks hank & Telfer, 1980), and those studentsÂ’ voices were not represented. In order to depict a balanced perspective, authors should add comments from students who had difficulty or did not benefit from the experience. In this way t eachers might learn how to pl an for this possibility. Implications for Questioning Students In my study I interviewed students, collected work samples, and observed their interactions. I discussed how I collected and analyzed student data in the next chapter on methodology. However, in the previous section I provided a rationale for the guiding question, Â“What do students think about simulations?Â” for this study. In order to understand a more co mplete portrayal of simulations in the classroom, I believe it was necessary to consider diverse studentsÂ’ viewpoints. I included student responses from those who appeared to like simulations and those who did not. In addition, I chose student s who were classified as Â“giftedÂ” as well as those labeled Â“reluctant r eaders.Â” Both populations benefit from simulations (Marks, 1992; Ma y, 1997; Seidner, 1978). On a related point, Darlington and Sc ott (2002) explain researchers do not often include minors in the literat ure because some do not regard student comments as reliable. Others believe it is too difficult to elicit information from them. Darlington and Scott offered certai n guidelines when researchers collect data from students. They recommended t hat researchers should assess the
83 studentsÂ’ abilities. For my study, I rephras ed interview questions if I perceived that they were difficult to answer. Also I consulted with the teachers for input on studentsÂ’ reading levels and academic performance. Second, Darlington and Scott claimed students need to feel that adults are sincere and care about their opinions. In order to create rapport, I maintained a positive relationship with the students and allotted time to listen. I did not add judgment to their responses. In order to facilitate more candid answers, I ensured that I asked open-ended questions and allo wed time for students to answer. I believe my prior relationship with the st udents caused them to feel at ease. I had volunteered in the classroom once a week since September of 2004. I followed MayallÂ’s (1999) notion that continuous c onsultation with older students creates more reliable data. Fifth graders, in parti cular, are further advanced in their language skills than younger students. I shar ed written summaries with them to verify my interpretation of their interview responses. In brief, students comprise a central part of a simulation. In order to determine an appropriate simulation for a gr ade level, teachers should be familiar with the characteristics of a certain age group. Knowledge of student emotional, physical, and mental characteristics info rms teachers on how they could modify instruction. In addition, student comments about simulations are not prevalent in the literature. One reason is that some researchers c onsider student data to be unreliable. However, researchers could us e proactive techniques to elicit more authentic responses.
84 For this study, I analyzed oral and wr itten student comments in order to understand how different types of individual s respond to a simulation. I talked to male and female students who differed in terms of their academic functioning levels, ethnicity, and behaviors. In the lit erature student responses favor the use of simulations. This awareness enabled me to include alternative perspectives. I compared my data with the prior research. Summary The purpose for this study was to l ook at what happens in two fifth-grade classrooms that use simulations. My guiding questions included why two teachers use simulations, how the tw o teachers implement them, how ten students respond to simulations, and what ten students think about them. In order to learn more about these areas, I or ganized this literature review into five major sections. In the first section, Theories of Teaching and Learning, I discussed teacher beliefsÂ’ about simulations. I co mpared and contrasted the traditional model of teaching to experiential and cons tructivist theories. Also, I traced simulations to the work of theorists such as John Dewey (1900, 1915) and Jerome Bruner (1965, 1966) and connected KolbÂ’s learning cycle (1984) to the design of a simulation. In the sec ond section, Simulation Design and Implementation, I explained a simulationÂ’s structure in more detail and described how teachersÂ’ use simulations in the cl assroom to teach academic content. In addition, I mentioned how teachers assessed student learning and some advantages and disadvantages of simulations.
85 In the third section, History of Simulations, I briefly outlined how simulations developed in education and ex panded to different disciplines. The fourth section, Research on Simulation E ffectiveness, critiqued the studies that researchers and classroom teachers had conducted. The fifth section, Student Responses to Simulations, addressed how I will collect data from students. Moreover, I described characteristics of fifth-grade stud ents and explained how they were underrepresented in the literature. Although many classroom teachers and researchers have written about simulations, the weak methodology and pau city of research warrant further investigation. Student pers pectives have been included in few studies. If authors incorporated student comment s, they used data from students who reported that they had a positive experience. As a re sult of a diffuse literature base on simulations, many individuals do not understand what happens in classrooms in which simulations are employed. Some do not consider simulations to be relevant learning (Jones, 1993). This literature review informed my study when I entered the field and analyzed data. I in creased my understanding of areas in need of further research. I applied this knowledge to subsequent chapters in order to understand how two teachers used simulations in their classrooms.
86 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this research was to describe how two fifth-grade teachers help students understand social studies and language arts concepts through simulations. A type of experiential learni ng, a simulation is a means to teach students about a particular concept or event In a simulation, students use role play to gain understanding about a phenomenon. The teacher acts as a facilitator and allows students to experie nce what it might have been like in a certain place or time. For example, in a study of immi gration to Ellis Island the students adopt the roles of immigrants. For several weeks they learn about the voyage to America through the perspective of a per son from Italy, Ir eland, or Russia. Through the characters they make decisions and explore feelings as if they were those people. Comprised of three parts the briefing, action, and debriefing stages (Jones, 1993), simulations last se veral weeks (Jones, 1988; Marks, 1992; Morie, 1996; Wolfe, McIlvain, & Sto ckburger, 1992). Teachers write their own simulations or use commercial publications. In order to understand w hat happens in two fifth-grade classrooms that incorporate simulations, I followed t hese guiding questions for this study: 1. Why do the two teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two teachers implement simulations? 3. How do the ten students respond to simulations?
87 4. What do the ten student s think about simulations? I observed the participantsÂ’ interactions over an eight-week period, reviewed teacher resources and student work samp les, and interviewed the subjects to report their attitudes and beliefs. This chapter contains four major sections. The first, Design discusses the theoretical framework of the study. The second, Participants describes my role as a researcher and the individuals involved in the study. The third, Data Collection and Analysis outlines how I collected, organized, and analyzed the data. The fourth, Ensuring Quality and Credibility explains how I triangulated data sources to establish trustworthine ss. I conclude this chapter with my timeline in the field. Design This section explains the theoretic al framework of the study. I define qualitative research, terms, and assumptions that are inherent to the design. I apply these principles to my study and ex plain the relationship to my research questions. Also, I articulate my rationale for the choice of a descriptive case study with tenets of phenomenology as my guiding research approach. A descriptive account answered these two research questions: How do the two teachers implement simulations? How do the ten students respond to simulations? Beyond that, a phenomenological orientation allowed me to address the other two research questions: Why do the two teachers use simulations? What do the ten students think about simula tions? I conclude this section with an
88 explanation of how a descriptive ca se study model and a phenomenological approach are reconcilable. Definitions of Qualitative Research, Methods, and Design Qualitative research is a systemat ic, observation-based method designed to answer questions about individuals in a specific, social setting. Qualitative researchers study participants in the natur al environment in order to interpret phenomena based on the meanings people ascr ibe to certain events (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Creswell, 1994; Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Locke, Spirduso, & Silverman, 2000; Patton, 2002). Qualitativ e methods enable researchers to study people and issues in depth and detail. T he researcher utilizes an inductive approach to analyze data without preconceiv ed categories in mind. As a result, openness allows the researcher to generate a wide variety of information about a select group of people (Janesick, 2003; Patton, 2002). I chose a qualitative approach for this study because it was the most appropriate method to answer my research questions. I was interested in how students responded to simulations, what they said about them, and how and why teachers used simulations as an instructional method. I could only determine answers to these questions through qualitative research me thods. Therefore, I used qualitative data collection techniques such as interviewing, document analysis, and observations. The qualitative paradigm includes many unique suppositions. These assumptions include the following: qualit ative design is holistic, examines relationships within a system and strives to understand these interactions, occurs
89 in a natural setting, and relies on the res earcher as the prim ary instrument of inquiry (Creswell, 1994; Janesick, 1998; Locke, Spirduso, & Silverman, 2000; Patton, 2002). These premises applied to my study in several ways. I examined how teachers instructed through simulations and how the students responded to them over an eight-week peri od. My field notes, participantsÂ’ interview transcripts, audi otape and videotape transcripts, teacher resource materials, and student work samples allowed me to write a comprehensive portrayal of simulations in two fifth-grade classrooms. Based on my field notes, I designed questions to clarify my observations. I followed an interview protocol for the teachers and students. These questions allowed me to gain insight about the experience of a simulation from the participantsÂ’ viewpoints. I collected data in a natur al setting, that is, two fifth-grade classrooms. As the research instrument, I used my senses to report what I had experienced. Janesick (1998) explained that qualit ative researchers employ their senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste to collect data. Over time, researchers refine their method of inquiry to explore a sixth se nse of intuition. This sixth sense allows researchers to investigate hunches that emerge from observations and interviews. In addition, wr iting in a journal enables researchers to contemplate these thoughts in more deta il. I utilized my intuition and journal to explore emergent themes.
90 Descriptive Case Study A case study encompasses detail. A case study is a type of research that examines a certain phenomenon such as a pr ocess, a social group, or a person (Gillham, 2000; Merriam, 1988; Yin, 1994). A descriptive case study in education is one that depicts a detail ed account of a phenomenon. Descriptive case studies are useful in education because they illumi nate areas where little research has been conducted, such as innovative programs and practices (Merriam, 1988). Because simulations have not been examin ed in detail, I chose a descriptive case study design. Two of my resear ch questions asked how two teachers implement simulations and how ten st udents respond to them. A descriptive account answered these questions and illustrated what happened in two classrooms that used simulations. Moreover, Yin (1994) believed Â“howÂ” and Â“whyÂ” research questions are conducive to the case study method becaus e these inquiries seek insight and discovery. In my study, I wanted to understand how teachers instructed through simulations, how students reacted to them, and why teachers used them. Through interviews and observations I gained awareness of how the participants felt about simulations. Phenomenology as a Research Approach Phenomenologists seek to report t he lived experiences of a group of people by capturing and describ ing their perceived realitie s in a particular context (Holstein & Gubrium, 1994; Hopkins, 1994; Moustakas, 1994; Patton, 2002). Moustakas (1994) described phenomenologica l research as a way to understand
91 the meaning and essence of human experien ces. Phenomenologists believe that an essence exists in a groupÂ’s shared expe rience. In this tradition, researchers seek insight into othersÂ’ ex periences so that they c an report a particular event from the participantsÂ’ point of view. The participants have Â“lived experienceÂ” for a particular event (Patton, 2002, p. 104). Their firsthand knowledge provides the data. In order to understand the experience, re searchers gain entry to the place where the event occurs. They immerse themselves into t he setting in order to conduct interviews, analyze written samples, and observe parti cipantsÂ’ interactions. They compare their field notes with interview tran scripts and documents to learn how participantsÂ’ make sense of their ex perience. After prolonged observation and analysis, the researcher reports the partici pantsÂ’ experiences so that others can learn more about the area of interest. A phenomenological approac h is compatible with a descriptive case study for several reasons. Merriam (1988) stated that a case study allows researchers to investigate complex social environments in detail. The results depict a holistic and descriptive account of a phenomenon. In addition, the purpose of both is to report events as they unfold. The resear cher does not manipulate variables in order to prove a hypothesis. A case study presents information from the perspective of several individuals in or der to describe the complexity of a particular event. In order to ensure that phenomenology was the most appropriate methodological approach for th is study, I read two books by Schutz
92 (1967) and Moustakas (1994) as well as several chapters on phenomenology to ensure that I understood the philosophical underpinnings. In brief, for this qualitative investigat ion I chose a descriptive case study and a phenomenological research approach. Inherent in the assumptions of qualitative research was that as the resear ch instrument I exam ined relationships within a natural setting. The data that I collected and analyzed allowed me to describe how two teachers incorporated simu lations in their fifth-grade classes and how ten students responded to them. In addition, I r eported why two teachers use simulations and what t en students thought about simulations. Participants In this section I share my ba ckground and beliefs about simulations, articulate my role as a researcher in t he study, and convey the results of my pilot study on this topic. In addition, I describe the site and how I gained access to it, how I chose participants for the study, and how I secured letters of permission to conduct the project. My Background and Beliefs As an interpretive method, qualitative research encompasses the researcherÂ’s values, biases, and beliefs Personal history, biography, and other people in the setting influence data co llection and analysis (Creswell, 1994; Denzin & Lincoln; 1994). As a result, I share my background, beliefs, and prior relationships with the participants. I taught eight years in the public schools. I worked four years in
93 sixth-grade as a language arts and geograph y teacher and three years at the elementary level. I instructed students in math, science, language arts, and social studies for one year as a fi fth-grade teacher and two years in the fourth-grade. In addition, for one year I taught sophomore regular English, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for grades 9-12, FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) Basic Skills r eading to seniors, and Advanced Communications (Reading) to freshmen. I believe that students learn when t hey are immersed in activities that foster active learning. Therefore, I utilized met hods that required hands-on activities and cooperative learning. In addition, I employed constructivist practices and planned lessons that encouraged inquiry. Through my experiences as a language arts teacher I had facilitated different types of drama in education activities. For example, I had incorporated ReadersÂ’ Theater, creative dramatics, and simulations in a ll of the grades I had taught. I discovered that the studentsÂ’ enjoyed t hese methods. They asked if I would implement more drama into the classroom because they thought it was interesting. Their enthusiasm prompted me to loca te structured activities su ch as simulations that I could integrate into the curriculum. When I taught fourth a nd fifth-grade for three year s, I used simulations on a regular basis. Every year I planned three or four. Sometimes I wrote my own, and other times I used commercial materials such as Interact. I integrated social studies and language arts curricula wit h topics such as the United States presidential election process and Greek my thology. I realized that two other
94 teachers at the school where I worked also used simulations in their classrooms. We decided to plan together and combi ne our individual efforts to plan simulations among our classrooms. I work ed with the two teachers involved in my study for two years. We planned three simulations together with a total of 90 students. They were Journey to Amer ica (Pilgrims), The Oregon Trail, and Immigration to Ellis Island. My Role as a Researcher As the instrument of data collection, I had a responsibility to report data in an honest and thorough manner. Janesick ( 1998) compared the role of the researcher to a historian. Like a histor ian, the researcher acquires permission to access sources of data and examines written documents, analyzes videotaped lessons, and composes interview protoc ols. When the participants trust the researcher, they are more inclined to be honest and candid with their responses (Berg, 2004). In addition, Glesne (1999) believ ed time facilitates more interaction. If the researcher has spent su fficient time at the site and effort in the creation of relationships with the participants, then they might be more forthcoming. Involvement in the classroom. In July, 2004, I asked the teachers if I could volunteer in their classrooms when school began. They agreed. Therefore, to establish rapport with the par ticipants in this study I volunteered in their classrooms two hours a week from Septem ber, 2004, to March, 2005, for a total of 50 hours. Each week I either taugh t, participated in, or observed different activities. At times I designed lessons for a group of five or six students. For instance, I reviewed the organization of persuasive and expository writing and
95 facilitated a group writing activity. Other times I conducted lessons in large groups on topics such as characteristics of persuasive speeches and the cycles of the moon. When I began to collect data in April, I transitioned from the role of visitor to participant-observer. Pa tton (2002) wrote a partici pant-observer at times engages in the program under study. In this role I talked with the students about their experiences and perceptions th roughout the simulation. Furthermore, Patton claimed that the par ticipant-observer collects data through the observation of select social events. The researc her perceives the events that precede and follow a phenomenon and explains the meani ng of participant behaviors before, during, and after certain occurrences. Researcher reflective journal. To develop self-awareness and reflexivity, I kept a researcher reflective journal for every day that I observed in the classroom. Patton (2002) and Piant anida and Garman (1999) explained reflexivity is a means to encourage self-a wareness and to acquire ownership of perspective. Schwandt (1997) claimed re flexivity requires researchers to engage in an ongoing analysis of what they know and how they know it. On a related point, Janesick (1998) stated journal writing enables res earchers to increase their oral and written communication skills and helps to illuminate hidden subconscious thoughts and feelin gs. A journal serves as a resource to address specific questions and address issues that arise in the data collection and analysis process (Meloy, 1994).
96 In relation to a phenomenological stanc e, the journal enabled me to adopt the perspective of epoche (Moustakas, 1994). Epoche refers to the process that a researcher sets aside personal assumpti ons in order to see the experience for itself. Although it is impossible to obtai n complete objectivity, epoche allows a person to suspend judgment. This journal enabled me to record my thoughts and to gain clarity about my experiences. Al so, I compared my thoughts over a period of time and used the data to formulate conclusions. I wrote in the journal every day. For my first entry, I described the opinions I had about simulations. Then, for later ent ries I explained what I had learned, questions I had, and thoughts that had occurr ed. I used guidelines from ProgoffÂ’s (1992) text on journal writing. Progoff s uggested a daily log enables individuals to record the mental and emotional reflec tions that occur on a continuous basis. Writing about a particular event or emot ion enhances clarity. Successive entries build on one another and provide a contex t for a particular occurrence. My journal served as a resource as I analyzed and collected data. Pilot Study As part of course requirements du ring a doctoral course in qualitative research, I conducted a pilot study. My study examined why teachers use simulations in their social studies and language arts classr ooms. I surveyed six fifth-grade teachers and asked them if they used simulations in their classrooms. From that survey, I chose two teacher s, Â“AmyÂ” and Â“Paula,Â” who reported that they used them. One of t hese teachers, Paula, was the fifth-grade teacher I looked at in this study. I interviewed them in-depth three times over a span of
97 eight weeks. Each interview lasted 30-45 minutes. I selected this method because Seidman (1998) claimed that each interview serves a purpose and allows participants to reflect on their responses between meetings. Halfway through my study, I realized that I shoul d interview a teacher who reported she did not use simulations or role play so t hat I could include divergent perspectives. Therefore, I interviewed Â“JudyÂ” two times for a total of 40 minutes. Amy and Paula reported that they us ed simulations because simulations helped students to understand and remember t he content, interested them in the material, and involved them in the s ubject matter. Judy chose not to use simulations because she preferred a more controlled, structured environment. She claimed she was uncomfortable wit h drama and thought that students acted Â“sillyÂ” in dramatic activities. From this study I learned how to develop an effective interview protocol. Also, I realized that I needed to observe in the classroom so that I could understand the interview data more fully. Description and Access to the Site The site I selected for my study is located in the northeastern, suburban section of a county in west central Fl orida. Opened in 1998, Miller Elementary School was seven years old. One of t he largest elementary schools in the county, Miller served 1,018 students. The et hnic distribution of the school was as follows: 60% Caucasian, 12% African Am erican, 14% Hispanic, 6% Asian, 6% Multiracial, and less than 1% American I ndian. Compared to other schools in the county, Miller Elementary was affluen t. The free and reduced lunch population was 23% whereas some other county schools had a 90% rate. Due to the
98 support of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and fund-raising efforts, teachers received funds to purc hase supplemental resource materials. Some of these materials included co mmercial publications for Interact simulations. According to the No Child Left Be hind (NCLB) Act, Miller made adequate yearly progress for the 2004-2005 school ye ar. The criteria of NCLB stated that in order to make sufficient progress elem entary schools must test at least 95% of their students, have at least 31% of st udents in grades 3-5 score at or above grade level in reading, and 38% score at or above grade level in math. In addition, writing, scores must improve by 1% from the previous year. At Miller, more than 75% of students in grades three, four, and five made sufficient progress in reading and more than 74% di d in math. In grade four, 90% of the students achieved a passing score on the state writing test. In addition, The State of Florida Board of Educati on assigns grades from A to F based on school performance. The grades reflect a variety of factors such as academic achievement, attendance, discipl inary referrals, and the number of suspensions. The school attained an Â“AÂ” four consecutive y ears. Compared to the rest of the schools in the count y, the school was above average. In order to conduct doctoral resear ch at Miller, I secured written permission from the principa l of the school and from the director of the Department of Assessment and Accountability of the school district. I submitted the letters to the Institutional Review Boar d at the University of South Florida.
99 Selection of Participants I used purposeful selection to inve stigate how two fifth-grade teachers implemented simulations. Purposeful select ion is grounded in the theory that in order to gain insight into a situation res earchers select a sample from which they can learn the most. The benefit of purpos eful sampling is that it provides information in depth and allows researcher s to investigate a certain area of interest (Berg, 2004; Merriam, 1988; Patton, 2002). In my study I wanted to learn how teachers incorporated simulations into their language arts and social studies classes and what students thought about them As a result, I needed to look at teachers who used simulations and talk to students who participated in them. Teachers. The two fifth-grade teachers, Lindsey and Paula, I chose had used simulations in their classrooms fo r the past six years. These teachers had worked together for five years and had agreed that I could conduct research in their classrooms. Lindsey and Paula had or ganized approximately three to four simulations a year on topics such as T he Oregon Trail, Immigration to Ellis Island, and Journey to America. Each si mulation lasted approx imately six weeks. They introduced a simulation on the Lewis and Clark expedition in April, 2005. I had never used this simulation in my cl assroom nor had I observed it before. Students. I recognized that members of t he Institutional Review Board perceived students as a vulnerable populatio n. For this reason, Darlington and Scott (2002) explained that until rec ently minors have not been well-represented in research literature. Some researcher s consider studentsÂ’ comments unreliable. Others believe it is too difficult to e licit information from students. However,
100 Darlington and Scott suggested researc hers adhere to certai n guidelines when they collect data from students. Guidelines include (a) to not over or underestimate studentsÂ’ abiliti es, (b) to like and to be co mfortable with them, (c) to have genuine interest in their thought s and feelings, and (d) to establish a positive rapport. In addition, students should have some control over the process, should feel safe, and may withdr aw from the activity at any time. I followed these suggestions throughout my time in the fiel d. For instance, one student asked me not to record a part of his interview. I respected that decision. Also, I talked to them in familiar environments, such as t heir classrooms or in an adjacent empty room. I believe my prior relationship with the students enabled them to feel at ease with me. I noticed they spoke with c andor and often included me into their conversations. Mayall (1999) claimed ongoi ng consultation with older students in particular may create more relia ble data. I believe that my extensive time in their rooms increased trustworthiness. In t he beginning, I observed all of the students in both classes, but I later focused my observations to two groups during the action phase of the simulation. I chose one group of five students from each class to interview three times. I made notes of their interacti ons throughout the simulation and talked to them about their behaviors based on my notes. I included male and female students in the sample who represent ed diverse ethnicities and academic functioning levels. I selected eight st udents who appeared to enjoy simulations and two who did not. Throughout the study I spoke to the same students to
101 develop an understanding of their beliefs responses, and thoughts over time. In addition, I examined their jour nals, pretests and posttests, and work samples. Institutional Review Board. I gained permission to conduct this study from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of South Florida. I gave each participant an official letter of intent to conduct the study. I attached a letter to the permission form that explained my study in clear language. Since the student participants were younger than 18, I received parental permission for each student I interviewed, observed, or videotaped. I did not co llect information from anyone who did not agree to be inte rviewed or observed. At all times I maintained the confidentiality of t he participants through pseudonyms. For the teachers, I assigned names that were similar to their gender and ethnic representation. I encouraged the students to select a pseudonym for themselves, a task they enjoyed. I in cluded students of different genders, ethnicities, and academic functioning levels to portray a more balanced perspective. I made three copies of the signed forms. I gave a copy to each participant, kept another in a locked file cabinet in my office at the univers ity, and the third in a locked file cabinet at my home. Beyond that, I assured the pa rticipants that the study was voluntary and that they could withdraw at any time if they were uncomfortable. However, no one chose this option. In short, I was a participant-observer in this study. I had prior background with simulations and completed a pilot study on teachersÂ’ beliefs with simulations. I utilized a researcher re flective journal throughout my field experiences. I looked at two teachers and ten students at a suburban elementary
102 school. In order to meet In stitutional Review Board cr iteria, I obtained approval for this study and from the participants. Procedure for Data Collection and Analysis In this section I describe in detail how I collected and analyzed data. Qualitative data occurs in a variety of fo rms such as interview transcripts, field notes, documents, and audio-visual mate rials (Berg, 2004; Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Coffey & Atkinson, 1996; Denzin & Li ncoln, 1994; Janesick, 1998; Patton, 2002; Piantanida & Garman, 1999). For th is study, I collected data from observations, interviews, audiotaped and videotaped lessons, teacher resource materials, and student work samples. The audiotaped and videotaped lessons, student work samples, and field notes enabled me to describe how the teachers used simulations and how the students responded to them. To gain insight into why teachers used simulations and w hat students said about them, I coded for themes and concepts through phenomenologic al analysis of interview data (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). I used th e data that I collected from fieldwork to explain what I had observed (Patton, 2002). I conclude this section with limitations of the design. Observations I observed in the classroom for 33 da ys over a period of eight weeks. I averaged three hours a day and was in t he classroom for approximately 100 hours. Since the teachers had planning time for 30 minutes each day, occasionally I spoke with them about t heir lesson plans. I was curious how they planned to introduce the simulation, a ssign roles to students, and formulate
103 groups. I asked permission to include their informal conversations in my field notes. In order to produce quality field notes, I wrote in a descriptive manner with specific and concrete details (Bo gdan & Biklen, 2003; Gillham, 2000; Rossman & Rallis, 2003). I used BergÂ’s (2004) criter ia to create comprehensive field notes: cryptic jottings, detailed descriptions, anal ytic notes, and subjective reflections. Cryptic jottings comprise brief statem ents, sketches, and unusual phrases. When I reviewed my notes later, I noticed thes e intentional marks assisted in memory recall. Detailed descriptions include how people looked and what they said and did. They incorporate texture, sensati on, and color. For example, they describe how the participants interact, the tone of the classroom, and how the environment looks. I kept analytic notes or observer comments, separate from the actual narrative. They enabled me to consider alternate theories and make judgmental observations. In order to dist inguish between the anecdotal evidence and analytic memos (A.M.), I wrote my anal ytic memos in parentheses. When I retyped the notes in the computer, I coded them in a light blue font. Subjective reflections are personal comments that hav e arisen as a result of observations. They consist of personal statements about surprising or disturbing emotions and thoughts that occur in the field. Like other researchers who keep this data separate from field notes (Bogden & Bi klen, 2003), I used the researcher reflective journal to record these thoughts. For every visit, I wrote my notes into a spiral notebook with the place, date, and time. After each observation I immediately retyped the notes on my
104 computer. I elaborated on cryptic jottings and analytical memos while my memory was still fresh (Rossman & Rallis 2003). Based on repeated readings of my field notes I focused my observati ons on specific incidents and students. As an example, I noticed several students that I wanted to look at more closely. I recognized how the teachers structured the simulation into different stages. These notes were useful for subsequent interviews. Interviews I chose an interview approach that Seidman (1998) and Kvale (1999) described as in-depth and phenom enologically based. In this format, interviewers use open-ended questions to allow participant s to describe their experiences for a given topic. The goal for the intervie wer is to understand othersÂ’ experiences and how they assign meaning to those events. Conducted over a period of several weeks, each interview serves a purpose and allows participants to reflect on their responses between meetings. T he first interview investigates the focused life history of the par ticipants, the second, the details of the experience, and the third, the reflection on the meaning. As it pertains to the teachers, I modified SeidmanÂ’s approach in the following manner. For the first intervie w, I asked them to discuss their background and where they learned how to use simulations. For the second, I inquired why they used them and to describe their beliefs. During this interview I asked the components of simulations that they did not enjoy and questioned if a simulation would succeed in a less affluent school. For the third, I asked them to
105 reflect on the simulation after it ended. In addition, I asked questions that evolved from my classroom observations and previous interviews. Teachers. I conducted three interviews over a span of eight weeks with both teachers. I used an inte rview protocol for each interview (see Appendix A). Since Berg (2004) stated preparation is im portant in interviewing, I designed a tentative outline for each interview and interviewed the teachers in their classrooms during or after their scheduled school hours. I studied my interview questions to ensure that they were openended and not leading questions. Each interview was face-to-face and lasted bet ween 30-45 minutes each session. After each interview I transcribed the data ve rbatim and made two copies for my records. I assured Lindsey and Paula that their actual names would not be used in the paper. Students. I chose ten students to intervie w based on my observations and consultation with the teachers. I re cognized that some students would be reluctant to share their thoughts. Seidman (1 998) mentioned that some students might not be as candid with their teac hers because their teachers have power over them. However, I believed my posit ion as a participant-observer and not as their teacher enabled them to be more outspoken. I ensured the students were willing participants and that their parents had signed consent forms. I interviewed each student three times for a total of 30 interviews. For each session, I prepared an interview protocol (see A ppendix B). I conducted the fi rst interview before they entered the simulation and the second when the simulation had ended. I compiled a two-page summary for each st udent based on the prior interviews.
106 Then, I interviewed them a third time to review their summaries and to ask followup questions. I used my field notes to des ign open-ended questions. I looked for students to interview that appeared to be in terested in the simulation as well as those who did not. I chose a heter ogeneous group of student s in terms of gender, ethnicity, and academic functioning leve l. My population consisted of five females and five males. Their ethnicitie s included Caucasian, African, Hispanic, and Native American origins. The teacher s classified the students as follows: three gifted, three above average, two average, and two below average with Academic Improvement Plans (AIP Â’s). Their behaviors ranged from unsatisfactory to excellent and from reticent to extroverted. Audio-Visual Material Videotapes and audiotapes provided oral and visual documentation that supplemented my field notes and interviews. Almost every time I was at the site I spoke with the teachers during their planning period. I learned when they planned to introduce certain lessons. Bas ed on this information, I taped critical incidents. In a case study approach, Patt on (2002) referred to critical incidents as major events that comprise se lf-contained descriptive data. I videotaped two 45-minute sessions. I taped one in each room during the action phase of the simulation. I a sked a student trained in audio-visual equipment to tape the debriefing in Lindsey Â’s classroom. Both were important components of a simulation, and these two events provided rich information.
107 Prior to the videotaped session, I obtained written permission from the teachers to tape the lesson and from every studentÂ’s parents. To supplement my observations and interviews, I audiotaped three 30-45 minute teacher lessons with a portable t ape recorder. I recorded Paula when she introduced the simulation for the fi rst time and when she conducted the debriefing with her student s. I taped Lindsey when she reviewed her expectations before the students entered the action phase. I transcribed the audio-visual material verbatim. Teacher Resource Materials In order to understand how teachers implemented simulations, I made copies of the resource materials that they used for their lessons. I requested copies of student handouts and the teachersÂ’ grade logs. I kept these papers in a binder and dated each document. For the commercial materials, I secured permission from the Interact company to include select handouts as appendices. The documents supplemented my daily obser vations and informed my interview questions. Because the teachers used num erous non-fiction and fictional books and magazines, I created a bibliography of the literature and purchased three of the class texts for my reference. Student Work Samples For each student that I interviewed, I copied the work that they completed during the simulation. I made copies of their journal entries, pretests and posttests, expository essays, art work, and ot her projects. I remo ved their original names and replaced them with their pseudonyms. The students chose their
108 pseudonyms and selected names compatible with their genders and ethnicities. I compared their work samples with their interview responses and their actions from my field notes. I included several of these items in figures and appendices. Data Analysis As suggested by several qualitative researchers, I analyzed data as I collected it (Berg, 2004; Gillham, 2000; Merriam, 1988; Patton, 2002; Wolcott, 2001). I followed MerriamÂ’s (1988) guideli nes for data analysis of case study research. For the interviews, I used phenomenological analysis (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). I believe the combinati on of these methods resulted in a more accurate and descriptive portrayal of the phenomenon of simulations. Case study research. A descriptive case study approach was appropriate for two of my research questions: How do the two teachers implement simulations? How do the ten students respond to simulations? To answer these questions I arranged the data into a narrati ve report of the findings. Every day that I observed I retyped my notes ont o the computer. Ov er eight weeks I collected a voluminous amount of data: field notes, student work samples, teacher resource materials, and tr anscripts of audiotaped and videotaped teacher lessons. I kept the field notes fo r each teacher, interview protocols, and my researcher reflective journal in a oneinch binder that I called my Â“Discovery Folder.Â” I filed the other sources into labeled sections of an expandable file. Throughout my time at the site, I reread the information several times. In the margins, I made comments and adjusted earlier notations. These jottings informed future observations and interviews.
109 I wrote the case study in chronol ogical order from the teachersÂ’ introduction of the simulation to the debr iefing stage at the end Each stage of the simulation, such as, the briefing, ac tion, and debriefing, structured the case study. In addition, I integrated pattern s of teacher and st udent behavior and themes from the data. All of the data sources informed the case study. I included interview excerpts, student work sample s, teacher resource materials, and sections from the audiotaped and videotape d lessons. My detailed notes enabled me to remember what had o ccurred for specific events. As I wrote the case study I shared drafts with Lindsey and Paula. They pointed out areas that I needed to elaborate on or clarify. Phenomenological analysis. I used phenomenological analysis methods to answer the other two research ques tions: Why do the two teachers use simulations? What do the ten students th ink about simulations? Part of the purpose for this study was to understand t he meaning of a simulation from the teachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ perspectives. This section explains how I analyzed the interview data. I conducted three interviews for each teacher and student. Therefore, at the end of the data collection I had acquir ed six teacher interview transcripts and thirty student transcripts. For ever y interview, I transcribed the audiotape verbatim and typed the date, time, and length of the interview on the first page. I kept copies of the transcrip ts in separate folders. In order to distinguish among the transcripts, I used an abbreviation follo wed by the person I interviewed and a number. For instance, I coded PaulaÂ’s teac her interview with Â“IT (Paula) #1.Â” The
110 abbreviation Â“ITÂ” represented Â“interview transcript,Â” Â“PaulaÂ” alluded to the pseudonym, and Â“#1Â” referred to the firs t interview. I followed the same procedure for the students. I analyzed the interview transcripts through the steps of phenomenological analysis: epoche, phenomenological reducti on, imaginative variation, and synthesis of texture and st ructure (Hycner, 1994; Mous takas, 1994). First, I read through the written data numerous times. Then, I adopted an inductive approach, epoche, in order to eliminate preconc eived notions and to attend to the participantsÂ’ exact words. Epoche is a c ontinuous analytical process rather than a singular event (Patton, 2002). Following the epoche stage, I entered the second stage of analysis, phenomenological reduction. I read thr ough the data several times to gain a sense of the participantsÂ’ words. I br acketed the key words and phrases that constituted general units of meaning (M oustakas, 1994) with a pencil. Hycner (1985) defined general units of meaning as words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs that convey distinct, c oherent meanings separate from the information that comes before or after it Then, I compared the general units of meaning to my research ques tions. At this time I horizonalized the units of meaning (Moustakas, 1994). The term horiz onalize means to spread out the data so that each meaning has equal importance. If the units of meaning related to the research questions, I coded the concept as re levant. If it was irrelevant I did not record it. These relevant meanings serv ed as my initial categories or themes.
111 After that, I clustered the uni ts of relevant meanings to tentative themes while I continued to look for connections and patterns in the data. After I had identified the emergent ca tegories, I organized them through an index system (Hubbard & Power, 1993). I used different colors to represent each initial theme. I had already coded t he data with a pencil. I returned with a marker and underlined the words and phr ases that corresponded with each theme. I wrote the interview tran script letter and page number where the category is located. For example, under t he category Â“active learningÂ” I wrote IT (Lindsey) #1: 2, 3, 7, 10. This notati on meant that the them e Â“active learningÂ” appeared on pages two, three, seven, and ten of LindseyÂ’s first interview transcript. As I collected data in subsequent interviews I continued to read through the transcripts. I integrated the categories into a larger framework and looked for patterns and properties that connected the participantsÂ’ words together. On the computer I updated the changes. However, I kept copies of every index draft so that I could track changes over time. As I examined the data over several w eeks, I participated in an important stage of phenomenological analysis, imagina tive reduction. This stage enabled me to examine possible meanings through different perspectives and frames of reference that required playfulness and imagination (Hycner, 1985). Hubbard and Power (1993) wrote that creative insi ghts enable researchers to be open to discovery. In this phase, I tested differ ent possibilities and rearranged the themes into different categories. I sketched diagr ams and charts to experiment with other patterns.
112 Participant access to the data is an integral part of phenomenological research (Hycner, 1985; Moustakas, 1994). Ho wever, I did not want to influence participant thoughts or behaviors by s haring the data prematurely (Miles & Huberman, 1994). After I interviewed the t eachers three times, I asked them to review my themes to determine their thoughts. I gave them each a three-page typed summary so that they could write their comments on them. I returned to the computer and typed in their written thoughts with a different font color. I printed out a revised copy with my original text in black and their feedback in blue. This process allowed me to compare what they had added to my original draft. For the students, I followed the same procedures as the teachers, but I read the summary reports with them and recorded their comments on the paper during the third interview. Throughout t he session, I asked if my report made sense to them. For instance, I said, Â“Have I left something out? Does this sound like what you meant? I wasnÂ’t sure here, di d I get this part right ?Â” I used simpler language for the student summaries and studied their body language when I spoke with them. At times, I rephrased ques tions or gave them additional time to respond. I used the statement Â“Tell me more Â” to elicit additional information. After the third interview, they signed and dated a statement that r ead, Â“This statement truthfully summarizes my beliefs about how I feel about simulations as reported in interviews with Ms. Gauweiler.Â” I included a sample student interview summary in Appendix C. In the final stage of analysis, I synt hesized the themes as a means to understand the participantsÂ’ experience (Moustakas, 1994). I summarized each
113 major theme in order to describe the exper ience of being a part of a simulation. I included two sections for this report, one for the teachers and the other for the students, in chapter four. Pa rt of phenomenological met hods is the opportunity to share my notes with the participants. T heir verification of the data added rigor and validity to the investigation. To summarize, I collected and analyzed data over a period of eight weeks. The data included field notes, transcrip ts from interviews, videotapes, and audiotapes, teacher resource materials, and student work samples. I wrote what I had observed through a descriptive ca se study and used phenomenological analysis methods to code the interview data. I coded for emerging themes and concepts, summarized my findings, and shared the information with the participants. I wrote the re sults over a period of several weeks and shared my findings in the next chapter. Ensuring Quality and Credibility In this section I discuss how I addr essed the issues of dependability and validity with the data. I expl ain the concept of trustworthiness and how it relates to this study. In additi on, I describe how I triangul ated the data, compared my findings with a critical friend, and shared the data with participants through member-checking. I conclude this section wit h the limitations of the study and my timeline for data collection and analysis. Trustworthiness In qualitative research, validity refe rs to the accuracy and truthfulness of the findings. As the research instrument, the researcher ensures that the findings
114 are credible. Credibility equates to the a ccuracy of the data. In part, a researcher could distort the findings of a study in f our major ways. They are (a) reactions of participants in the setting to the researc her, (b) changes in the fieldworker during the data collection and analysis processes, (c) the perceptions and biases of the researcher, and (d) researcher inco mpetence (Patton, 2002). Also called reactivity, the presence of an outside obser ver affects the participantsÂ’ behaviors. Occasionally researchers become personal ly attached to the participants and lose their focus of occurring events. Although researchers bring preconceptions into the field, some distor t their findings through a partial stance. They do not reflect how their perspective influences others. Other res earchers demonstrate incompetence in that they do not follow data verification and validation procedures throughout their study. Cons equently, I had considered several ways to establish validity and maintain credibility for this study. Validity. In qualitative research, validity centers on the cr edibility of the skill, competence, and rigor of the researcher (Patton, 2002). First, I believe that the time I had spent in the field as a vi sitor established trust and rapport with the participants. My prior professional relati onship with the teachers facilitated more forthright conversations. Second, a key as sumption to qualitative research is that I was the primary instrument of data co llection. Therefore, my perceptions and beliefs were integrated into the research process and formulated my findings and conclusions. However, I attempted to av oid bias in that I transcribed the data verbatim and kept a researcher reflecti ve journal. The journal enabled me to reflect on my observations and evaluate my perspective as a researcher. As
115 much as possible, I used the participantsÂ’ words to create themes and categories and asked open-ended questions in interviews. Third, I had completed a pilot study in a doctoral course in qualitative research. For the study, I applied w hat I had learned in data collection and analysis. I developed a coding system t hat enabled me to analyze interview transcripts for emergent themes. In addition, Patton (2002) claimed that qualitative inquiry works best for those wit h a high tolerance level for ambiguity. My personality and divergent thinking style complemented this trait. Triangulation of data sources. The use of triangulation, or multiple methods, demonstrates the researc herÂ’s goal to acquire an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon in question (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Patton, 2002; Rossman & Rallis, 2003). Triangulation adds rigor, breadth, and depth to the investigation th rough multiple lines of sight (Berg, 2004; Flick, 1992). I collected data through many sources: interviews, observations, audiotapes, videotapes, and doc uments. The combination of these types strengthened the validity of the findi ngs (Berg, 2004). I compared the data to one another to look for consisten cy and inconsistency. I reported these findings in an honest and thorough manner in the results section of the dissertation. Critical friend. I asked a critical friend (H ubbard & Power, 1993; Rossman & Rallis, 2003) familiar with qualitative re search to review my field notes, transcripts, and results. Rossman and Rallis (2003, p. 69) stated the purpose of a critical friend, or peer debr iefer, is to serve as an Â“i ntellectual watchdogÂ” as the
116 researcher modifies decisions, deve lops categories, and explains the phenomenon of interest. Rossman and Ra llis suggested that triangulation, prolonged engagement, and a critical friend ar e three ways to enhance credibility and rigor. Member checking. As part of phenomenological research, I provided the participants access to the data (Hycner 1985; Janesick, 1998; Moustakas, 1994). The last week of data collection I returned to the participants with my written summaries and themes I reported these findings in the results section. As adults, the teachers were able to arti culate their thoughts more clearly than the students. Although they agreed with the major t hemes, they pointed out minor discrepancies with their backgr ound histories and elaborated on some areas. In contrast, all of the students concurred with almost every paragraph of my summaries. A few pointed out mi nor changes. In general, they seemed excited by my reports and pleased with the attention. I did ask questions like, Â“Is there anything else I should include? How do you feel about this description?Â” I attached the participantsÂ’ summaries to t he original transcripts and filed them. Limitations One limitation of this study was t he time constraint due to state mandated testing. I was unable to collect data until a fter the examinations in March. I began to collect data the first week of April and continued until the last week of May. This amount of time allowed me to st udy one simulation on a specific topic. Second, my thoughts and interpretations were integrated into the study. I attempted to avoid bias through a researc her reflective journal and conversations
117 with a critical friend and t he participants. However, I co uld not extricate myself from the data. Third, although appropriate for a qualitative study, the sample size for my study did not allow generalizations to other teachers who used simulations in their classrooms. The findings contribut ed to the research on simulations but were not transferable to every population that used simulations. In other words, the experiences of participants in th is group were unique and could not be replicated in an exact manner. However, t he findings met a need in the research for how a simulation affects participants in depth and detail. A fourth limitation might be my prio r relationship with the teachers and my previous use of simulations. I warded against bias through the practice of reflection and a critical friendÂ’s perspective Beyond that, I veri fied my findings with the participants. As a teacher who had used simula tions, I studied how other teachers implemented simulati ons rather than examine my practice. On the other hand, my familiarity with simulations focus ed my attention to critical areas such as the action and debriefing stages. I rec ognized pivotal moments due to my understanding of simulation design. Timeline This study was time bound since I collected data from the beginning of April to the end of the school year in Ma y. I began data collect ion on April 4 and continued through May 24. Although the si mulation ended prior to May 24, I allotted additional time in order to c onduct member checks with the participants and collect work samples. Throughout t he entire period of data collection I
118 analyzed the data as I collected it. I review ed my field notes on a daily basis and tracked changes on the computer. I transcribed interviews, audiotapes, and videotapes on a weekly basis. Summary In this chapter I discussed my procedures for data collection and analysis. First, I defined qualitative research and explained my rationale for adopting a qualitative paradigm. I justified how a de scriptive case study coincided with a phenomenological research approach. Se cond, I communicated my background, beliefs, and role as a researcher. I shared my previous relationship with simulations and the participants. Prior to th is project I completed a pilot study and volunteered hours 50 hours in the classr oom. These experiences facilitated my access to the site. I described the elementary school and how I chose the participants. In addition, I ex plained how I gained approval for this study through the Institutional Review Board and protec ted the anonymity of the participants. Third, I shared how I collected and analyzed data through observations, teacher and student interviews, audiovisual ma terial, teacher reso urce materials, and student work samples. I discussed how I coded for themes and concepts through phenomenological analysis of inte rview data and transformed my field notes to create the case study. I shared se lect field notes with the participants to verify my findings. Last, in order to protect the qualit y and credibility of this study, I considered many aspects when I colle cted and analyzed the data. Through the triangulation of data sour ces, a peer debriefer, and member checking, I
119 established trustworthiness. Moreover, I practiced re flective techniques on an ongoing basis, reported the findings in an honest manner, and compared my findings with others. I allotted substantial time to complete the dissertation over a period of several months. I adhered to a structured methodology that enabled me to complete this project. At the end of my time in the field, an overall pattern to the data began to formulate in my mind. This shape enabled me to create meaning from my experiences and to inform others.
120 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS Introduction They called it the Corps of Discove ry, the trip that President Thomas Jefferson commissioned in order to examine the territory west of the Mississippi River. Two men, Meriwether Lewis and W illiam Clark, led a 47 member crew 2,500 miles from Camp Wood, Missouri, to Fort Clatsop at t he edge of the Pacific Ocean. The sole female on the trip, a 15 year-old Shoshone named Sacajawea, served as one of their interpreters. The explorers faced hardships and obstacles, yet, they accomplished their mission and established their place in history. I perceived my role as a participant-observer to be analogous to an explorer. Like Lewis and Clark, I v entured into an environment with some preparation. In the beginning, the obstacles that I would encounter or the issues that would arise were a myst ery. At times, I felt bew ildered. Other moments, I experienced elation. After 100 hours in the classroom ov er an eight-week period, I accumulated hundreds of pages of fiel d notes, audiotaped transcripts, teacher resource materials, and student work samp les. Just as Sacajawea translated for her team, I interpreted my dat a so that I could explain t he practice of simulations in two fifth-grade classrooms. I adopted a phenomenological orientation in order to understand what happened in the participant sÂ’ minds as they learned through a simulation.
121 My initial research questions guided this study during my time in the field. I wanted to learn the following: 1. Why do the two fifth-grade teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two fifth-grade t eachers implement simulations? 3. What do the ten fifth-grade students think about simulations? 4. How do the ten fifth-grade st udents respond to simulations? To present the results for this study, I organized this chapter into five major sections. The first section states the teachersÂ’ beliefs regarding why they use simulations. I synthesized the major th emes from three se parate interviews for each teacher. The second through fourth sections comprise the case study. I describe how two fifth-grade teachers impl emented simulations and how ten fifthgrade students responded to simulations through a descriptive case study. I integrated the participantsÂ’ thoughts from interviews to illuminate the data. The fifth section summarizes the studentsÂ’ thoughts at the end of the simulation. The TeachersÂ’ Beliefs In this section, I report why the two teachers, Lindsey Romano and Paula Williams, used simulations in their classrooms. I adopted a phenomenological orientation and conducted thr ee interviews over a period of eight weeks with each teacher. I used an interview protocol for each session and transcribed every interview. The protocol provided a fram ework that enabled me to compare the teachersÂ’ beliefs. I applied HycnerÂ’s (1985) guidelines for phenomenological analysis to synthesize the major themes The interviews lasted between 30-45 minutes, and I gave the teachers a summary of my findings after the final
122 interview. The teachers agreed that my su mmaries reflected their beliefs. I chose not to give them a summa ry after each interview because I did not want to influence their behaviors or perspectives (M iles & Huberman, 1994). If they read the emergent themes prior to the final interview, I thoug ht that the data could be compromised. I believe that my decisi on enabled them to speak more freely without the concern that I would record everything they said. The final themes that emerged from the three interviews resonated with the positive attributes of simulations. Lat er, in my classroom observations I noted disadvantageous aspects that the teachers had not mentioned. Lindsey Romano Lindsey Romano, 30 years old, exuded energy and confidence. She maintained high expectations for her studentsÂ’ academic performance and behavior in the classroom. Lindsey graduat ed from the University of South Florida in 1996, with a Bachelor of Sci ence in Elementary E ducation. She had been employed in Windsor County for eight years. She taught for two years at Shepherd, an inner-city school, and then tr ansferred to Miller Elementary. At Miller Elementary, she taught fourth grade for five years and fifth grade for one. She was MillerÂ’s Teacher of the Y ear for 1999-2000 and won a Â“Celebrate LiteracyÂ” award through a local readi ng organization for her work with simulations. When Lindsey was younger, she stat ed that she was Â“ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) before t here was.Â” The only thing she remembered about elementary school was a school play s he participated in as a sixth grader.
123 She recalled, Â“I canÂ’t tell you a cott on pickinÂ’ thing about elementary school. I remember sitting there. I remember opening up a social studies book. I remember doing questions. I remember feeling like I was going to become unglued.Â” Although Lindsey thought that it was always in her Â“to be a type of teacher that encourages an active learning envir onmentÂ” she thought her teaching style had changed over the years. She began at Shepherd Elementary and spent most of her time learning classroom management techni ques, managing paperwork, and teaching social skills. As a PEP (Per sonalized Education Program) dropout prevention teacher, she star ted taking risks with the stud ents. She realized Â“when they werenÂ’t just sitting there and I had them doing things like community service projectsÂ” that she noticed improvement in their perf ormance. Later, when she transferred to Miller Element ary, she met Paula. The following summer she and Paula learned about simulations at a national reading conf erence. At the conference she attended a workshop fac ilitated by two co-teachers who used simulations in their intermediate cla ssrooms. The teachers introduced her to Interact, a company that publishes simula tions. After that conference six years ago, she and Paula decided to implement a Pilgrim simulation in their rooms. She stated that after that, it just Â“ble w up from thereÂ” and they have used simulations ever since. In interviews, she spoke with candor and passion about her involvement with simulations. At times, she paused seve ral seconds to consider the question before responding. Her thoughts about simula tions remained consistent over the
124 three interviews. Four major themes em erged in LindseyÂ’s interviews. She used simulations in the classroom because they (a) allowed her to integrate content through immersion, (b) met individualsÂ’ learning styles and the multiple intelligences, (c) created an active l earning environment, and (d) informed her through student and parental f eedback that students retain information over time. Integration through immersion. Lindsey stated that sheÂ’s a Â“firm believer in integrationÂ” and defined simulations as Â“ an integration of curri culum whether it be science or math or history with a def inite aim to immerse.Â” Throughout the interviews Lindsey mentioned the terms integration, connection, and immersion to explain how she blended the social studies and language arts to meet the Florida Sunshine State Standards and county benchmarks. Although she purchased Interact materials, she did not follow the guide exclusively. Instead, she incorporated additional non-fiction and fictional texts to augment the simulation and address curriculum expectations for reading and writing. Lindsey reiterated the Â“key word with a simulation is immersion.Â” She explained that immersion meant that teachers do not skim over the content. She stated, To me, the intensity of the simulati on goes into the speaking, the singing, the what they would do, how they would live, how they would write, especially for a historical simulation. ThatÂ’s different than, Â‘Okay, I read about a Native American tribe and now IÂ’m going to make a tipi.Â’
125 Lindsey recalled that she and Paula in tegrated lessons before they used simulations, but their activities were not as in-depth and more at an Â“elementary level and not very academically driven.Â” Lindsey used the metaphor of imme rsion to describe how students are Â“dunkedÂ” into every facet of the content and that s he and Paula Â“took the plungeÂ” when they introduced simulations for the first time. She commented through simulations she and Paula could explore content Â“deeper than just pen to paper all the time.Â” On a simulation for P ilgrims, she explained how students experienced the subject. She stated, Â“They read it, they wrote it, they watched it, they became it, they dressed i t, they did Webquests on it.Â” Lindsey enjoyed teaching when subj ects were interconnected and students made connections between sc hool and home. She provided the example, Â“TheyÂ’ll come in and say, Â‘Last night a Jeopardy! question said, What was the other name of the Pilgrim boat? I knew it was the Speedwell .Â’ ThatÂ’s just proof of the pudding that t hatÂ’s going on in their head.Â” Learning styles and the multiple intelligences. When Lindsey began to use simulations she did not know why they worked so well. She attended workshops through the National Writing Project and discovered brain-based learning (Jensen, 2000; Wolfe, 2001). She defined br ain-based learning as the Â“idea that learners learn differently and the brain functions differently.Â” As a result, she believed she needed to make an effort to plan activities that met the different learning moda lities and incorporate the multiple intelligences. She felt simulations were Â“powerfulÂ” because t he different learning
126 styles and the multiple intelligences embedded within the simulation enabled teachers to facilitate student learning. She claimed, Â“Every child reaches a higher level regardless of where they started. T heir learning potential just skyrockets.Â” In addition to the simulation in the classroom, Lindsey commented on the culminating activity that she often incor porated at the end of a simulation. The culminating activity adopted different fo rms and was not predi ctable. It might have been a play, a museum, or a re-enac tment. She described the culminating activity as an expos of what student s have learned. Student participation in the final activity Â“goes back to those multip le intelligences. Some of those children are going to learn it because of the enterta inment, the dance, the kinesthetic part of itÂ” and Â“itÂ’s a very important com ponent because for those children who are your actors and actresses, your kinest hetic, your musically talented children, thatÂ’s a huge part of it.Â” Active learning environment. Lindsey considered simulations as incomparable to a traditiona l way of teaching. She said in a simulation teachers do not sit behind their desks as students raise their hands to speak. Instead, simulations allowed studentsÂ’ minds to be engaged in the content. She stated the trite phrase Â“actions speak louder than wordsÂ” serv ed as a testimony that simulations attracted studentsÂ’ intere st. She explained when adults entered her room they observed how students Â“are engaged in something. Not because IÂ’m walking around with a pitchfork but bec ause they are truly interested.Â”
127 Lindsey allotted a month in the beginn ing of the year to teach classroom procedures. She claimed this investment enabled her to implement simulations throughout the year. She regarded herself as: A believer in active, controlled learning. They have to be involved -it canÂ’t just be me running the show. However, there has to be a happy medium in my belief. There has to be safety, they know the consequences of crossing a line. They know what those lines are. That management is so crucial because you canÂ’t do th is if there are not boundaries. Feedback from students and parents. Since Lindsey had taught in the same area for six years, several of her former students were now enrolled in high school. Many times they visited her at extracurricular events or when they attended Open House with thei r younger brothers and sister s. She explained that her former studentsÂ’ responses Â“let me know of the why.Â” The students had informed her that they remembered what they had learned through simulations. As an example, she shared, One of my students, Blake, heÂ’s now a football player at Shambaugh High, he was like, he remembers, I mean they remember And theyÂ’re like, Â‘Uh, I was so goofyÂ’, and you know theyÂ’re at that stage where t heyÂ’re like Â‘Grrrr, I canÂ’t believe I was a puffer fish!Â’ Besides students, she mentioned that former and current parents told her that their children recalled what they had learned in her class. Impressed that the students shared what they had learned at school, parents wrote her letters or expressed positive comments. Their f eedback validated her rationale to use
128 simulations. Often, students brought in re sources from home. When I interviewed Lindsey the second time, she gave me a letter she had received that day from a parent. The complimentary letter stated that her son, Brian, had become a Â“history buff, thanks to your wonderful teac hingÂ” and that he Â“tak es an interest in current affairs and wants to read/wa tch about our worldÂ’s history.Â” The letter reinforced one of LindseyÂ’s long-term goals as a teacher. She wanted them to have a broad understanding of history and to make connections beyond basic information. She explained, Â“M y hope is that when theyÂ’re sitting in their high school history class they already know some of this I want them to learn and hold onto it.Â” Paula Williams Paula Williams, 58 years old, had the appearance and mentality of someone younger than her chronological age. An accomplished teacher who had taught elementary school for 25 years, she described herself as someone who was Â“very willing to try new things.Â” She remained current on educational trends through in-service trainings and subscrip tions to professiona l journals. Like Lindsey, she maintained high expecta tions for her studentsÂ’ academic performance and behavior in the classroom. Paula Williams graduated from college in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She earned a MasterÂ’s of Education degree in Elementary Education in 1972. Since then, she had accumulated twelve graduate credits in reading. She had taught in Windsor County for nine years. She taught for two years at Granger, an inner-city school in Fairview, and then
129 transferred to Miller Elementar y. At Miller, she taught f ourth grade for five years and fifth grade for two. She was MillerÂ’s Teacher of the Year for 2000-2001 and won a Â“Celebrate LiteracyÂ” award thr ough a local reading organization for her work with simulations. When Paula was younger, she remember ed traveling with her family to historical places such as Plymouth Plantation, Ellis Island, Jamestown, Willamsburg, and Gettysburg. She believed the family trips instilled an interest in history that had continued through adult hood. As an educator, she had always integrated historical fict ion with social studies. W hen she taught history, she encouraged her students to visit the actual places that they discussed in class for family vacations. Paula considered herself to be a t hematic teacher even when she taught at a more traditional Catho lic school in Connecticut in the 1980Â’s. She recalled, I always liked to teach thematically. I didnÂ’t have any simulations at that time, but I always was a thematic teac her. I didnÂ’t call t hem simulations, it was just thematic units like a Worl d War II theme, Westward Movement, and Pioneer theme. I always tied literature and some ki nd of art or music. Like Lindsey, she credited the workshop at the national reading conference with introducing them to simulations. She comp ared simulations to thematic teaching in the 1980Â’s, but she thought simulations relied more on primary sources, explored a concept in-depth, and incorporated role-playing. After the conference, she and Lindsey began a simulation on Pilgrims and have implemented numerous simulations in math, science, art, and social studies since then.
130 During the interviews, Paula spoke at length with clar ity and confidence. Often she provided examples to illustr ate her points. Her beliefs about simulations remained consistent ac ross the interviews. After I applied phenomenological analysis methods, thr ee major themes emerged from the interviews. She used simulations in t he classroom because simulations: (a) involved the students in an authentic cont ent, (b) targeted different learning modalities, and (c) enabled students to learn the material and retain the information over time. Involvement in authentic content. Paula defined simulations as a means to involve students Â“so that they become part of that era. They are role-playing, if you ask them to do writing, itÂ’s authentic writing from that perspective. YouÂ’re taking them and immersing them into that time frame.Â” One of the major reasons she used simulations was that students were involved in an authentic manner. She commented in every interview t hat learning should be relevant. Instead of reading out of a te xtbook, students made applications and simulated what happened in history. Paul a stated that in Lew is and Clark, the students followed the same trail and met the exact challenges that the original explorers faced. She claimed the jour nal entries students read were Â“really primary sources because those are replicas of the real deal.Â” Then, students wrote as if they liv ed in that time fr ame and performed a certain job. Paula modeled how to adopt a certain persona and shared primary sources with the students. As an example, she explai ned that for a unit on slavery the students wrote from the perspecti ve of a slave in a slave journal. For
131 a simulation on Sail America, student s researched and read about the Thirteen Colonies. Then, the students r epresented one of the colonies in order to attract visitors from England. She described the event: The kids dressed in Colonial atti re and had to make a showboard that included information on the geography, government, agriculture, and interesting facts. They talked about why you should come, as they were trying to get people to come to Am erica. They brought foods that you would find in the Carolinas or y ou would find in G eorgia. They made replicas of a plantation so they c ould show them. They did Southern fans, and made all kinds of different things. But, there again, it was research, it was writing, they had to sell their co lony, that was the whole premise of the thing. They had to write a letter in that one, to someone in England and tell them about the place wh ere they lived and what was so wonderful about it and why you should want to come to Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, or Rhode Island. Paula believed that teaching through simulations fostered interactive and purposeful learning. For Lewis and Clark, the students researched Native American tribes and encountered dilemmas that the original explorers faced. They worked as a team to brainstorm a solution. Learning in this way enabled students to comprehend what life was like in that time period as they became part of the ex pedition. Targeted different learning modalities. Paula felt simulations allowed students to express themselves in diffe rent ways. Like in the Sail America
132 excerpt, students engaged in writing, resear ch, role-play, and art. This belief connected to her teaching philosophy to Â“t ouch every single child.Â” Paula claimed the Lewis and Clark simulation attracted different types of learners such as readers, researchers, and arti sts. She said, Â“The kids who have a difficult time researching about Thomas Jefferson, well they can make a rain stick. So, therefore, you know it will be abl e to be effective with everyone.Â” Sometimes participating in a simu lation motivated students to extend learning beyond the classroom. She commented, A lot of them really get into it and theyÂ’ll go to the media center and get books about what weÂ’re studying about or theyÂ’ll go online. ItÂ’s kind of like different modalities, theyÂ’ll be someth ing for the writer, or to create, and they really bring in a lot of cool things. As a teacher, Paula made a concerted e ffort to engage her studentsÂ’ interests and plan activities that met their needs. She stated, ItÂ’s all about kidsÂ…itÂ’s taking each child and trying to meet each childÂ’s specific needs, and involving them in many different ways. Some are visualÂ….some are auditory, so you try to incorporate all those different modalities into your teaching. In addition, she mentioned that every st udent should feel part of the group. Whether students were high-achieving or not, she maintained that she had a responsibility to educate them. Learn the material for long-term retention. Paula believed that simulations allowed students to learn a substantial amount of information, and she hoped
133 that they would retain what they had learned for an extended period of time. She based her claim on her observations as well as student and parent feedback. When she reflected on the Lewis and Clark simulation in the third interview, she said, Â“I canÂ’t help but thinkÂ…that they wil lÂ…that is something that they know so much information about. They did a lot on their own, they found out a lot, they found out how difficult it was.Â” In previous interviews, she reit erated this belief and commented three separate times that she was unsure if the students realized how much they had learned from simulations. As an example, she mentioned, Â“They learn more than they really realize that theyÂ’re learningÂ…which is the cool thing.Â” I asked her how she knew that students had learned. She credited her observations, student and parent feedba ck, and pretests and posttests. For instance, sometimes students had referred to earlier simulations when they studied a later one. She had circulat ed around the room and had listened to student conversations when they were invo lved in the simulation. Sometimes she had overheard her students as they di scussed simulations on the bus ramps before school. When I questioned why Paula used simulations instead of other methods, she stated because Â“the kids love it and theyÂ’re learning.Â” She believed learning through a simulation was more ef fective than opening the social studies textbook and answering five questions. Besides her current students, former ones had shared with her that they remembered their experiences with simu lations. Although she was pleased that they had Â“fond memories,Â” she preferred t hat they would remember what they
134 had learned when they studied American hi story in eighth grade. Parents often informed Paula that they had visited cert ain places such as Ellis Island or Plymouth Plantation. At these sites, t heir children had spoken to them in detail about what they had learned in PaulaÂ’s class. She remembered for an earlier Lewis and Clark simulation, one studentÂ’s family traveled West. The student recognized historical places on the jour ney and Â“told their parents everything they wanted to know and more about it.Â” Like LindseyÂ’s comment, Paula st ated the Â“the students were immersed and it made it real.Â” As a result, they could recall what they had learned in the simulation. This comment related to their involvement in the simulation, the first theme that emerged from P aulaÂ’s interview. She mentioned again in the final interview that if Â“you involve them, t heyÂ’ll remember it.Â” These two themes supported PaulaÂ’s belief involv ement facilitated learning. Even though I interviewed the teacher s separately, the teachersÂ’ themes shared similarities. Both believed that simulations addressed studentsÂ’ learning styles and claimed parent and student f eedback informed them that simulations fostered retention of information. Lindsey expressed how simulations fostered an active learning environment and allowed her to integrate content across the subject areas. She addressed the multip le intelligences and connected them to student learning styles. In PaulaÂ’s intervie ws, a theme of involvement in authentic content informed her decision to use simu lations. She believed that the primary sources and replications of historical events generated meaningful learning. In my observations and perusal of teacher re source materials, I found that the
135 teachersÂ’ beliefs coincided with their actions in the classroom and comments to their students. The Early Stages of the Simulation This section is the first of three to describe what happened in a simulation titled Â“Lewis and Clark: A Simulation of t he Corps of DiscoveryÂ” (Vargas, 2000). In order to collect data, I spent eight weeks and 100 hours in Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s classrooms. I used my field notes, excerp ts from teacher and student interviews, teacher resource materials, student work samples, photographs, audiotape and videotape transcripts, and my researcher reflec tive journal to complete this case study. I have organized it chronologica lly and included major themes and illustrative incidents from the data. Entering the Field Since I had taught at Miller for three years from 2000-2003 and volunteered weekly since September, 2004, I did not perceive the school as an unfamiliar venue. Yet, when I entered the fi eld on April 4 to collect data, I examined the site with a researcherÂ’s lens I examined the entr ance of the school and the direction to the teachersÂ’ cla ssrooms with an analytical perspective. I photographed Miller and the cla ssrooms in order to transf orm images to words. Miller Elementary. Miller Elementary stands in a wetlands area of West Central Florida. Established in 1998, t he two-story, white stucco building with light-green trim encompasses several ac res. A billboard si gn anchored by two brick posts greeted visitors with the mess age: Â“Welcome to Miller Home of the Bobcats.Â”
136 Upper-middle class homes surrounded the school on three sides. An eight-foot, white privacy f ence separated the school from residential housing on the east and a chain-link fence divided the school from the brush on the north. An extended sidewalk stretc hed from the entrance and wrapped around to the bicycle rack in the front of the sc hool. Scrub pine trees nestled among bushes and palmetto branches towered above the school. Although the majority of the 1,017 students that attended M iller traveled by school bus, a large percentage rode their bicycles, walked, or arrived by car. Eight spaces provided visitor parking in the front of Miller. Faculty, staff, and other adults parked in the lot behind the school. A locked gate inhibited visitors from parking after 8:30 a.m. In stead, they created parking spaces on the well-maintained lawn. These spaces were brown and patchy compared to the bright green of other areas. Across fr om the faculty parking lot, a covered walkway extended from the combination ca feteria and multi-purpose room to a winding staircase. Two concrete, cresc ent-shaped courtyards allowed for outdoor performances. Statues of bobcats and po tted palm trees decorated both sides. Eighty yards away, three portable classrooms and two playgrounds covered an open field. On the patio opposite the basket ball courts, six tables with blue-green umbrellas invited students and teachers to eat outside. Two additi onal staircases and an elevator provided access to the second floor. PaulaÂ’s classroom. As a fifth-grade teacher, Pa ulaÂ’s classroom faced the faculty parking lot on the second floor. Tw o 8Â’ x 8Â’ bulletin boards showcased student work on both sides of the hallway towards Paul aÂ’s room. On the right
137 side, two third-grade teacher s had stapled three-dimensional butterflies to the board. The students had decorated the but terflies with red, blue, and green tempura paints. On the left side, Lindsey and Paula had displayed their studentÂ’s slave narratives on the Underground Railr oad. The edges of the papers curled to represent scrolls. When I entered PaulaÂ’s ro om the first day, I realized that the class had departed for lunch. In preparation for the simulation, Paula had arranged the studentsÂ’ desks in U or L-shaped designs with approxim ately five students per section (see Figure 2). Colorful bulletin boards adorned the walls with headings such as Â“Celebrate AmericaÂ” and Â“Lewis and Clark Â– Go West!Â” On the dry erase board chalk tray, books on the Lewis and Clark ex pedition stood upright like sentries. Atlases, spiral notebooks, and colored pencils covered the studentsÂ’ desks. Student-created mobiles depict ing a 1777 map of the Un ited States hung from the ceiling. Four yellow note cards attac hed by yellow, blue, and red yarn waved slightly. As I looked closer, I noticed the mobile represented the Thirteen Original Colonies. George WashingtonÂ’s outline swayed in the center of the yellow cards. Other posters reminded the students Â“ExploreÂ…DreamÂ…DiscoverÂ” and Â“A journey of a thousand m iles begins with a single st ep.Â” I considered how the quotations served as a metaphor of what the students were about to experience as members of a simulated Lewis and Clark expedition. Towards the back of the room, a countertop stretched from the wall to the sink A door led to a student
138 Figure 2 Diagram of PaulaÂ’s Classroom restroom, and a 10Â’ x 8Â’ area rug cover ed the off-white tile. The colorful rug depicted the seven continents with im ages of animals and plants on the appropriate locations. Paula had placed her de sk in the rear cor ner of the room. A rectangular table served as her workspace. I notic ed that she had piles of manila folders and crates of books on the table and floor about Lewis and Clark. TeachersÂ’ preparation and collaboration Before Lindsey and Paula introduced the simulation, they spent several hours shopping for supplies, making copies of resource materials, and planning for the six-week simulation. I noticed that both teac hers had two milk crates replet e with items, such as, clay, PaulaÂ’s Desk T a b l e Countertops Area Rug Overhead Proj. Bulletin Board Â– Lewis and Clark Computer Window
139 rice, construction paper, cardstock, popsicle sticks, paper towel holders, toothpicks, markers, tempura and waterc olor paints. The crates sat on the countertops with the cello phane on the materials intact. They had purchased the supplies at a local Wal-Mart. Paula estimated she spent over $200.00 and Lindsey did not know how much she had paid. Besides cost, the simulation demanded thei r time. In the first interview, I asked Lindsey if she wanted to add any other comments. She hesitated before she said, The simulation can, it requires a lot of extra time and a lot of extra preparation...There are times like, when, IÂ’m, Â‘Okay! I want them to open to page whatever and do the questions (laughs) because I need five minutesÂ….Â’.I think whatÂ’s very frustr ating is the percept ion of the 3:05 thing. Â‘CauseÂ…no. (shakes head) ItÂ’s t he 1:00 a.m. thing. People need to know that. Lindsey added that after her one-year old son went to sleep, she and Paula planned every Friday night from 7 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. for the following week. Besides that, Â“We spend hours on the phone talking about things. After school weÂ’re at stores or weÂ’re here.Â” Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s relationship as friends and colleagues had developed over the six years that they had wo rked together. Their classrooms connected with a shared door, and often their classes fu sed into one. In the beginning of the year, the teachers told thei r studentsÂ’ parents that they were a Â“duo.Â” Indeed, the two functioned as a well-maintained unit. T he first week I collected data, Lindsey
140 attended to her mother who was in the hos pital. At times, Paula combined the two classes to provide the students wit h background information and to prepare them for the simulation the following week She said that they had to Â“press on because of time.Â” Lindsey mentioned to me in our sec ond interview that she thought it was important that I addressed how the two collaborate. Because of their close relationship, I felt that I could visit eit her classroom in the simulation and still have a consistent portrayal of ongoing ev ents. In my journal, I noted, I know that Lindsey and Paula ar e a unified front. I guess thatÂ’s what happens after teaching together for so m any years. Things just tend to gel. Today, for instance, Paula didnÂ’t seem to be bothered at all that Lindsey was going to be out for a week. In fa ct, she is kind of even, steady, I canÂ’t put my finger on it yet. I think that itÂ’s like sheÂ’s sedate. At the same time, I can see a glimmer in her ey e when she talks about history. I can tell that she still thinks itÂ’s fun. It must be to put in as much time as they do for preparation. Preparation began before the academic year. Paula explained that she and Lindsey had planned the Lewis and Clark simulation over the summer in 2004. At Open House in August, they told their studentsÂ’ parents that they would conclude the year with a Lewis and Clark simulation. Paula showed me how she used the Interact teacherÂ’s guide and pointed out the studentsÂ’ books. They included two class sets of How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark (Schanzer, 1997), Lewis and Clark and Me: A DogÂ’s Tale (Myers,
141 2002) and History Alive! (Bower & Lobdell, 2003) social studies textbooks. Each class set contained 30 books. Behind the cover, the texts had a number from 1-30 printed with a black, permanent mark er. Paula said that she and Lindsey received a complimentary classroom set of History Alive! textbooks. They attended a two-week grant funded workshop over the summer in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Fairview, Florida. A parent and a grant from t he Miller PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) sponsored the trade books. Paula stated that Myers chose to tell the story from the Newfoundland dog, SeamenÂ’s, point of view. Seamen, LewisÂ’s dog, accompanied the explorers throughout the expedition. I paused to write down the titles and asked if I could borrow copies. She accommodated my request and waved her hand dismissively when I told her that I would return them Paula stated, Â“DonÂ’t worry about it.Â” Still, I purchased copies for my re ference and returned hers a few weeks later. Paula opened an Intera ct teacherÂ’s guide titled Lewis & Clark: A Simulation of the Corps of Discovery (Vargas, 2000). Narrow, ye llow and blue post-it notes extended from the edges of t he one-inch black binder. S he pointed out folders of different tasks that the st udents would complete. The folders had been recycled from past years. She had highlighted sele cted passages and the directions with a yellow marker. Paula explained, Â“It was a lo t of work to put t he folders together, and IÂ’m going to keep them from year to year.Â” With 40 days left in the academic calendar, they began.
142 Building Background Knowledge Due to LindseyÂ’s absence, Paula me rged her class with LindseyÂ’s to prepare the students for the journey. Before she starte d, she gave the students a pretest to assess their prior knowledge of the subject (see Appendix D). After that, four times over three days the joint classes listened to PaulaÂ’s instructions for approximately 40-45 minutes each se ssion. Paula introduced them to the texts, explained the roles, and assigned the groups. In addition, the students read about Native American tribes in their History Alive books and completed a two page prereading activity on Native Am erican cultural regions. The handout displayed various regions, tribes, and artifacts and included plant and animal symbols. During the simulation, the st udents conducted extensive research on the tribes in the Great Plains, Nort hwest Coast, and Plateau sections of the United States. Paula shared with me that earlier in the year she and Lindsey decided to combine a study on Native Americans with Lewis and Clark. Besides prereading activities, the students read a story fr om their basal reader called Â“The Way West.Â” Paula showed them two videos titled The Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Voyage of Discovery (Delphi, 1992), and Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (Burns, 1997). She said, I was trying to give them a histor ical background before they actually began. I donÂ’t think you can just jump into something. I think you have to approach it and get them ready so theyÂ’r e really, really excited about this. You have to give them so me background information.
143 She added the videos helped them to vis ualize what they would experience. Also, a picture storybook read aloud, Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West (Kroll, 1996) gave them Â“a preview so they can see where weÂ’re going with this.Â” During the first day of background information, Paula reminded the class that Â“Mrs. Romano and I like to give you background knowledge that you will need to know when we are in the simulati on. I need you to focus in since we will shove off on Monday.Â” The students listened politely and fac ed the front of t he room where she spoke. She stated that if the students misbehaved they would sign the clipboard, and she would not give another warni ng. The clipboard was their behavior management system. If the st udents signed the clipboard more than three times in one week then the teachers assigned consequences. They might call parents, send a note home, or requi re the students to write an essay. However, I observed that the students were extremely a ttentive, and that she did not have to admonish the students once throughout her 40 minute lesson. I admired how she had taught her classroom procedures and asked how she had created that environment in a later interview. She replied, The first four or five days of school theyÂ’ll probably go home and say, Â‘Ugh, this is boringÂ’, but we s pend oh, oh, oh, oh, so much time on proceduresÂ…I just start at the very beginning of the year. This is the way itÂ’s going to be. ItÂ’s either my way or the highway. I mean, they know I mean the parents know, and I have the clipboard. I have a behavior
144 calendar and I mark that they si gned the clipboard and what the reason was. If things continue then I do call parents. You know, talk to them on a frequent basis if need be. Visualizing the journey. The second day, Paula held up a copy of How We Crossed the West book that she had distributed earlier in the day. She reminded the students that they should keep their books in t he pocket of their three-prong Discovery folders. Only one class had used the books before, and Paula stated that she wanted the books to be in t he same condition when the students returned them. Opening the book to the fi rst two pages, Paula asked the students to examine the route of Lewis and Cla rk from May 1804 to November 1805. Crooked red and blue lines connected the beginning of the journey at Camp Wood and concluded in Washington at Fort Clatsop. Illustrations of Native American tribes such as the Arikara, Shoshoni, Flathead, and Chinook bordered the trail. The Interact guide provided a similar map for the studentÂ’s reference (See Appendix E). Paula asked them to examine the Mississippi River and how Lewis and Clark traveled on boats. Then, she connect ed this thought to earlier in the year when they studied the slaves, settlers, and the Thirteen Colonies. They compared how the territories had changed si nce then. While she instructed, the students traced their finger along the rout e in their books. Some raised their hands to answer her questions about Pr esident Jefferson. Paula mentioned, Â“Lewis and Clark couldnÂ’t get on Delta Â‘Ready When you AreÂ’ and travel along I-80.Â”
145 As the students laughed, I realized that Paula made comparisons with the studentsÂ’ lives to the past. Throughout my time in the classrooms this was a recurring pattern with both teachers. Paula rapidly read the introduc tory paragraph of the book How We Crossed the West (Schanzer, 1997, p.1). She read, Â“President Thomas Jefferson sat in the White House thinking. Far beyond the 17 states he led, and farther still beyond the muddy Mississippi River, lay anot her world, a world of mystery.Â” She trilled her voice when she arrived at the phrase Â“a world of mystery.Â” Several students giggled. She reminded them that the settlers traveled with their journals and wrote and drew pi ctures of plants and animals like Lewis and Clark did. The students would draw pictures in order to describe what they observed and mail the postcards to President Thomas Jefferson. An invitation and a warning. The third day, Paula combined the classes again and continued to teach in a mode of direct instruction. She told the class that in 45 minutes she would review t he student guide so that they would know what to expect in the coming weeks. She distributed 20 guides and asked the students to share. She read t he letter from the Â“Student GuideÂ” (Vargas, 2000, p. 1) from Meriwether Lewis to William Clark. She read, My plan is to descend the Ohio in a keeled boat thence up the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missourie, and up t hat river as far as its navigation is practicable with a keeled boatÂ…and if practicable pass over to the waters of the Columbia or Origan River a nd by descending it reach the Western Ocean.
146 After she finished the passage, Paul a stated, Â“The vocabulary is more difficult and that letter wa s written as they spoke back then. They donÂ’t say, Â‘Hey, do you want to come along for a ride?Â’Â” She asked the students what Lewis meant by Â“Western Ocean.Â” Many students volunteered Â“Pacific.Â” I marveled at their ability to infer that answer, and I noted that I thought this group consisted of bright students. She pointed out the nonconventional spelling such as Â“mouthe of the Missourie.Â” She stated that Lewis asked Clark to travel with him and then said, Â“IÂ’m inviting you to go on this journey with us. Now letÂ’s get down to language we understand.Â” She turned the page and mentioned that they would have a quiz tomorrow to ensure that they Â“are all on t he same page.Â” The students seemed less enthused as time passed, but they remai ned polite. Paula explained that how the students completed their activities would determine their success in the simulation. Each person would have a j ob description and that Â“each day there will be a dilemmaÂ…oh, we love those dilemmas.Â” She read a portion of the first dilemma and commented that each one actually happened (see Appendix F). Paula continued, Â“Each journal writer finds a solution. You have a dilemma, you find a solution, you do some research to compare whether you came to the sa me decision as Lewis and Clark did.Â” She also stated that, Â“If you donÂ’t c ooperate, you wonÂ’t be participating. You can work by yourself out of a separate text. I have those Our America texts sitting right over there. Some of us really have to work on that.Â”
147 In the first interview, Paula reiter ated her concerns about some students. Although she said that the majority of the class was cooperative, she said, I guarantee you somebody will be, and I can think of three or four people right off the bat, IÂ’ll probably pull out for a day or do something with because thereÂ’ll be the same old issues and theyÂ’re the same people that it always is. I had noticed three students, including a boy named Ryan, that some might describe as Â“challenging.Â” I decided to st udy them more closely in order to understand their motives. By the end of the simulation, PaulaÂ’s prediction proved to be correct. Description of Roles Paula informed the classes that she grouped the students in teams of four or five. Each person would complete a task as the captain, journal writer, interpreter, or private. In a group of five, there would be two privates. For every day that they entered the simulation, the students would rotate the jobs in order to experience every role (see Table 1). As a complement to Pa ulaÂ’s explication, the Interact guide equated the student grouping to role-playing. Each job symbolized the tasks and responsibilities the Corps of Discovery performed. The rotation Â“ensures equitable participati on and balanced exposure to the curriculum and activitiesÂ” (Vargas, 2000, p. 10). Captain. In this role, the person would calculate the teamÂ’s mileage and location on the CaptainÂ’s Log and lead discu ssions of the Daily Dilemma. If a conflict ensued, the captain would decide how to handle the problem. Paula said,
148 Â“If you are the captain one day you wonÂ’t be able to say Â‘Yippee, I get to do thisÂ’ and be Bossy Britches because the next day you will be something else. The group will change daily.Â” On an overhead transparency, she displayed a transparency of the Model CaptainÂ’s Log (see Appendix G). She underlined the headings for Â“latitude and longitudeÂ” and Â“total mileage earnedÂ” as she instru cted what the students should complete. A week later, the teachers gave the teams a blank copy of the log to record their daily progress. Table 1. Rotation of Tasks for the Acti on Phase of the Simulation Role Captain Journal Writer Interpreter Private Private Day One Hunter Trevor Chelsea Raven Harry Day Two Harry Hunter Trevor Chelsea Raven Day Three Raven Harry Hunter Trevor Chelsea Day Four Chelsea Raven Harry Hunter Trevor Day Five Trevor Chelsea Raven Harry Hunter Journal writer. Paula explained the journal wr iter would read the Daily Dilemma, take notes on the group member Â’s thoughts, and record the groupÂ’s decision to the dilemma. She stated t hat the students woul d write their own opinions and had the freedom to disagr ee. She encouraged th em to include sketches with their journal entries. As she held up a black and white composition book, she explained that the students woul d write their entri es in the shared
149 journal. For every dilemma, the journal wr iter would research Lewis and ClarkÂ’s original decision and compare it to the teamÂ’s. They would locate the answer in their books, resources at the medi a center, or from the Internet. Interpreter. Paula asked if anyone knew what an interpreter was, and one student raised his hand and answered, Â“Someone who interprets different languages of natives, or pretty much translates stuff.Â” She quickly read the description for the interpreter from the Interact student guide. As the interpreter, the st udents would inform the president of the teamÂ’s findings based on the surrounding areas Interpreters would research the flora and fauna as they travel and descri be the geographical areas on a postcard to Â“Thomas Jefferson, not George Bush.Â” By this time, I noticed the student s seem fatigued. Some rested their heads on their arms while she read. Privates. Paula continued to describe how the privates would complete several tasks. She picked up a handful of m anila folders about a foot thick. She told them, Â“This, my friend, are the activities that you are going to do.Â” Some studentsÂ’ mouths opened into an Â“OÂ” while others made groaning sounds. By that time, the fifth-grade resource teac her, Amy Radley, had entered the room. As she listened to Paula describe the arts an d crafts activities, she uttered words like Â“Ooh, fun! Â”, Â“Wow!Â”, and Â“Exciting!Â” Some of the students sat up in their desks straighter and turned as Paula walked over to the art supplies in the ba ck of the room. Paula said, Â“There will be
150 activities such as flags to paint, pockets to sew, and what nots. There are all kinds of cool things you get to do.Â” Paula mentioned that they would hav e separate activities because she could not have Â“twelve rain sticks and twelve painted mountainsÂ” and that Â“everyone doesnÂ’t like to do the same thi ng.Â” Some students raised their hands to ask about the privateÂ’s activities. Paula summa rized that a lot of writing, art, and music would be integrated into the simulation. My Reflection When Paula finished the directions, she walked over to the table where Amy and I sat. She wryly said, Â“Two year s ago when we did this, they ran around like a bunch of kooks, but I donÂ’t care.Â” I considered her comment to be inte resting in contrast to the subdued students I observed in the r oom. I wondered if teachers enjoyed the simulation more than the students. I wrote in my re searcher journal t he following thoughts: At this point, I think that I hav e an emerging understanding of what is going on. I actually have only been observing for three days now, so I need to realize that itÂ’s going to take some time. Also, I am laughing at myself somewhat that the kids ar e not jumping out of their seats with excitement over the prospect of do ing a simulation. I guess I thought that they would show more engagement or in terest. Instead, t hey seem either jaded or tired. I canÂ’t really tell. W ould they rather just do a worksheet and be done with it? I would love to know. ItÂ’s like they have their own world
151 and adults canÂ’t really break into it. ItÂ’ s interesting. In fact, it makes me even more curious about how they really feel towards simulations. In the journal I questioned the diffe rence between a simulation and a simulation-game. In her discussion with t he students, Paula explained that there would be a race as Â“ThereÂ’s always a race,Â” and Â“Your goal is to be the first corps to reach the Pacific Ocean. You want to get to the Northwest first.Â” I initially felt concerned. I realized that simulations, simulation-games, and games were three different genres. To cl arify this thought, I asked her in the second interview if she considered the Lewis and Clark simulation to be a game. She adamantly said no. Paula explained, ItÂ’s not really a game on the Lewis and Clark, itÂ’s on the quality of work and how much thought you put into the whole process and what your finished project is -how much care and determination you have to do the best you can. Mileage. Still, I mused about the point-sco ring devices. For each day that the students entered the simulation, they received a certain number of expedition cards for their efforts from the previous day. The teachers assessed their work and assigned one, two, or three points for each pr oduct. The total number of points resulted in the number of expedition cards they earned. Each expedition card displayed the mileage ranging from five to 75. Students could also earn bonus or penalty points for their entries. Paula had informed the students that t he captain would move the teamÂ’s Â“canoeÂ” along the laminated 30Â” x 48Â” Lewis and Clark map on the bulletin board.
152 A colored pushpin distinguished among the six teams. Paula explained that the expedition cards and the penalty cards were tied to behavior and that the students would move backwards if they we re uncooperative. She stated that they could move faster on their journey if, Â“You go above and beyond and use vocabulary appropriate for the time. You can bring in resources to earn bonus cards.Â” I considered that instead of a game, the points enabled teachers to assess the studentsÂ’ work and manage behavior. In my field notes, I had written this epiphany: IÂ’m having a major brainstorm here. At first, I was concerned about the point-scoring devices, but now I realize that if students don Â’t work together then what is the motivator? I can s ee how points serve as a motivator for classroom management and for more mil eage. This is relevant and a real life task. In reality, if Lewis and Cla rk didnÂ’t work together they wouldnÂ’t have made it. For something as comp lex as this simulation, classroom management is very important. I can see the value now. I adhered to PaulaÂ’s belief that the Le wis and Clark simulation was not a game. I questioned, Â“Do the points caus e students to work harder?Â” Throughout the simulation, I watched how student s competed and cooperat ed. I explored these observations in student interviews. Motivation. In one of her discussions Paula to ld the students that she and Lindsey conducted research on the computer for the simulation. They brought in additional resources for the students to peruse. She encouraged the students to
153 research additional information on the Intern et to benefit their team. A week later, I noticed Lindsey uttered a similar sentim ent. Â“Mrs. Romano is constantly looking for resources to bring in and share wit h you. This is a grown up magazine, Time Some of your parents might subscribe to it at home.Â” In the magazine she pointed out an article on Lewis and Clark as well as an article from BoyÂ’s Life Both issues from 2004 commemorated the 200th anniversary of the expedition. As she held a Yale magazine, she explained that the Yale library contained the original map from the Lewis and Clark expedition. She showed them the pict ure of LewisÂ’ creation. S he reminded them that the Internet, magazines, and books were resource s that they could use to help them with their sketches. She said, Â“ThereÂ’s a lot of resources out there Â– go look.Â” Throughout the simulation, students did locate information for their teams during class time and at home. I pondered the differenc e between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I wondered if the st udents were intrinsically motivated to learn about the topic or if they were more interested in points. Paula had stated in the first interview that: A lot of them really get into it and theyÂ’ll go to the media center and get books about what weÂ’re studying about or theyÂ’ll go online and then bring stuff inÂ…I had two kids go the medi a center and one of them got a book on Sacajawea and the other books on Lewis and Clark. Similarly, Lindsey mentioned the students we re Â“self-motivatedÂ” in a simulation. She said, Â“I give challenge projects and say, Â‘Okay, if you want, this is what you
154 can do.Â’ I have almost 100% turnout of Â‘Oh, I made a log cabinÂ’ or Â‘I made thisÂ’ or Â‘I found on the Internet this.Â’Â” I asked if the projects were conn ected to bonus points. She shook her head and replied, Â“They justÂ…they go out and find it.Â” I decided that I would explore this issue more when students entered the action phase. Lindsey Reviewed Latitude and Longitude After I spent four days in PaulaÂ’s room, I visited Linds eyÂ’s room for the first time. I noticed that her room looked sim ilar to PaulaÂ’s. She had several of the same posters, bulletin boards, and art supplies. She had arranged the studentsÂ’ desks in a similar manner to PaulaÂ’s, wit h five to six desks clustered throughout the room as tables. I watched Lindsey with curiosity because I had not observed her teach before. Figure 3. Diagram of LindseyÂ’s Classroom Bookshelf Overhead Table Countertops Area Rug Restroom LindseyÂ’s Desk Com p ute r
155 The students sat cross-legged on a 10Â’ x 8Â’ royal blue area rug, the same style as the one in PaulaÂ’s room. Student s seated near the rug remained at their desks. The students balanced sti cky notes, pencils, and their books How We Crossed the West on their knees. Lindsey sat in a dark blue chair and directed them to their books. They studied the antiquated map t hat Paula had introduced the previous week. She directed them to ma rk Â“Our StartÂ” at Fort Mandan with a sticky tab. She warned them, Â“Be careful not to write in the book Â– I asked you to flag it.Â” She explained that profe ssional football players prepared for practice by exercising and training for the big ev ent. She connected this analogy with the knowledge students needed to pr epare them for simulations. She stated, Â“When we do simulations, we have to have great imaginations because we have to travel back. Before we take off on this big event we need to remember certain things that weÂ’v e studied before.Â” She informed them that they would practice latitude and longitude, a skill that they used during the si mulation. After several minutes, she asked them to return to their chairs. Revisiting location. I noticed when Lindsey taught, she spoke clearly and projected her voice with confidence and enthusiasm. She darted to different sides of the room as she questioned al oud, monitored student sÂ’ behavior, and wrote key points on the board. I had to write quickly to keep up with her movements and dialogue. Meanwhile, the students listened attentively. For every
156 transition, they did not talk or barely whis pered. In the first interview, I asked her how she established her classr oom procedures. She replied, I guess itÂ’sÂ…the clearÂ…clear, specific explanation of what you want. At this age, the why because they need to understand itÂ’s not because I have a black pointed hat and I ride a broom at nightÂ…and the understanding that there ar e consequencesÂ…ItÂ’s more about you than it is themÂ…because they can read youÂ…I thin k thatÂ’s where it starts. Day one, you have it clearly stated, you set t hat tone. You consta ntly Â– I would say for that first month I would eat, sleep, and breathe it Â– constantly repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, practice it, if it Â’s a line that you want you better make them have it, and donÂ’t one time not do it. In her lesson, Lindsey stated that the students needed to Â“pretend that theyÂ’re like Lewis and Clark,Â” and at ti mes, had to be detectives. Then, she reviewed the directions that lines of longitude and latitude ran. Meanwhile, I observed the students as potential groups to include in my study. I noted their gender, ethnicity, and behaviors. Lindsey pr ovided an example of, Â“How might I describe to a cartographer how to fi nd where I am if IÂ’m in Texas?Â” She pointed to a city on the map, and then in a Southern accent imitated, Â“Oh, you go down thar a way, then turn right a hitch, by the cow pastureÂ…?Â” she trailed off. I noticed no one laughed or responded. Sh e hinted, Â“What is the general range for latitude might we say.Â” Again, no one raised their hands. She said, Â“IÂ’ll give you a second.Â”
157 She paused several moments. As students visibly struggled with her question, she tried another strategy. Lindsey to ld the class, Â“LetÂ’s do this Â– letÂ’s talk about longitude Â– it goes so far ba ck to the beginning of the year.Â” The students remained quiet. I heard the sounds of rustling papers as she moved over to the overhead and illuminat ed a Mercator Projec tion. With a green wet-erase overhead pen, she drew a li ne across the middle of the map. She asked what the 0 degree line represented. Still, no answer. One student said, Â“IÂ’m kind of confused.Â” She replied, Â“IÂ’m confused about your confusion. You did a whole madoodler on it. This should not be that difficult.Â” Then, more hands shot into the air as one student recognized it was the Equator. Quickly, she marked another line to signify the Prime Meridian. She directed them to focus on the area west of the Prime Meridian. She pointed to North America and said, Â“This is where our focus will be. ThatÂ’s where our simulation will be taking place.Â” She referred the students to their In teractive Student Notebooks (ISNÂ’s) and mentioned that they Â“reflect back to your own creations you did back in chapter one.Â” The ISN was a resource that contained notes, maps, and handouts for the History Alive program. The students organized their papers in a half-inch spiral notebook. A table of contents in the beginning of the notebook chronicled the topics that the students had studied (see Appendix H). I realized that like
158 Paula, Lindsey made connecti ons from earlier in the year to reinforce prior knowledge. A team exercise in research. Lindsey instructed t hat the students should work in a team of four or five. She explained, Â“You and your team quickly talk about what place 45 degrees North, 20 degrees West refers to.Â” The students turned around and whispe red to one another. After a minute or two, Lindsey asked for correct answers. After a coupl e of incorrect responses, she exclaimed, Â“Hail Mary, full of gr ace!Â” and looked up at the ceiling. The students laughed, and she called on a small boy with shaggy, sandyblonde hair to respond. He shuffled over to the overhead and looked back at his team and smiled. He circled the correct location, and she replied, Â“Okay, excellent!Â” She pointed out that they shoul d focus on one area and Â“take a puzzle piece away because it makes it easier to readÂ” when they looked for points of latitude and longitude. After additional pr actice, she stated, Â“Good detective workÂ…you have to be a detective.Â” She mentioned that if they received a question during the simulation that asked them to turn their boat around at 60 degrees West they needed to know where to steer. Then, she distributed a handout calle d Â“Latitude and Long itude ChallengeÂ” (see Appendix I). The handout reviewed the geography skills that the students needed as captains and traced the trail of Lewis and Clark The activity required the students to compare current and anti quated maps. She said that the students should work as partners and then share t heir answers with their teams. Lindsey
159 placed them in pairs based on their pr oximity to one another. She gave two students handouts to distribute and said, Â“Lik e lightning, goÂ…get out there!Â” As the students delivered the papers, s he asked the class, Â“Why use the word Â‘challengeÂ’? Where would you rank its difficulty from a scale of one to ten?Â” One student responded with Â“eightÂ” because Â“itÂ’s not so easy that you breeze right through it but it does nÂ’t take an hour to do it.Â” She agreed that the activity shoul d Â“get your cartographerÂ’s brain aworkinÂ’.Â” A possible team. While she taught, I continued to observe the studentsÂ’ behavior. After several minutes, I focus ed on one team seated towards the back of the room. They attracted my attention because of their enthusiasm. Four of the five students seemed to enjoy working t ogether. I noticed a tall boy with blonde hair and braces seemed somewhat detac hed from their conversation. Other groups contained only four students and were not as heterogeneous by gender and ethnicity. This group included two females and three males, one who was the small boy at the overhead. I learned that his name was Harry Hoffman. The tall boyÂ’s name was Hunter Allen, and t he others were Raven Blossom, Trevor Johnson, and Chelsea Snow. I moved my c hair closer to the group of five. As Lindsey circulated to their group Harry mentioned to her that he thought a challenge was also Â“a test of mental awareness Â” I noted his comment and wondered how that thought related to his personality. Lat er, I learned that Harry thrived on competition. The st udents murmured as they flipped pages among several resources such as, their ISNÂ’s, atlases, and their How We
160 Crossed the West books. They compared various maps to infer the location of ten places. Harry and Raven worked together as partners, and Hunter, Trevor, and Chelsea formed a triad. Their de sks formed a L-shape with Harry and Raven seated perpendicular to the other three. Twenty minutes later, Lindsey told t he class she would check the first few answers and said, Â“ItÂ’s going to be worth some major grub Â– you canÂ’t go wrong with Willy Wonkas.Â” She rummaged through a neon-orange Hallo ween pumpkin that contained her candy. She stated, Â“IÂ’m going to be a detective. IÂ’m looking for clues to see how youÂ’re working together.Â” I studied my group and noticed that Tr evor and Hunter discussed a point on a map of 1804-1805. Trevor said, Â“ItÂ’s not 45 degrees, itÂ’s a little lower.Â” The students examined their maps intently. Lindsey asked, Â“If you continue on t he Missouri River which state will you be in?Â” Harry and Raven suggested one possi bility, and Trevor quietly looked towards Lindsey and uttered, Â“IÂ’m not sure how they got that.Â” Then, he turned to Raven and Harry and said, Â“IÂ’m not sure how you guys got that.Â” Harry shook his head. Trevor whispered, Â“You gu ys went the wrong way.Â” Harry replied, Â“No.Â”
161 Trevor shrugged. Three seconds later, he looked at Harry again and stated bluntly, Â“ItÂ’ s the wrong way.Â” Harry shook his head again. Exasperated, Trevor said, Â“She just said it is!Â” Raven concurred, Â“We went the wrong way.Â” This incident was one of many that typified the discussion that this team had during the action phase. Both Harry and Trevor debated frequently, and their interchanges grew animated in the coming weeks. Lindsey told them, Â“Your success in the simulation isnÂ’t going to be one book. ItÂ’s going to be by being a detective and a researcher and using different sources.Â” For instance, in order to find one place some students compared and contrasted the surroundings such as the location of the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. Lindsey said, Â“There ar e lots of different ways to get an answerÂ…like math.Â” I asked her in the second interview why she used the phrase Â“be a detective.Â” She replied, All through the year, and I donÂ’t know w here that actually stems from, but I think, I try to do a lot of metaphorical things with them as far as making real life connectionsÂ…They need to understand that although I might provide them with the sources, they have to go and be a detective, research, find the, the cluesÂ…I feel lik e thatÂ’s so much of being an active learner as being a detective. YouÂ’re not just sitting here waiting for it to plop on you, on your desk.
162 Her comments corresponded to her beliefs about active learning. Even before the simulation began, she urged them to re ly on themselves and each other to locate information. She had creat ed an environment of autonomy and collaboration. Within the simulati on, the students worked on a continuum between these two behaviors. The Teams By the time Paula introduced her t eams, I had observed in her classroom for five days and in LindseyÂ’s for three. In both classes, I studied the studentsÂ’ behavior to select groups that would represent how students responded in simulations. The teachers had strategically grouped students based on their knowledge of personalitie s, academic functioning level, and gender. Lindsey described her class academically as Â“ Very, very, very heterogeneous and more lopsided on the average, below average.Â” From a class size of 30 student s, she had 12 on Academic Improvement Plans, or AIPÂ’s. Paula had eight st udents with AIPÂ’s and one with severe emotional problems. The st udent, diagnosed as bipolar, took daily medication to temper her illness. Paula described how she formulated the teams: I have a very interesting class this y ear. I have not had to deal with this so much in the past. I have to look at who fits well with who personality-wise, specifically, this year. This particu lar one involves journal writingÂ…Not all the people in each group are going to be wonderful writers, but I have to put a very strong writer in each group. I try to put a person who gets along with everybody. I have one of those peacemakers probably in every
163 group. And thenÂ…(smiles) some are ju st not the most pleasant people to work with. I have to separate them and look at whoÂ’s going to be in their group and how well does this one get al ong. I donÂ’t look around and say, Â‘Well, Susie and Mary are BFFÂ’s (Bes t Friends Forever) so theyÂ’re going to be in the same group.Â’ ThatÂ’s not happeningÂ…I look for somebody who enjoys doing research or looking up things I try to look at the different jobs that they have to do and then make sure I disperse the kids and group them accordingly. Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s deliberate groupi ng helped me to choose two teams. I decided that I would follow each gr oup throughout the simulation. Besides Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s criteria, I sele cted students based on their behavior in the classroom and their ethnicity. I did not want to include only well-behaved students because I thought t hat would be partial. As a result, I included one student that Paula defined many ti mes as Â“passive-aggressive.Â” Ryan signed the clipboard often, and I was curious to examine how he performed in the simulation. In additi on, I considered a student named Becky, a studious girl, who demonstrated perfectioni st traits. In my journal, I wrote, I already have an idea of the kids I would like to study. I know Ryan may be a Â‘troublemaker,Â’ but I think heÂ’s inte resting. I would like to talk to him and Becky. I think itÂ’ll be a great com parison. What motivates them? Not everyone loves to write! They canÂ’t enj oy everything! I know that there are some students who donÂ’t feel as insp iredÂ…What do they like the most? Least? It has to be a lot of things I hope their parents are okay with me
164 talking to them and observing them. If not, I can always have a back up plan. Should I allow the kids to choose their own names? Will it make a difference? I donÂ’t know. The students in PaulaÂ’s room. I met with Paula at t he rear table as the students worked in their ISNÂ’s. We discu ssed the groups that she had created. I mentioned the following students: Becky Foster, Ryan James, Jasmine Jones, John McNeil, and Amanda Woodruff. She agr eed that those students would be a representative group, except that she had reservations about Ryan. She shook her head and said, Â“I donÂ’t know about that one. Are you sure you want to include him?Â” I nodded. She copied their home phone numbers onto a piece of paper. She realized she didnÂ’t have RyanÂ’s current number and called him to the table. I noticed he seemed suspicious. Ryan asked, Â“Am I trouble? Are you going to call home?Â” Paula answered, Â“DonÂ’t worry about it.Â” The next day, I spoke with four of the five students because John was absent. On a related note, John was absent the first three days of the simulation due to illness. After the rest of the class exited to t he computer lab, I pulled a chair close to their desks. I told them I was from the University and described my study. I explained, Â“IÂ’m curious about what kids think about simulations so others can learn more about it.Â”
165 They nodded their heads and exchanged glances at one another. When I showed them the IRB forms, their eyes opened wider. I explained that I would need their parental permission. All of them agreed immediately. One asked, Â“Are we going to be like characters in a book?Â” I answered, Â“You could look at it t hat way. Each of you needs to choose a fake name for yourselves, a pseudonym.Â” I was concerned that John might not want to be involved. They unanimously answered that he would want to be included. Becky stated, Â“He wonÂ’t mind. John will be okay with it.Â” The next day, I received papers from f our of the five students. When I shared the forms with John t he following day, he studied me for several seconds. Then, he said, Â“YouÂ’re talking about attent ion. Does this mean extra attention? I love attention! Where do I sign?Â” He returned his the following day. In order to characterize each st udent, I compiled a brief description based on my student interviews and observations. (a) Becky was a slender, hard-worki ng student who liked her materials organized. She preferred a harmonious classroom environment and strove to promote peace with everyone. As a lear ner, Becky felt she learned best when she could re-enact what she had learned wi th her peers. Sometimes she enjoyed dressing up to play the part of som eone else. Becky stated simulations were more fun than just reading information fr om a book. Although she liked working in groups and hearing other peopleÂ’s opinions, she sometimes preferred to work alone.
166 (b) Ryan was active and outspoken. He enjoyed building objects and participating in hands-on activities in sc hool. He preferred to spend time outdoors and thought that his class should go outsi de more often. He believed games helped him to learn and considered a simulation to be a type of game. He said in the Lewis and Clark simulation the student s competed to go to the Pacific and then raced back to Virginia. He thought writ ing neatly was difficult and did not like writing. Ryan was African American and also stated he was part Native American. (c) Jasmine was a polite, friendl y student who liked to talk and loved writing. Jasmine often spent time outside of school maki ng crafts. Originally from Virginia, Jasmine had traveled a lot, especially along the East coast from Maryland to Florida. As a learner, Jasm ine claimed she was a visual person and that she preferred to see what she was learning whether through a demonstration or a book. She liked to read, and said that she wonÂ’t Â“get itÂ” if she just heard about the material. She did not mind working in groups but sometimes would rather work independently. Jasmi ne was African American and believed she might be part Native American. (d) John was a humorous, talkative st udent who was in th e gifted program. John defined simulations as Â“experiencing what the people in history experienced except in a different time with a more safe environment, better guidelines, and more know-how.Â” He provided the example that t eachers were not going to arm students with shotguns so they could hunt for bears behind the Museum of Science and
167 Industry (MOSI). In the cla ssroom, John preferred to lear n by doing. He clarified that he liked to experience the content as well as read about it. JohnÂ’s ethnicity was Italian and Puerto Rican, alt hough he only spoke English. (e) Amanda was the most reserved student in the group. She spoke barely above a whisper. In the classroom, she completed her assignments on time and tried to cooperate with ever yone. As a learner, Amanda felt she learned best by doing activities. She liked Â“to play and get dirtyÂ” and enjoyed working with clay because itÂ’s Â“squishy and it feels good.Â” Am anda thought art was fun but said, Â“I donÂ’t think IÂ’m very good at it.Â” Amanda was Caucasian. In my field notes, I designed a chart to examine the dive rsity of the group (see Table 2). Table 2. Comparison of Student Characte ristics in PaulaÂ’s Classroom Student Gender Ethnicity Ac ademics Behavior Personality Becky M Caucasian Above average Excellent Diplomatic Ryan F AfricanAmerican Average Unsatisfactory Outspoken Jasmine F AfricanAmerican Average/AIPVery good Compliant John M PuertoRican/Italian Gifted Excellent Enthusiastic Amanda F Caucasian Above average Excellent Quiet The students in LindseyÂ’s room. My initial concerns that the students might not want to participate in my st udy had dissipated by the time I convened with LindseyÂ’s students. I be lieved that they would f eel Â“importantÂ” and would want to be included. I was correct. The day after I talked to PaulaÂ’s students, I
168 met with the five students from LindseyÂ’s cl ass in the adjacent teacherÂ’s lounge. I began to explain that I was a doctoral student at the University, and Harry and Trevor said, Â“Yeah, yeahÂ…we know that already.Â” Like PaulaÂ’s students, they were not concerned about the permission forms and asked several questions about the study, such as when would it be Â“publishedÂ” and where could they purchase a copy. Harry laughed and told me, Â“I have to check with my agent and then IÂ’ll get back with you.Â” When I mentioned that they woul d choose a pseudonym, Trevor asked, Â“Can I be Batman?Â” I told him to try again, and he said he would think about it. The next day, he asked if he could be Â“Trebor,Â” a variat ion of his real nam e. We negotiated on Â“TrevorÂ” for readability. The following day, I received the IRB parental forms from all five students. Based on student interv iews and observations, I describe each student. (a) Hunter was an easy-going, respec tful student in the classroom. He had moved to Florida from Colorado a few months ago. As a result, he had adjusted to a new school and different teachers. He complimented Mrs. Romano on how she taught through simulations and said, Â“She makes us understand it so we donÂ’t zone out and we know what they did and discovered.Â” The youngest of four ch ildren, Hunter was close to his family and reported that he loved nature. H unter was Caucasian. (b) Raven was a good-natured, helpful student in the classroom. She liked working with smaller children and learning. When she left school she recorded
169 what she had learned at home in a journal she had titled Â“New Learning Stuff.Â” However, in school she struggled in reading and did not like to read aloud in class. She felt nervous during test s and did not score well on them. Raven enjoyed creating original musicals wit h her friends, sewing, and sleepovers. Raven was African American and Mexican. (c) Harry was a confident, creative student who liked school. He especially enjoyed interacting with his classmates and being in plays. Harry compared simulations to Civil War re-enactments, events that he had attended with his family. Outside of the classroom Harry competed in several sports. He had two pets, a cat and a boxer, who Â“get along well.Â” He was enrolled in the gifted program. Harry was Caucasian. (d) Trevor was a humorous, friendly student in the classroom. He enjoyed acting and thought it was Â“coolÂ” that they were able to participate in plays and simulations in the classroom. He defined simulations as when Â“you are in the shoes of somebody else. You would do what they did an d try to get an idea or glimpse of what itÂ’s like to do what they did.Â” Outside of school, Trevor liked to c limb trees with his friend Kevin. Like Harry, he was in the gifted program and was Caucasian. (e) Chelsea, a quiet, polite studen t, cooperated well with others and was very responsible. As a learner, Chelsea felt she learned best by doing activities, acting out the content, and looking at things instead of just reading in a textbook. Outside of the classroom, Chelsea enj oyed being outdoors, going swimming, and
170 playing with friends. Sometimes she travel ed to amusement or water parks and liked to shop at the mall. Chelsea was Caucasian. I created a similar chart for the students in LindseyÂ’s group (see Table 3). Table 3. Comparison of Student Characteri stics in LindseyÂ’s Classroom Student Gender Ethnicity Academ ics Behavior Personality Hunter M Caucasian Average Excellent Quiet/polite Raven F AfricanMex. American Below average/AIP Very good Secret life/reflective Harry M Caucasian Gifted Satisfactory Outgoing/funny Trevor M Caucasian Gifted Satisfactory Outgoing/funny Chelsea F Caucasian Above average Excellent Quiet/shy I wrote Â“Secret lifeÂ” for Raven because when I interviewed her she transformed from a shy student to an out spoken one. She spoke at length for every question and described how other students, including teachers, did not know how she was inside. In the first interview she said, You know how you go to sixth grade and you think that youÂ’re all cool and youÂ’re like, Â‘Oh, yay, I get to say bad words?Â’ But, IÂ’m like, I was telling my friend this, because she always thin ks IÂ’m the kind of person who would actually go and do that. IÂ’m like, IÂ’m not that type of person I sensed that she was lonely, and I m ade an effort to listen even when she wandered from the original interview questions.
171 Forming an Identity Lindsey and Paula asked their students to devise a name for their team as they traveled through the simulation. I observed both groups on separate occasions as they created a name and sym bol for themselves. This practice modeled how Lewis and Clark called themselv es the Â“Corps of Discovery.Â” As the students experienced the simulation, they adopted the role s of historical figures: Captain (Lewis), J ournal writer (Clark), Inte rpreter (Sacajawea), and Private (York). PaulaÂ’s team. When Paula directed the students to choose a name for their team, I moved my chair closer to listen to the groupÂ’s conversation. Everyone was present except for John, who was still absent. As a result, I watched how the other students debated a name. Amanda, Jasmine, and Becky seemed to take this task the most seriously. Amanda and Becky examined the Lewis and Clark map from the How We Crossed the West book as Jasmine skimmed through her Sacajawea book. Ryan slumped down in his chair and studied them. The girls suggested Â“Shoshone.Â” Ryan interjected, Â“Naw, man, t hat sounds like a girlÂ’s name!Â” The others protested and said there was nothing wrong with the name, but Ryan was adamant. He said that Â“ItÂ’s not fairÂ” that John was not there and that they should not decide when there was a ma jority of girls. Becky, the person I perceived as PaulaÂ’s designated Â“peacemaker,Â” calmly said, Â“Okay, letÂ’s look at some other names,Â” a nd scanned the map again.
172 They offered variations on Native American names like the Â“ArikaraÂ” and Â“Sioux,Â” but Ryan did not comply. Ryan sat up, turned to me and ask ed, Â“DonÂ’t they sound like girlsÂ’ names?Â” I mentioned that when I think of Native American tribes I pictured all kinds of people, not just girls. Amanda, Jasmine, and Becky nodded their heads in agreement and exclaimed, Â“Exactly!Â” Jasmine said, Â“LetÂ’s just call it Shoshone.Â” Ryan shouted, Â“Hey, this is a cooperative activity!Â” Becky pleaded, Â“We have to have this done by today!Â” Ryan responded with, Â“I donÂ’t give a crap!Â” and slouched down in his chair again. Paula reminded the class that t hey only had a few minutes. Becky suggested, Â“We could be the Blackbirds.Â” Ryan laughed and said, Â“Ha, ha, you can be Black!Â” Becky stared at him coolly. Jasmine stated, Â“ThatÂ’s not nice. IÂ’m Indian, too.Â” Ryan leaned over and said, Â“Well, so am I !Â” He softened his statement with, Â“IÂ’m just kidding.Â” As Paula directed the classÂ’ attention for an announcement, Jasmine wrote another suggestion on a sticky note. S he held it up for them to review. The name read Â“Teepeeshon.Â” Apparently, this name was viable because the rest
173 nodded their heads in agreement. Ryan waved his arms like a lopsided Egyptian dancer and repeated Â“Teepeeshon, Teepeeshon, Teepeeshon.Â” Other groups in the class named them selves: The Corps of Columbia, Big Beavers, Clatsop Adventures, and Cement Corps. As Paula spoke, Amanda sketched a Native American dream catcher logo on their team folder. Becky watched her and smiled with approval. LindseyÂ’s team. When I entered LindseyÂ’s room the five students I had chosen waved me to come over. I sat beside Raven, and Harry leaned over to inform me that they had named themselves t he Trailblazers. I said, Â“ThatÂ’s a cool name.Â” Harry replied, Â“It was TrevorÂ’s idea. I wanted to be The Patriots because of AmericaÂ’s new freedom, but I like TrevorÂ’s idea better.Â” I considered how Harry applied hi s prior understanding of the American victory in the Revolutionary War to this unit. I heard Lindsey tell the class, Â“Be sure that you have chosen a name for your team if you havenÂ’t already done so!Â” My group smiled at one another proudly. Lindsey reminded them that their names should match the time period and she did not want Â“the Range Rovers or the Cadillac Esca lades because the names should be appropriate for the time.Â” Harry slapped his hand to his for ehead and cried, Â“Oh, no! We said Trailblazers!Â” Lindsey walked over, and he asked if it was all right if they used that name. She said that she liked it, and it was fine. He sighed in relief. Raven asked
174 why it would be a problem, and Harry ment ioned a Trailblazer was a type of car, a Chevrolet. Lindsey asked each group to share their team name. The other groupsÂ’ names included Â“Yellowstone Bear s,Â” Â“The Mohawk Corp,Â” Â“Wolf Pack,Â” and Â“Water Wavers.Â” I mentioned that I liked t he Trailblazers name to Trevor. Harry interjected that he told me that Trevor had come up with it. I asked Trev or how he thought of it. He said, Â“IÂ’m not sure. It just kinda popped into my head.Â” After thinking a few moments, he el aborated that he pict ured a trail that was being traveled for the first time and imagined that it wa s on fire. I repeated that I liked it and thought it wa s a good name. He replied, Â“W ell, I canÂ’t take credit for it.Â” A split second later, he laughed, Â“Actually, I can!Â” Lindsey asked the students to desi gn a symbol for their teams. Trevor said, Â“LetÂ’s all take out a sheet of paper and draw a symbol, and GO!Â” Raven sketched a knife and told me that she cannot draw well. Harry, Raven, and Trevor informed me that Chelsea was the artist in the group. She modestly smiled and took out a sheet of paper from her red Discovery folder. Trevor laughed and said that he wa s Â“artistically challenged.Â” Harry contemplated a symbol. I sugges ted a Chevrolet automobile. He comprehended the joke, and said, Â“Yeah, IÂ’ll draw the Chevrolet sign!Â” They chose TrevorÂ’s symbol Â– an arrow with fire blazing from the tip. After Lindsey copied their symbols on the white board, Raven mentioned, Â“We should have done something with lightning Â– that would have been better.Â”
175 After extensive preparation and two weeks of background knowledge, the teachers completed the pre liminary stages. By this time, I had gained comfort in their classrooms and moved between the two rooms seamlessly. Instead of an imposition, I felt like a welcome member of their classrooms. They shared their insights with me and showed concern that I would obtain the information I needed. I believed that I had chosen ten students who would inform my study with diverse perspectives. With 30 days in the academic calendar remaining, they continued to the next phase. The Middle Stages of the Simulation The action phase of the simulation o ccurred over a peri od of four weeks when the students departed from Fort Mandan, Nort h Dakota. The students encountered eight dilemmas and rotated t heir roles after they completed each one. Each dilemma represented one day of the journey. However, many times one dilemma spanned two or three days of class time. Occasionally the teachers adjusted their schedule to discuss the st udentsÂ’ progress or accommodate fifthgrade events. During the action phase, Lindsey and Paula communicated their expectations for student work and encourag ed them to share t heir privatesÂ’ tasks with the class (see Appendix J). The tasks included art, writing, speeches, songs, and sign language. Moreover, they int egrated mini-lessons on writing and incorporated experiences in shared reading. In this section, I describe the major events that occurred during the action phase, the central component of the simulation.
176 Briefing Before they introduced a Daily Dilemma, Lindsey and Paula allotted 20-35 minutes for briefing, or direct in struction. The teachers believed that students should understand the rationale behind the simulation and their roles within it. Although the students replicated the Lewis and Clark expedition, the teachers emphasized the historical accura cy of the content. As they planned their lessons, I noticed authenticity was important to both of them. Prior to the action phase, Lindsey asked Paula, Â“Why are we starting at Fort Mandan? What is the reason why weÂ’re doing that, historica lly speaking?Â” Paula answered that the crew spent the winter t here and then departed West. A need for realism balanced the imagi native aspect of the activities. Throughout the simulation the teachers reinforced that the students should conduct research to complete their assignments. For each session, they reviewed the activities from the prev ious day. They synthesized what the students had learned regarding t he roles, latitude and longitude, and resource materials. Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s s upport reminded me of VygotskyÂ’s (1978) gradual release of responsib ility theory. They modeled their expectations and allowed the students time to practi ce throughout the action phase. PaulaÂ’s review. The day before the students received their first dilemma, Paula reminded them of their responsibilities. She dist ributed their Corps folders and stated that they cont ained a CaptainÂ’s Log and a student guide. She said that the guide included thei r job descriptions and that they should refer to the handout until they learned their roles. In addi tion, she told them that they should
177 have their group name written on their folder. Ryan repeated, Â“Teepeeshon, Teepeeshon, TeepeeshonÂ” to himself. Paula commented, Â“You need to make sure everyone in your group agrees. This is a cooperative activity. D onÂ’t put on your grumpy shorts if you donÂ’t get your way and it doesnÂ’t happen for you the way you wanted it to.Â” Amanda looked pointedly at Ryan. Ryan replied, Â“I like Teepeeshon.Â” Paula declared, Â“IÂ’m making a Thom as Jefferson decree, and IÂ’m going to crown as captain for day one the person who received the manila folder.Â” Ryan complained that all of the captains in the class are girls. Paula asked the captains to write the studentsÂ’ names for each role on the CaptainÂ’s Log. She added, Â“I donÂ’t want any scallywag handwriti ng on this. I want you to write like youÂ’re sending this to the President.Â” The students debated over the jobs for day one. Becky, the captain, diplomatically asked each person what they would like to be. Ryan immediately said, Â“Private.Â” After some discussion, Amanda decided to be the interpreter and Jasmine the journal writer They considered which role John should have because he was absent. Ryan said that Â“the interpreter is the most boring job.Â” Amanda whined, Â“My brain hurts.Â” Almost the entire time Paula in structed, Ryan muttered comments to himself. Paula walked towards the rear of the room. She picked up a blue milk crate that contained research folders fo r the interpreter. She said that she
178 downloaded expository text from the Internet on different Native American tribes. The papers would help the interpreters conduct research. When the students recognized the stack of folders, they gas ped. Ryan exclaimed, Â“ThatÂ’s at least nine inches thick!Â” Amanda whispered, Â“Oh, my gosh!Â” Ryan asked, Â“WhoÂ’s the interpreter?Â” Amanda stated, Â“Me.Â” Ryan said, Â“YouÂ’ve got some work to do.Â” When Paula mentioned a sign language ac tivity the private may complete, he signed an Â“LÂ” and said, Â“Loser.Â” He co mmented, Â“I donÂ’t know if IÂ’m doing that!Â” Amanda, Becky, and Jasmine ignored him. Paula pointed out the materials t he privates would use. The students seemed curious and craned their necks to obtain a closer view. She displayed some of the items on the rug. They in cluded clay, marker s, books, rice, paper towel holders, toilet paper rolls, twine, crayons, cardstock, and toothpicks. My group leaned over their desks to exam ine them. Paula suggested that one possibility was for the private to make a keelboat. One student said, Â“That sounds like fun.Â” She replied, Â“It is.Â” Ryan stated, Â“WhatÂ’s a keelboat?Â” When Paula described it, he remark ed, Â“Keelboats will be the most popular.Â”
179 Then, he decided that he would make one and sang, Â“IÂ’m going to be a private for two days!Â” Amanda groaned and stared at him. When I interviewed her a few days la ter, she mentioned, Â“The part I like the most are the people who are the pr ivates. They get to go and can make these keelboats out of clay and stuffÂ… but someone already did that, so now I canÂ’t do that anymore.Â” Paula had stressed that after a pr ivateÂ’s task had been recorded on the Task Log (see Appendix K), then someone el se cannot replicate it within the group. This rule would be a source of contention in t he following weeks. Lindsey made it real. Like Paula, Lindsey reiterated each role in detail before the first day of the action phase. Her class seemed interested and asked several questions. I noticed she emphas ized empathy and teamwork as she compared Lewis and Clark to the studentsÂ’ lives. She said, In the simulation, we have to be able to feel what Lewis and Clark felt when they were going out on their ow n. They didnÂ’t know if they were always making the right decision. T hey only had their team to rely on. Lindsey stressed the journal writers should focus on the Daily Dilemma and record possible solutions. Beyond that, they should research Lewis and ClarkÂ’s original decision. Likewise, the interpre ters would locate the Native American tribes that they encounter ed along the trail. Then, t hey would discuss how they communicated with them. For each postc ard to President Jefferson, the interpreters would describe plants and ani mals that were indicative of the
180 geographical region. She provid ed the example, Â“YouÂ’re not going to find a palm tree in Antarctica.Â” Lindsey informed the students that they should undergo research to inform their writing throughout the pr oject and that they Â“canÂ’t ju st pull out facts in order to pretend they were something.Â” She praised them and said, Â“You asked some fantastic questions. IÂ’m very impressed. I donÂ’t think weÂ’re going to have any problems tomorrow.Â” She extended her discussion with the How We Crossed the West book. Lindsey read two letters that Lewis and Clark wrote to each other from the book. She compared Lewis and Clark to astronaut s. She stated, Â“Just as astronauts ventured into space, Lewis and Clark se t out to explore an unknown place.Â” Then, she pointed out the date for both letters. LewisÂ’ letter was dated June 19, 1803, and ClarkÂ’s letter was marked July 18, 1803. She said, Â“This was not a speedy postal system. What inference can you make about travel and communicati on for that time period?Â” Chelsea answered, Â“ItÂ’s not fa st to get the mail there.Â” Lindsey provided another example. Â“LetÂ’s say Clark breaks his leg in Montana. Can they call Bayflight and send a helicopter to help him? Can he call his mom on the cell phone or send her an e-mail and tell her what happened?Â” The students laughed and shook their heads. She mentioned the astronaut analogy again and stat ed, Â“YouÂ’d be scared, right? YouÂ’d have to stay there. As you travel when youÂ’re in the simulation, remember the astronauts.
181 Think about how they felt as they ex plored an uncharted and unknown territory. In fact, astronauts are like pioneers.Â” On a related point, in my interview with Harry, he mentioned how simulations enabled him to Â“feel like youÂ’re really them.Â” He referred to the culminating activity from an earlier simula tion titled Explorers Expo. He said as Matt from The News Â“It was weird. I likeÂ…I wa sÂ…the news reporter that found the time machine. And, all these ot her people they came out dressed as Explorers (laughs). And so, I al most felt like I was them.Â” He compared his role to another ti tled Thirteen Colonies. He said, Â“That one was a little bit more dramatic because I was pretty sure I wasnÂ’t George Washington.Â” As the action phase intens ified, I recognized that some students like Harry seemed more able to transcend the classroom to an imaginative locale. Lindsey integrated texts. In conjunction with the br iefing phase, every day Lindsey read to the students through a read aloud titled The Journal of Augustus Pelletier from the Lewi s and Clark expedition -1804 (Lasky, 2000). The fictional account captivated the studentsÂ’ interest as several students informed me that they thought the book was Â“cool.Â” Within guided reading groups, she selected a book on the West to portray a Native American named WinnemucaÂ’s perspective. She told the students, Â“L ike Winnemuca the land was undiscovered to who? It depends on the point of view of w hoÂ’s talking. If this were the Native Americans, was it undiscovered? Not to them, but to us.Â”
182 Like Paula, she read every day from picture storybooks, the basal reader, or shared texts. On one occasion, she read about how Lewis and Clark prepared for their journey for a section on Â“Buildin g the KeelboatÂ” (Schanzer, 1997, p. 4). The passage mentioned that the captains were angry because it took the workers 12 days to pile the rowboats because they were Â“drunkards.Â” She asked them to consider the word Â“drunkards .Â” She directed their attention to the illustrations that depicted caricatures of men dressed in Wester n attire leaning on logs and drinking out of bottles. She asked, Â“WhatÂ’s in that bottle? Is that maple syrup? ItÂ’s probably not Kool-Aid.Â” One student volunteer ed that they were drinking alcohol. Then, she pointed out the Â“List of RequirementsÂ” that the explorers needed for their trip. The list included items such as, copper kettles, ink powder, pick axes, iron spoons, crayons, mosquito cu rtains, spirits, and rifles. She stated, Â“TheyÂ’re not going to Target or Wally-W orld in Montana.Â” She questioned, Â“Why are they taking rifles and pick axes?Â” I noticed she waited several seco nds for the students to think. Hunter replied, Â“To protect themse lves, to hunt, to chop wood and stuff.Â” Lindsey asked why they would have to chop wood. Harry stated, Â“They donÂ’t know whoÂ’s out there. You donÂ’t know what certain tribes will do or say. T hey may have to cut down a tree.Â” Lindsey said, Â“Why would y ou want to cut down a tree?Â”
183 Harry answered, Â“If a rabbit goes up a tree and you want it, you have to cut it down.Â” She nodded curiously. As the discussion continued, she related, Â“The journal people are very important because t heir jobs meant that they had to take notes and draw pictures.Â” She said t hat they Â“needed crayons to draw because they canÂ’t take pictures for the President to see.Â” Another item included spirits. She questioned what Â“30 gallons of spirit sÂ” meant. Â“What do you think that is, pom poms? Megaphones?Â” The students laughed. Raven mentioned, Â“I think itÂ’s some kind of drink.Â” Chelsea stated, Â“ItÂ’s alcohol.Â” Lindsey summarized, Â“YouÂ’re goi ng to be in the Discovery team. YouÂ’re going to be in the Corps of Discovery. Y ou need to know this information to help you as you make your journey.Â” She asked, How are you going to pick people to go with you? Are you going to say, Â‘Oh, I like him, because he has great hair, and oh, IÂ’m going to pick her because sheÂ’s so sweet, and um, let me see, he has great clothesÂ’? The students giggled. She stated that Lewis and Clark needed people who had specific gifts and talents. They chose the members for a reason. Lindsey turned to the page that illustrat ed eight of the original members of the Corps of Discovery. They included a sergeant, an interpreter, a slave named York (the only African member of t he expedition), and a riverman. She asked students to read brief par agraphs that described each person. She questioned why a man such as George Drouillard, a hunter and woodsmen, would be a good
184 candidate. The students remarked that he would help them find food. She whispered excitedly, Â“He can sense w here animals have been. He can see the scrape of a deerÂ’s antlers on a twig. Â” Lindsey pointed out York. She mentioned that when they conducted the unit on slavery they learned that someti mes slaves became like members of the family. They slept in the same house, ate and played together. In part, YorkÂ’s description read, Â“Faithful slave of William ClarkÂ…ClarkÂ’s playmate as a child on the Virginia plantationÂ” (Schanzer, 1997, p. 5). She said, Â“York and Clark are like BFFÂ’s (Best Friends Forever). He picked his buddy. They had each otherÂ’s back. Â” She compared that the river the crew had to cross was not like the Windsor River that was about as wide in some places as their classroom. She said, Â“The expedition was about life and death. It didnÂ’t matter how much money a per son had. Lewis and Clark needed people who could talk, hunt, and build thi ngs. It was like the T.V. show Survivor. This is it. Right here!Â” The Dilemmas The Daily Dilemmas encompassed a significant part of each groupÂ’s discussion during the action phase. For eac h dilemma the teams expressed their opinions and formulated a final answer. When they made their decision, they assumed their responsibilities as privates, interpreters, and captains. That is, the privates started their tasks, the interpreter studied the tribes they encountered, and the captain recorded their mileage. Th e journal writers included the teamÂ’s
185 thoughts and decision about the dilemma when they composed their entries. In addition, they researched Lewis and ClarkÂ’s original choice. In the Interact teacherÂ’s guide, Vargas (2000, p. 39) suggested teachers read the dilemmas aloud Â“with great se riousness and dramatic expression.Â” I noticed that Lindsey and Paula read in th is manner. Also, they asked questions to clarify the studentsÂ’ under standing of the main idea and vocabulary. Because each dilemma was historically accurate the students learned the challenges the original members of the Corps of Disco very met. I realized that this component was a critical part of the action phase. Each team handled the discussion differently. Many times, they did not agr ee. As a participant-observer, I opted to only observe. I never interjected my opini ons because I did not want to influence the teamÂ’s discussion. I r ealized that while some students enjoyed the verbal interchange, others exper ienced withdrawal and is olation. I report the discussions for each team separately since they had unique interactions. The Teepeeshon discussed early dilemmas. I chose two dilemmas to characterize how the Teepeeshon member s responded to the action phase of the simulation. In the begi nning, the team agreed on their decisions. Becky wrote in the second journal entry that Â“Our group has been working together like we should beÂ” (see Figure 4).
186 Figure 4. BeckyÂ’s Journal Entry. A few days later, the team member s had to decide whether to follow the Yellowstone River or the Missouri River. President Jefferson had instructed them to follow the Missouri River and to take the shortest route. In contrast, the Hidatsa Native American tribe informed th em that the Yellow stone River was the shortest route to the Pacific Ocean. After Paula read the dilemma, she asked
187 them to locate Yellowstone River on the map in their How We Crossed the West books. Paula stated, Â“Put your finger on Fort Mandan and travel West until you find a fork in the road. What is a fork in the road?Â” A student answered correctly, and she pointed out the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. She told the st udents to decide what route to take. All of the members of the Teepeeshon group exc ept for Ryan huddled together. Immediately, J ohn said Â“Yellowstone.Â” Jasmine cautioned him, Â“D onÂ’t talk too loud.Â” As he stood in front of the others, John placed his finger on the map and proceeded to talk rapidly about why t hey should take Yellowstone. He contended, Yellowstone is fast Â– in real life probably five football fields away. You wouldnÂ’t have to walk much. There is not a straight route you can take without picking the boat out of the wate r if you take the Missouri. This is the only way! He referred to the book as he conti nued to argue the reasons why the team should choose Yellowstone. Yet, the other group members did not concur. Amanda, Jasmine, and Becky wanted to take the Missouri. Ryan sided with John. He seemed to respect JohnÂ’s verbal skills and leadership. Also I thought Ryan thrived on his perceived dichotomous relationship of boys versus gi rls. I noticed that in the early days of the simulation, Ryan allied himself wit h John. However, John did not share RyanÂ’s sentiment of gender polarizati on. During the second interview, I
188 mentioned RyanÂ’s claim of Â“boys against girls.Â” John countered that he did not feel that way and stated Â“the only time there was ever boys against girls for me was in third grade when we did boys agains t girls. Like, boys chase girls, girls chase boysÂ….IÂ’ve grown upÂ…IÂ’ m more mature now.Â” John continued that on the Missouri t he group would encounter rapids. Ryan said, Â“Maybe the rapids are faster, you know.Â” John shook his head and replied, Â“O n the rapids, youÂ’ll smash!Â” Ryan responded, Â“Yeah, I want them to get smashed!Â” and laughed. Almost the entire time the group discussed the dilemma Ryan leaned back in his chair, placed his hands behind his head with his arms akimbo, and stretched out his legs. He said frequently, Â“ItÂ’s good to be captain. I donÂ’t have to do anything.Â” The rest of the group ignored him and di d not coerce him to participate. However, John and the girls continued to discuss the alternative routes. John explained, Â“The men have to carry their canoes either wayÂ…is there a straight route?Â” Becky looked at me, smiled shyl y, and said, Â“IÂ’m confused.Â” He passionately continued to state wh y they should start at Yellowstone. Ryan commented, Â“John, you would make a good lawyer Â– no offense!Â” By this point in the discussion, Jasmine was considering that John may be correct about Yellowstone. John exclaim ed, Â“I hooked her! IÂ’ve tooken her off the Missouri part!Â”
189 Becky seemed worried that they woul d not make the correct decision. John said, Â“WeÂ’re doing a simulation. TheyÂ’re not going to write something in there so the whole thing fails. Eit her way weÂ’re going to get there.Â” Ryan repeated, Â“IÂ’m not doing anything.Â” John and Amanda continued to debate the merits of Yellowstone versus Missouri. She argued with him quietly but persistently that she thought they should take the Missouri. Becky sighed, Â“WeÂ’ re not working together very well.Â” John, wide-eyed and braces gleaming, continued to mention that they should take Yellowstone. He said, Â“What are you worried about, mosquitoes?Â” The girls laughed. Jasmine said that she wanted to take the Missouri so that they could meet the Shoshone. Be cky said she was unsure. Ryan leaned forward and asked, Â“Becky, can you vote so that we can go on with our lives already?Â” Jasmine said, Â“WeÂ’re doing Missouri, and thatÂ’s final.Â” Ryan opened the CaptainÂ’s Log, and asked, Â“WhatÂ’s our latitude and longitude?Â” John replied, Â“We donÂ’t know yet bec ause we donÂ’t know which way weÂ’re going.Â” At that moment, Paula mentione d that she needed a member of the Teepeeshon group to go the Lewis and Clark map and choose a colored pushpin to track their movements West. John walked over to the bulle tin board. In the meantime, Jasmine and Amanda talked to Becky. When John returned, Becky
190 said that she wanted to take the Missouri. He pressed, Â“What?! Hey -what did they do to you? They got to you, didnÂ’t they?Â” He opened the utility pouch he had se wn as a private and extracted a Â“Miller Dollar,Â” artificial currency that students spent at the school store. He exclaimed, Â“IÂ’ll give you a Miller Dollar if you take Yellowstone!Â” Amanda tried to snatch the dollar from John, and the group giggled. John shoved the dollar into the pouch. The group decided that they needed to take a vote on which direction to travel. Amanda and John chose a number from one to ten. Becky recorded a number in her notebook. Amanda selected four and John eight. The number was five, so Amanda guessed closest. As a result, the group would travel the Missouri. John raised one finger and said, Â“I can still convince you! I strongly disagree and so did our Captain (Ryan)!Â” He walked over to his desk, sat do wn, and pulled out the teamÂ’s journal. As the journal writer he said he would de scribe their decision, however, he told them that Â“ IÂ’m not doing the Missouri and IÂ’m going to write that down, tooÂ” (see Appendix L). Ryan said, Â“Me, either.Â” Then, Ryan sat back into his chair again, stretched, and said, Â“IÂ’m not working eit her, yaÂ’ll are going to do my work.Â” He noticed Paula, and he sat upright. Paula told Ryan, Â“I know youÂ’ve been absent, so letÂ’s see where you are.Â” She examined the CaptainÂ’s Log and remind ed him how he should complete the daily activities and record the latitude and longitude.
191 Three days later when I interviewed John, he mentioned the debate. He recalled, WeÂ’re doing our best to work toget her, sometimes it gets hard with two boys and three girls. And the fact that me and the other boy strongly agree with one thing and the other girls, and two of the girls strongly agree on one and one canÂ’t decide which way on some things. Like, you know how we did that part about how you co uld go down the Yellowstone in the keelboat?Â…At one time we convin ced the unsure one that she should come with us, but it got so she was neither way, so she just decided weÂ’d do a vote. You know the vote thi ng? And, we ended up going along the Missouri Â‘cause of the vote. And in t he end, she (Becky) said, Â‘LetÂ’s do it again, letÂ’s do it again, just in case .Â’ Â‘Cause I was complaining about it, and she said, Â‘LetÂ’s do it again,Â’ an d I said, Â‘No, IÂ’m gonna go, IÂ’m just saying IÂ’m not going to be happy about it.Â’ Â‘Cause IÂ’m not, IÂ’m not really one to be a whiner. My brot her is, though, but IÂ’m not. The Teepeeshon experienced conflict in later dilemmas. In contrast to the light-heartedness in early dilemmas, in the later stages conflict embroiled the team. At times, Ryan remained aloof. After Paula explained another dilemma, Ryan said, Â“What are we doing now?Â” John asked, Â“Were you listening at all?Â” Ryan laughed and said, Â“No.Â”
192 John asked for a decision on whether or not they should jump into the water after their pirogue filled with wa ter. Becky said she did not know, and Jasmine and Amanda immediately said yes. Ryan and John said yes. Ryan restated, Â“Yes. Yes for what?Â” John said, Â“For what? The dilemma! S hould they go into the water or not?Â” Ryan said, Â“I wasnÂ’t listening at all. I never listen.Â” Becky questioned, Â“What if they arenÂ’t skilled swimmers?Â” John answered, Â“In this fantasy world, Lewis and Clark are skilled swimmers.Â” Becky sighed and said, Â“We disagree again.Â” Ryan remarked, Â“Yes, we agree. I donÂ’t even know. I donÂ’t give a crap.Â” A beat later, John stated, Â“Hands up if we agree.Â” They all raised their hands, and Ryan muttered, Â“Whatever.Â” Another day, Ryan told Amanda, Â“Good th ing IÂ’m an interpreter today. We donÂ’t want to repeat AmandaÂ’s mistake.Â” Amanda had received a penalty card for not including certain information on her postcard. Amanda retorted, Â“Will you stop crit icizing people?Â” and proceeded to shuffle the expedition cards. John asked what they wanted to do for the dilemma because they had to decide whether to travel North or South. Becky said that she did not understand what happened. John moved over to her seat and paraphrased the dilemma. Jasmine walked to the bulletin board and studied the map. Ryan said, Â“What are we going to do?Â”
193 Jasmine came back and said, Â“You just donÂ’t listen.Â” The group seemed more interested in beginning thei r tasks than making a decision. Ryan said, Â“Hell-lo! What are we going to do? Go North or South?Â” John said he wanted to go Sout h, and Ryan agreed. Becky, Amanda, and Jasmine said that they wanted to go North. John said, Â“I guess weÂ’re going North.Â” Ryan exclaimed, Â“ThereÂ’s more girls than boys, that Â’s not fair! ItÂ’s always going to be three against two. ItÂ’s going to always be that way! We had to do it your way last time!Â” At that moment, Paula walked over and asked the team what they had decided. Ryan told her that it was not fair that the girls always chose what they wanted to do. She calmly replied that when the group could not decide, then the captain made the final decision. He argued with her a minut e longer, and she restated the directions. She moved to another group, and Becky said, Â“IÂ’ll go South.Â” Ryan said, Â“Ha! We beat you!Â” John mentioned to Becky, Â“But, I didn Â’t have time to convince you!Â” Amanda looked at Becky, and Becky muttered, Â“I just want to get it over with.Â” She appeared uncomfortable. Amanda turned to Ryan, and said, Â“ThatÂ’s exactly why. ItÂ’s because of your attitude.Â” Ryan told her, Â“I donÂ’t give a crap!Â”
194 Amanda reacted. I could tell that Amanda was not satisfied by the decision. Yet, she did not vocalize her frustr ation. Instead, she wrote. I compared her feelings through her journal entries and my interviews with her. As the journal writer, she documented their decision and included the statem ent, Â“We are not sure which way to go North or South. My corp says go North and I completely agree. We have had some terrible times but we have made it throughÂ” (see Figure 5). Her tone tended to be more positive in comparison to the separate letter she Figure 5. AmandaÂ’s Journal Entry
195 wrote for her team member s and teacher to read. She placed the letter in the journal. The separate letter read, Everyone in the Teepeeshon Corps needs to read this My group (besides me) wants to go south but people are being really obnocious [sic] about it. I voted to go North and so do did the other girls until Becky just said South so we would stop fi ghting and now Ryan is acting like an ________! HeÂ’s all you suck, and I donÂ’t give a ______ and all that now. All the girls are against me and it sucks! It can be boys with girls and girls with boys when it comes to voting instead of all girls against all boys. For the blank lines she had written Â“i diotÂ” and Â“crapÂ” and then erased both words. Still, they were visible. In a later interview, I asked her about the letters. In a low voice that was barely comprehensib le, she uttered, Â“I was really mad. Yeah. SoÂ…he can be really hateful.Â” I asked how she handled the argument. She replied, Well, basically I completely ignored him and anything he had to say because it wasnÂ’t anything that we needed to hear. Because I wrote a little note and I put it in our journal and then Mrs. Williams read it, and then she had to go talk to him. I asked if she had wanted her teacher to read the letter. She commented, Â“Yes, and I wanted everyone else in my group to r ead it too.Â” At first, she said that she thought her note would help because they could hear Paula yelling at Ryan outside the room. However, she mentioned Ryan did not change his behavior.
196 Paula intervened. The day after this incident, I compared PaulaÂ’s reaction to the conflict that affected the group. As soon as I arrived in her classroom she told me that she had planned to remove Ryan from the simulation. However, she decided to give him another chance. S he said that she had a talk with him about bullying the girls and that he needed to stop. I did not understand why she changed her mind, so I asked her about her decision in a later interview. I inquired why she did not remo ve him. She replied, To be honest with you, I donÂ’t like to do that. Life doesnÂ’t always end up being everybody gets along, youÂ’re going to have to learn how to live with, and, unless itÂ’s, so bad Â…IÂ’ve never, ever changed a child from a group in all of these things IÂ’ve ever done. ItÂ’s like, okay. And I guess there would be a situation sometimes where I might have to do that, but itÂ’s usually always worked out, theyÂ’ve worked out through the bumps in the road. I noticed the last day of the action phas e Paula removed him from the group on a behavior issue unrelated to the simulation. Yet, the day that she talked to Ry an the students seemed frustrated. I asked how the team, Â“HowÂ’s it going?Â” Becky looked up at me, smiled wanly, and shook her head. Jasmine said, Â“ItÂ’s hard now, because everyoneÂ’s arguing.Â” Amanda seemed fatigued and put her head on her desk frequently. She and Ryan continued to argue with each other. At one point he stabbed her with his pencil because he wanted to see her paper.
197 My reflections on conflict. In my researcher reflective journal, I considered how the conflict affected the simulation. After the tension within the Teepeeshon group, I tape recorded my thoughts when I le ft Miller. I transcribed the following: What else came up today? A lot of issues with conflict within the group. IÂ’m thinking how to balance the trut h with the good, the bad, and the ugly not necessarily a glowing report which it wonÂ’t be! Especially with some of the things that have happened lately among the team and things of that natureÂ…The dynamics of t he group are really interest ing, there are a lot of factors involved, and thatÂ’s a real implication. The personalities of the class are different and it will affect t he outcome of a simulation like this. I realized that the Teepeeshon were not the only group to experience tension. The TrailblazersÂ’ ideas collided several times over the weeks. Harry and Trevor led the early discussions. Like the Teepeeshon group, the Trailblazers disagreed on several dilemmas, yet they punctuated their debates with humor and passion. Harry and Trevor utilized persuasive reasoning to argue their points. Instead of choosing a number to make a decision like the Teepeshon, Harry and Trevor brainstormed reasons to support their opinions. Often, I noticed that the team mem bers reread the dilemma and used their background knowledge from the books they had read and videos that they had viewed. In an early dilemma, the students had to decide whether or not to avenge the murder of a Native American chiefÂ’ s daughter. I noticed that after Lindsey read the dilemma, Harry and Trevor shook their heads. Then, Lindsey directed
198 them to discuss the issue in their groups. Tr evor said no, because if they left to seek revenge they would lose members of the expedition. Ha rry added that the dilemma stated that, Â“they ju st wanted to show the fir epower of the United States and thatÂ’s not our concern.Â” Raven agr eed with Trevor. Hunter asked what Chelsea thought, and she concurred. As the students talked, Chelsea drew two columns in her journal. On one side s he wrote the studentsÂ’ names and their opinions on the other. Harry stated, Â“T hatÂ’s our decisionÂ” with confidence. The journal writers chronicled the debates. Harry and Trevor vocalized their thoughts the most of ten as Hunter, Chelsea, and Raven interjected occasionally. Hunter was the most reserv ed member of the gr oup. For the first dilemma, Harry interpreted HunterÂ’s reticence as being uncooperative and recorded this behavior into the journal entry (see Figure 6).
199 Figure 6 HarryÂ’s Journal Entry
200 He explained why he wrote abou t Hunter in an interview: When we first got the dilemma we were all going to huddle up so no other teams could hear us but Hunter wanted to stay in his seat, so we, likeÂ…we didnÂ’t exactly have an ar gument we were just tryi ng to get him over here and he wouldnÂ’t listen. And, soÂ…we had to, like write that down. I mean, because Mrs. Romano said if youÂ…if anything happens we had to write it down and send it to Thomas Jefferson. In contrast, when I interviewed Hunt er, he explained that he could hear the teamÂ’s discussion. Therefor e, he did not feel he needed to move his desk closer. He did not understand why Harry wa s upset with him. He recalled, I was really mad because I was just sitting at my desk, and then he (Harry) just wrote me in the journal and I was kind of mad at him. But, after that, then it was fineÂ…I donÂ’t know why Ha rry was so mad at me. Â‘Cause I was justÂ…I could hear him perfectlyÂ…It wo rked out fine. Um, IÂ’m not so mad at them anymore. The two-day dilemma. In later dilemmas, Harry and Trevor argued extensively. By this time, most groups coul d make a decision in about five to ten minutes. On one occasion, Harry and Trev orÂ’s disagreement continued over a span of two days. This example illust rated how involved the discussion of the dilemma affected the team, even as t hey entered their roles. The team had discussed whether or not they should retrieve the items that fell into the water. Hunter believed that they should ju mp into the river and salvage the items they could. Trevor agreed. Raven t ook out a pen and recorded each personÂ’s
201 thoughts. Harry disagreed and stated, Â“That doesnÂ’t sound very wise just to jump in the water. What if youÂ’re not a good swimmer?Â” Trevor said, We need to think about what they w ould have done. Think about it -all their important documents, their journals, are fl oating away. ThatÂ’s like taking this notebook and putting it in the dumpster or s ending it through a shredder. WhatÂ’s the point? Chelsea quietly volunteered, Â“They wouldnÂ’t have anything if they didnÂ’t save it.Â” Raven nodded. She added, Â“Their trip would have been for nothing. Besides, we have the journals now, so they had to recover them.Â” Trevor said, Â“Well, it doesnÂ’t matt er what you guys think, because IÂ’m the captain and IÂ’m going to do what I want .Â” He pounded his fist on the desk, and then tempered his statement wit h, Â“IÂ’m just kidding.Â” Harry put his hand in his hair and said Â“But arenÂ’t there strong currents?Â” Trevor replied, Â“But they survived. And there was only like one gust.Â” Harry protested and said, Â“The current s picked up.Â” He referred Trevor to a passage in the dilemma t hat stated that fact. Raven opened the How We Crossed the West book and examined an illustration that depicted the scene when t he pirogue tipped over. In the picture, Sacajawea retrieved a box of flints with one hand as she held her crying baby with the other (Schanzer, 1994, p. 23). Rav en said, Â“Why wouldnÂ’t they go into
202 the river? They need their stuff. ItÂ’s lik e throwing $100.00 into the river. The whole point of the trip is to see whatÂ’s going on.Â” Harry waved his hand, and said, Â“ItÂ’s going to be ruined anyway because itÂ’s written in ink and the water would have destroyed it.Â” The next day, I asked if they had resolved the dilemma. Trevor, as the captain, assisted Raven with her journal entry. Raven said that they would retrieve the materials from the water. Harry looked up from his privateÂ’s task and said, Â“When did you decide that?Â” Trevor said, Â“We put that it wa s an almost unanimous decision.Â” Harry shook his head, and said, Â“Well, I disagree.Â” Trevor responded with, Â“Yeah, weÂ’re goi ng to write that.Â” Although Harry was supposed to be working on his privateÂ’ s task, he kept talking to Raven and Trevor as they wrote a draft for the journal. I noticed that Trevor acted as the reporter, and Raven served as the scribe. She seemed to struggle with co mposing her thoughts and relied heavily on Trevor for ideas. Trevor did not s eem to mind and brainstormed different phrases aloud. In the meant ime, Harry continued to intervene. At one point, Trevor half-joking told him to Â“Shut y our mouth. Work on your own task.Â” Trevor told Raven to write, Â“We wanted to salvage as much as our own treasures as possible.Â” Then, Trevor exam ined the list of item s that they should include in their journal entry. He asked her, Â“Was anyone uncooperative?Â” Raven pointed her thumb to Harry.
203 A short time later, Raven, Harry, and Trevor were arguing. Raven seemed frustrated and said, Â“I donÂ’t know what to write!Â” Harry said, Â“IÂ’m trying to help you.Â” Raven told Harry, Â“YouÂ’re good at everything, thatÂ’s why nobody helps you. You donÂ’t need it.Â” Harry began to tell her how she shoul d begin a sentence. Trevor said, Â“Harry, please, do your task. Y ouÂ’re busy interrupting us.Â” Raven said, Â“How about I start with Private Harry keeps interrupting? ThatÂ’s a good beginning.Â” Harry pleaded, Â“IÂ’m just trying to help us get more expedition cards!Â” Trevor said, Â“ThatÂ’s my job! Do your task! WeÂ’r e not going to make you look bad on purpose.Â” In cursive handwriting, Raven wrote, Â“I believe that private Harry was being very interuptful [sic] while trying to explain his reasons to stay in the keel boatÂ” (see Figure 7). I realized that Harry glanced at me as I wrote in my notebook. Therefore, I sidled over to Chelsea so that I could still hear the c onflict but not be overt.
204 As the private, she pounded crimson clay an d examined a picture of a keelboat. I asked her, Â“HowÂ’s it going?Â” She replied, Â“ItÂ’s hard to form the shape because the clay is hard.Â” I traveled to PaulaÂ’s room again. When I returned, Hunter and Harry had switched seats so that Harry was not sitting next to Raven and was adjacent to Chelsea. HarryÂ’s eyes were red and hi s shoulders slumped. I heard Raven tell Trevor, Â“I usually donÂ’t make boys cry.Â” Figure 7. RavenÂ’s Journal Entry
205 Trevor said, Â“If itÂ’s the tr uth, you have to write it.Â” Chelsea softly told Trevor, Â“You donÂ’t have to write it.Â” I noticed that Harry glanced often at Raven as she wrote. Occasionally he worked on his essay, but for the most part he was distracted by Trevor and RavenÂ’s writing conference. I noticed that Raven mainly copied TrevorÂ’s ideas and rarely contributed hers. Lindsey walked over to ask how they were working. I waited to see if the group was going to tell her about their conflict, but no one said anything. After Lindsey left, Harry wh ispered to Chelsea, Â“TheyÂ’re trying to say bad things about me. Does that make any sense?Â” Chelsea continued to shape the sail of her keelboat, shook her head slightly, and mouthed Â“No.Â” Hunter looked up and said the only comment I heard him say for 45 minutes, Â“Now you know how I felt, Harry.Â” In the second interview, Harry reca lled the incident. I had asked him how he thought his team interacted. He stated, The only time we had any problem was in her (Raven), one of her journal entries when, I was arguing agains t Trevor and her about what she was putting in it, and um, that that got, lik eÂ…that umÂ…that, that Â’s pretty bad, butÂ…umÂ…me, and Trevor and Raven we all got over it. The conflict seemed to affect his later behavior. He chose not to intervene when Chelsea wrote her journal entry. He said, I had a lot of the different opinions and I didnÂ’t say anything. When I was private one time, um, I hadÂ…I wanted Chelsea to mention something
206 about the celestial observations, and, um, I didnÂ’t really say anything, because like itÂ’s her job. I was private and IÂ’m just supposed to be doing my own work. If I was captain I w ould have mentioned it, but, I justÂ…I let her do it. The unfinished dilemma. Another day, Trevor and Harry debated whether they should travel North or South. Ha rry mentioned that they should scale the mountains before it snowed. Raven cl arified that they would encounter mountains either direction. Harry said, Â“We should go the South side and go down. ItÂ’d be cool to ride down a mountain in a canoe.Â” Raven said, Â“IÂ’d rather go down, climb up, and then go down again.Â” Hunter and Chelsea listened while Harry and Trevor discussed further. Trevor said, Â“We should go North.Â” Harry countered, Â“It might snow.Â” Raven pleaded, Â“GuysÂ…Â”. Chelsea mentioned that they did not want to venture too deep. Raven reached for a How We Traveled West book to see what Lewis and Clark decided, and Trevor said, Â“It doesnÂ’t matte r what they did at all.Â” Trevor suggested that they should travel North because they would be trapped in a ravine. Harry argued that ravi nes are at sea level and that they would be fine. Trevor asked the group to raise their hands if they wanted to move North. Raven agreed with Trevor because s he thought the ravine would be filled
207 with snow. Trevor located where they we re on the map, while Harry asked her why she agreed with Trevor. She replied she was confused. Harry said, Â“Would you rather get trapped on top of the mountain or stuck in a hole?Â” Trevor and Harry discuss ed the technicalities of a ravine. The group asked Chelsea what she thought, but she remained noncommittal. Harry asked her if sheÂ’d rather die from drowning or high altitudes. Trevor retorted that was an unfair questi on. Hunter suggested that they could make kayaks. Raven wanted to know how they would transport the canoe to the other side. Then, Chelsea said t hat they should travel North. Harry said, Â“Why do you want to go North? Everyone else is doing it the steep way.Â” Trevor replied, Â“It doesnÂ’t matter w hat they have done because we havenÂ’t done it yet. We can do what we want to do.Â” Harry exclaimed, Â“But they took Sout h! IÂ’ve been reading about it. ItÂ’s the right way!Â” As a matter of fact, Harry wa s correct. Lewis and Clark were the only members of the team who wanted to travel South. Their choice constituted a crucial decision the capt ains made (Vargas, 2000). Hunter, Raven, Trevor, and Harry, looked through their books while the debate continued. Trevor and Harry searched for other points to discuss. Harry said, Â“Look at the dotted black line on t he map! I told you they went South! Besides, about the snow in the ravines, snow canÂ’t go below sea level. Even if it does, it will melt and we can swim.Â”
208 Still, Trevor would not change his mi nd. He left to study the Lewis and Clark map on the bulletin board, and Harry said that he was stubborn. He turned to Chelsea and said, Â“Now that TrevorÂ’s gone, will you listen to me? I want to convince you that we should go South. ItÂ’ s the best way. We wonÂ’t die. ItÂ’ll be faster. Look at the map, itÂ’s the same way they traveled.Â” Trevor returned and told Harry, Â“D ie? We wonÂ’t die of altitude.Â” Harry said that they didnÂ’t have mountain climbing tools. Trevor countered with, Â“What do you need to mountain climb? What do you bring? Laptops?Â” Harry told Chelsea, Â“WeÂ’re safe if we go South. Why donÂ’t you listen to me?Â” Chelsea responded, Â“IÂ’ve been listening.Â” Harry asked, Â“Then why donÂ’t you agree?Â” Trevor said, Â“Because itÂ’s the wrong answer.Â” Harry said, Â“How do you know?Â” Trevor replied, Â“ItÂ’s the wrong answer if you end up dying. IÂ’m pretty sure thatÂ’s wrong.Â” They debated how an avalanche or landslide could happen in a ravine. Later, Trevor muttered, Â“I think HarryÂ’s an idiot to go South.Â” Harry would not give up even after Raven began to paint her American flag in red and blue poster paint, and Hunt er examined a map for his privateÂ’s task. By that time Chelsea, as captain, decided that they should go North. Still, Harry asked Trevor, Â“What if theyÂ’re afraid of heights?Â”
209 Trevor answered, Â“Then they shoul dnÂ’t be going on the expedition.Â” Raven told Harry, Â“YouÂ’re t he only one who cares anymore.Â” Hunter added, Â“ItÂ’s Chelse aÂ’s choice. You lost.Â” Trevor said, Â“We went thr ough the same thing before.Â” Chelsea said, Â“Why are you arguing about arguing?Â” Harry and Trevor reflected on their debates. Harry and Trevor described how they disagreed on almost every dile mma when I interviewed them a second time. Harry said, Â“Me and Tr evor almost always fought (laughs). But, we never really got mad at each other. ItÂ’s just, ar guing, I mean, we nev er really thought the same about a dilemma. And some times it was just us being stubborn (laughs).Â” When I asked if he thought stubbornness was the reason, he continued, Well, not, sometimes. I think it was just us not wanting to agree, but um, because we didnÂ’t want to admit t he other person was right sometimes I guess. I donÂ’t knowÂ…After you look at it you can be like, well, I guess I could have done that. I told him that I thought at times he and Trevor seemed to enjoy the debate. He paused a moment, and said, Â“Yeah. I, I love arguing. I mean, I love Â…arguing. I will always argue until my point is pr ovedÂ…And, um, I watch a lot of Law and Order and stuff. SoÂ…I know how to make people change their mind.Â” Like Harry, Trevor mentioned their di sagreements in the second interview. When I asked how they worked together as a team, he said, Â“In the beginning,
210 we werenÂ’t that good. Like me and Harry, you know, you saw it. Harry was always arguing and one time we spent all of our time arguing.Â” When I asked why he thought they ar gued, he replied, Â“I donÂ’t know. Me and Harry are like really good friends, but, it Â’s just, me and him have completely different opinions about things.Â” Like Harry, I suggested that a part of him enjoyed the verbal interchange and that they enjoyed brainstorming per suasive arguments. He nodded and said, Â“I like that. I like getting into big argum ents with people, you k now?...Now that I look back on it, it was kind of f un being, trying to convince him.Â” Hunter asserted his authority. I noticed in the second to last dilemma that Hunter demonstrated a more active ro le. Instead of conceding to Harry and Trevor, he stressed that Lewis and Clark should exchange their rifles for horses. Although several group members agreed with him, Harry did not. Hunter explained that they could not cross the Bitterroot Mountains without the horses. He said, Â“How are we going to take up stuff?Â” Harry countered, Â“The same wa y. We put it on our back.Â” Hunter told Harry, Â“We canÂ’t get ov er the mountains without horses. We need those horses.Â” Raven said, Â“It doesnÂ’t mean youÂ’re going to win this time, Harry!Â” She turned to Hunter and Trevor and said, Â“If he starts crying again, IÂ’m not into this. I donÂ’t want to be responsible for that.Â” Harry contended that the team did not have the proper materials to care for the horses.
211 Hunter said, Â“WeÂ’ll lose valuable ti me if we donÂ’t take the horses and we donÂ’t have the energy to climb the mountains ourselves.Â” Harry replied, Â“What about their feet ? We canÂ’t fix their horseshoes.Â” Raven looked bored and then frustr ated. She shouted, Â“Horses!Â” Lindsey gave the group a two-minute warning and said, Â“You need to worry about the time you have in or der to complete your tasks.Â” After that, Raven mentioned, Â“I di dnÂ’t even get to start on my thing (privateÂ’s task). We are the only group again who still didnÂ’t make a decision.Â” Hunter said, Â“WeÂ’re doing this. WeÂ’re trading for horses.Â” HunterÂ’s decision was correct as the Corps of Discovery could not have continued without them (Vargas, 2000). Distinguishing reality from fantasy. In HunterÂ’s second interview, I asked him about his decisiveness to trade the rifles for horses. I perceived that part of him believed that their decision would have actual consequences. In comparison to his more reserved stance, he adamantly replied, Harry was complaining that he w anted to do that, and I was like, Â‘ Dude this is serious not like fake. You need to, itÂ’sÂ…40 people canÂ’t carry the luggage up Â… WeÂ’d lose so much time. ItÂ’s not worth it. We had lots of guns, we had uh, 15 rifles, and we had two pistol guns. We just had to give one pistol gun away, and a couple of knives, and ammunition, and we could make knives out of rocks, soÂ…I donÂ’t know we could just trade stuff with the Indians. I think it was a great trade. It was 20 horses for one pistol and knives and stuff. Then with those horses thatÂ’s pretty much, thatÂ’s
212 basically money to the Indians like you could trade the horses after that Â‘cause. I mean theyÂ’re going to be in perfect health, I mean, he (Harry) was talking about their legs are going to fall apart or something like that. I was like, what are you talking about? Their legs are sturdy! HunterÂ’s role as captain enabled him to make the final decision for their team. I noticed that until this dilemma he adopted a mo re passive stance. I felt proud that he adhered to his opinion and was proven correct. Lindsey and Paula Communi cated their Expectations Throughout the action phase, Lindse y and Paula designated extended periods of time for the st udents to work in their groups. On a typical day the students had 45-70 minutes. As a result, Li ndsey and Paula expected that they would produce quality work on their jour nal entries, interpreter cards, and privatesÂ’ tasks. To ensure that student s understood their r equirements, the teachers allotted time for mini-lessons. Many times they combined their classes and instructed through a co-teach model. They read samples of exemplary journal entries and interpreter cards to the class. They illuminated transparencies of model writing and pointed out st udents who had Â“gone above and beyond.Â” I realized that they upheld high expectations for their students. When I observed the teams in their groups, I noticed se veral students emulated their standards. My observations coincided with LindseyÂ’s thoughts in the second interview. She defined her role in simu lations Â“as a manager, a deliverer of what is required but also an expectation setter.Â” She added,
213 I donÂ’t know if those are typical role titles that you would give something. You know I definitely try to explain it, present it, mediate, but I donÂ’t at the same time just look at this, the guidelines, explain them, and then let them go willy-nilly. I just feel like constantly I have to spiral back and set those expectations. Because if not then the academic part of it, could be, jeopardized. So, I guess that would be it. On a related note, I remem bered how Paula explained ho w they teach writing in an earlier interview: Most of the time, I tell you, a lot of times I model. Becaus e, to me, thatÂ’s the best way to getÂ…if I just say, Â‘O kay, weÂ’re going to write thisÂ…Â’. No, you have to model and then the ballÂ’s in their court. Many of them -you have to build it up, and make it exci ting, you have to model it -and then theyÂ’ll do a pretty decent job. Someti mes they Â‘borrowÂ’ phrases and stuff that youÂ’ve used in your modeled writ ing, but thatÂ’s okay. A lot of times I will type those up and give those writings to them for them to put in their folders that weÂ’re keeping all the in formation so that they can see that piece of paper. A model journal entry. As an example, in one session with combined classes Lindsey related their expect ations for student performance. She mentioned that the Interact student guide provided some explication for studentsÂ’ roles. However, she said that she and P aula wanted to Â“challenge you as writers and push you to your limit. You are applying what you know as you are put back
214 in time. You need to use great voice in your writing. The key is you are time travelers.Â” Paula nodded in approval. She stood to wards the back of the room as Lindsey instructed. Lindsey distributed a handout of a model journal entry she and Paula had written (see Figure 8). She project ed a transparency of the handout on the overhead screen. She explained, Â“We want to show you what we are looking for in your entries. You should capture what it was like being in the West.Â” As she held up the Augustus Pelletier novel, she demonstrated how journal entries appeared in that period. Then, she read their entry from the persona of Â“James Hurley.Â” While she read, she underlined how they wrote about their feelings with an orange marker. After Lindsey finished, she encouraged the students to Â“push yourselfÂ” and to elaborate with detail and authenticity. When she m entioned Fort Mandan, she said that Lewis and Clark did not want to leave at first because it was winter. She asked how long they stayed, and Harry co rrectly answered five months. In her sample, she said that Â“James HurleyÂ” referred to Â“a man and his wife.Â” She asked, Â“Who are those people?Â” The students recognized that they were Charbonneau and Sacajawea. She said that the voice demonstrated how the speaker did not know their names yet, and the journal writer should document the frustrations of the team. Â“You want to capture things that make you m ad, concern you, get you excited, make you feel. Â”
215 She mentioned a few studentsÂ’ names who had written the best entries from the six groups. Harry was one of them. Sample for the Journal Writer on the Lewis and Clark expedition Fall 1804 Dear Journal, We have had a very busy month trying to get ou rselves settled for the winter here at Fort Mandan. The natives that we have met have been helping us gath er food and establish shelter for the winter months ahead. We are now at the edge of the uncharted lands so we will camp here, as travel during the next few months will be extremely dangerous. As we ready for our encampment, a man and his wife have approached our Corps asking Lewis and Clark to allow them to join in the expe dition when we depart in the spring. Toussaint Charbonneau the man whom I am writing about and would be an interpreter for our group. His wife speaks both Shoshone and Hitd atsa and Charbonneau can translate these languages into French to Drou illard who is a member of our Corps. Drouillard can then translate to Lewis and Clark in English. We have had a meeting of the Corps to discuss the matter. Since it is extremely important to be able to communicate with the Native Americans, we have decided to allow Charbonn eau and his wife to join us on our journey west. As for the keeper of the journal, I agreed with the decision of th e rest of the group. I know the next few months will drag by, but hopefully spring will find us all well and ready for the adventure to begin! Lewis and Clark decided to allow Charbonneau and his young Indian wife to accompany them during the spring of 1805. As you can see, our group resolved the first dilemma in exactly the same way that the Corps of Discovery did some 200 years ago. Respectively submitted, James Hurley Figure 8. Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s Sample Journal Entry Lindsey reminded the students that t hey should compare and contrast their teamÂ’s decision for each dilemma wit h Lewis and ClarkÂ’s original solution. Laughing, Lindsey said that she and Paul a were going to ask for compliments from their model entry because, Â“We have no shame, we love compliments.Â” Paula nodded and smiled in affirmation.
216 Lindsey asked, Â“What are some great writersÂ’ tricks that we used here?Â” One student mentioned, Â“Voice.Â” W hen Lindsey asked what that meant, the student replied, Â“It is expressing how I feel in a way that I would talk to someone else.Â” Visibly impressed, Lindsey repeated w hat the student said to ensure that the whole class heard. She told the studen t, Â“Voice sounds like you. What a great noticing.Â” Jasmine pointed out t he fact that they had written, Â“Respectfully submitted.Â” Lindsey stated that the ent ry was purposefully written as Â“time appropriateÂ” since the author wo uld not use Â“fromÂ” or Â“l ove.Â” Instead, they used more formal language. Continuing, s he asked, Â“What do you notice about the sentence starters?Â” Several hands shot into the air. Ho wever, Lindsey paused. She said, Â“IÂ’m going to give everyone a chance to thin k about it.Â” After se veral seconds, she selected Raven to respond. Raven commented, Â“You started with different sentence beginnings.Â” Lindsey restated her thought and added, Â“The sentences arenÂ’t boring, so it makes you want to read it.Â” After the students had responded to t he teachersÂ’ model, Lindsey told them, We can see glimpses in your journalsÂ’ entries. You can do this. You are very gifted in what you can do. ThatÂ’s a very hard thing to do. Kudos to
217 you. We give presentations to other teachers on this and use your writing as models of ex cellent writing. Paula added, Â“ItÂ’s time for you guys to shine.Â” I recognized that in later entries, many students adopted a different voice in their journal entries. Harry experim ented with dialect. He modeled his writing after the narrator in Augustus Pelletie r (see Appendix M). One paragraph read, We reached a tribe called the Shos hone, we call em shone. Turns out thats where Sacajawea is from and her long lost dead brother ainÂ’t dead no more. Now heÂ’s chief. He really helped us. He provided horses in all to cross the mountains capts. Le wis and Clark call the Rockies! Student experimentation with voice translated to speeches. Trevor read his editorial to Thomas Jefferson to the cl ass (see Figure 9). He pretended to be a person who disagreed with JeffersonÂ’s decision to acquire the Louisiana Purchase. When he read his speech, he spoke in an angry tone. An excerpt stated, Â“What in the world were you thinking Thomas Jefferson?...Imagine the credibility you lost! DonÂ’t even get me started on how many Americans turned their back on you when you did this.Â” At the conclusion, the students appl auded as he bowed. Lindsey defined the term editorial and explained its purpos e. She praised, Â“Great delivery and great voice with that one. Excellent.Â”
218 Figure 9. TrevorÂ’s Thomas Jefferson Editorial
219 Interpreter cards. In the second interview, Li ndsey expressed her beliefs about the interpreter cards. The inte rpreter cards symbolized how Clark documented the plants, animals, and Nati ve American tribes and communicated with the President. She stated, I feel like there needs to be quality in the presentation, the aesthetics of it. I feel like the content needs to be authentic, and it needs to be integrated into our Sunshine Standards, as far as what writers do. I think thatÂ’s basically what IÂ’m looking for, for this aspect. I donÂ’t have, with how much history weÂ’ve done this year, I donÂ’t hav e a real worry for them to be able to find information about a Flat head tribe, letÂ’s say. But, what I am wanting to know is can they pull it, and then as far as taxonomy goes, apply it. And then apply it in a way that is, to the standards of -I donÂ’t want a list. I want transitions, I want a beginning, a middle, and an end, I want it to be on topic. For every briefing, Lindsey read interpreter cards that she regarded as exemplary. In addition to the positiv e comments, she explained areas for improvement. Lindsey reminded them, Â“IÂ’m looking for colorful language and words that make pictures in the r eaderÂ’s heads because you are painting a Blockbuster video for Thomas Jefferson.Â” One time, she complimented ChelseaÂ’s in terpreter card and held it up for everyone to view (see Figure 10).
220 Figure 10. ChelseaÂ’s Interpreter Card
221 Lindsey commented, ThereÂ’s a bunch of data here, itÂ’s in tegrated in the letter format. Great information here to Thomas Jefferson, all about the Sioux, what they eat, what they look like. On the ba ck, going above and beyond, she went in and found actual pictures and animals of what the tribe would be eating so in case you donÂ’t know what these animals looked like Â– a buffalo for instance, we donÂ’t have those r oaming around our wetlands. We have those on here, and then Mr. Jeffers on can see whatÂ’s happening here. Excellent job, here. Chelsea mentioned the interpreter role in two interviews. In the first interview, she stated that she enjoyed research and that she liked Â“researching about Indians and what the geography was li ke when they first got there.Â” In the second, she said, Â“I liked lear ning about like the Sioux, that was funÂ…I liked learning about thei r parents werenÂ’t strict or anything. They would let their child touch the fire and they w ould say that you have to learn from experience (laughs).Â” She included the sa me fact on her postcard because the students earned additional points if t hey included interesting facts. PrivatesÂ’ tasks. Although several of the privatesÂ’ tasks involved writing, many did not. During one briefing session, Lindsey pointed out a keelboat, a rain stick, and a pouch that she considered to be exceptional. She held up a clay keelboat and explained that the student had used an illustra tion to replicate it and Â“even had an expedition dude on the back but he fell off.Â”
222 For the rain stick, students decorat ed paper towel holders and filled them with rice. She shared one model decor ated with dark red, blue, and green markers and Native American symbols. The student had sealed the ends with clear tape so when she moved it back and fo rth the contents inside slid audibly. In comparison, she picked up an undecor ated cardboard paper towel holder and said that some of the rain sticks looked similar. Chelsea looked at the plain rain stick Raven had made. Raven had scribbl ed red and blue lines and sketched a few haphazard symbols. Lindsey explained, In order to get mileage for your team, you need to put in the time. You have to work through the process just like they did. No one was there to help them. How do you make somethi ng out of nothing? You canÂ’t go to Wally World (Wal-Mart). There was no sewing teacher to help them just like there is not one to help you. IÂ’m not going to sit there and sew with you. You have to figure it out and problem-solve your way through it. Then, she held up HunterÂ’s utility pouch as a model for excellence (see Figure Figure 11. HunterÂ’s Utility Pouch
223 11). Hunter had trimmed an 8Â” x 8Â” secti on of dark blue cloth and folded it into a U-shaped design. He had used sma ll stitches that he had spaced close together and had double stitched some areas Paula commented that his pouch was the best that she had seen in two year s. She said, Â“YouÂ’re rockinÂ’ on there, Kiddo.Â” Lindsey patted Hunter on the back and returned his pouch to him. A few other students asked if they could see it. One said, Â“You could actually use this!Â” The Tasks After the groups discussed the dilemma s, each team member proceeded to their tasks. In comparison to th e conflict that pervaded some dilemma discussions, often when students worked on t heir projects they laughed together. Humor alleviated earlier tension as t hey cooperated within their groups and with one another. During the action phase, the students immersed themselves in art, writing, research, and reading. Through t heir differentiated roles, the students chose their topics and worked on disparat e tasks. Many times the classroom environment reverberated with energy and harmony. Lindsey and Paula transitioned to facilitators as the students worked independently and cooperatively. However, I noticed that Ry an did not match this pattern. Although I was not a facilitator, a few incidents increased my awareness of the impact I had as a participant-observer. Humor lightened the tone. Although the content of the Lewis and Clark simulation was serious, several moment s added levity during the action phase. I
224 noticed that the Trailblazers team shared many laughs. One time, Trevor pondered his role as interpreter. He said, Â“I hate writing.Â” Harry replied, Â“I like writing.Â” Trevor stated, Â“I like long walks on the beach.Â” They stared at each other for a momen t. Then, they erupted in laughter. A few minutes later, Trevor looked at me and asked, Â“How are you writing your book?Â” I said, Â“What do you mean? It will have five chapters.Â” He said, Â“No, how will you write it ? Like, are you writing it like a novel? Â‘Oh, no! Harry and Trevor have to si gn the clipboard! Tragedy strikes!Â’Â” I laughed, and mentioned, Â“Maybe it will turn into a suspense novel after all.Â” Trevor nodded and returned to his paper. Another time they perused books to research Native American tribes. Harry walked over to Trevor to borrow a pi ece of paper. Trevor looked up at him, crossed his eyes, and stuck his tongue to one side. Harry laughed and Trevor told me, Â“I always make Harry laugh.Â” As the interpreter, Chelsea studied the map to research Native American tribes in their current location. Trevor lowered his voice and said, Â“ TheyÂ’re evil, theyÂ’re going to cannibalize us !Â” Chelsea said that she did not have to be afraid of the Native American tribes that time because only bears and beav ers are in the area. I mentioned that if it were me, I would be afraid of the beavers. Trevor, Harry, and Chelsea
225 laughed, and Trevor said, Â“Hey, bear! W hatever you do, watch out for the beavers! TheyÂ’re dangerous!Â” Raven had walked over to the rug to locate additional books. Trevor skimmed a book on Native Americans that Chelsea had reviewed. He shook in hysterics when he saw a Native Amer ican tribe named Â“Hunkapapa.Â” Raven attempted to stand up from her sitting position on the rug and fell onto her knees. I told her that she should be careful bec ause knee injuries could be painful. She rubbed her right knee, winced, and sat down. Trevor glanced at her, held up his book on Native American tribes, pointed to a subheading, and said, Â“Oh, do you have a Â‘Wounded KneeÂ’?Â” The entire group broke into laughter. Even though they experienced conf lict, the Teepeeshon group did share lighter moments. Many humorous comme nts resulted as they worked on their tasks. One time Ryan reviewed a book on President Jefferson. He held up a picture of him and said, Â“Dude, thatÂ’s Thom as Jefferson?! Man, heÂ’s ugly. I guess the old saying is true Â– people do need make up to look better.Â” He showed the picture to the other group members. Jasmine said, Â“DonÂ’t say that!Â” However, a week later she and another student, Leah, researched Sacajawea for a report. I asked what they had learned, and they responded in a serious tone, Â“We discovered Sacajawea had a unibrow.Â” I must have looked puzzled because they held up the book and said, Â“Here, look!Â”
226 Leah picked up another book and asked Jasmine, Â“Why doesnÂ’t she have a unibrow here?Â” Jasmine shrugged. They giggled and returned to their papers. In JasmineÂ’s report, she omitted th is detail (see Appendix N). Choice enabled differentiated instruction. The Interact teacherÂ’s guide stated that the simulation o ffered differentiated instruct ion through the rotation of roles. Students engaged in all of the language arts such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. As privates, they chose among the following tasks: writing, arts and crafts, mapping, res earch (Vargas, 2000). One of the common themes from Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s intervie ws was that they believed simulations targeted studentsÂ’ different learning modalit ies. I provide a vignette to describe how the students participated in divers e activities in PaulaÂ’s room. The teams had discussed the dilemma and had transitioned to their assigned tasks. The students scattered to diff erent places in the room and began their activities. Paula opened the adj oining door between her class and LindseyÂ’s. As a result, the two rooms fus ed into one as the students traversed to locate resources. Several sat cro ss-legged on the floor and browsed manila folders for information on Native Amer ican tribes. I watched as two students painted an American flag from 1795 on wh ite construction paper. The red and blue paint stained the white tile be cause they did not place newspaper underneath their paper. I noticed two student s shared a paper towel holder to create a rain stick. One sketched sym bols on the left end while the other
227 decorated the right. The royal blue and crimson colors seeped into the cardboard as they worked. One student rummaged under the sink for watercolors as two others searched in the craft box for Popsicle sticks. Many students remained in their seats and wrote journal entries or reread directions for their Corps task. Several assisted one another with privateÂ’s tasks such as, coloring maps or writing journal entries. I notice no one looked around the room aimlessly, and everyone appeared to be focused on their tasks. As I observed the Teepeeshon group, Jasmine threaded beads through dental floss wire to make a Native Amer ican necklace. She plotted her pattern on chart paper as she referred to the diagr am for directions (see Figure 12). John had written one draft for his journal and recopied the final version into the Figure 12. JasmineÂ’s Bead Pattern
228 composition book. Amanda designed a repl ica of Fort Mandan from clay, Popsicle sticks, and toothpicks. She told me, Â“I donÂ’t think itÂ’s very good.Â” I remembered that she had said in an interview that she enjoyed art, but she felt that she was not Â“ good at it.Â” I studied her cr eation for a few minutes. She had molded brown clay into a horse shoe-shaped building with a blue roof. A makeshift Â“doorÂ” opened into a path of yellow clay. Toothpicks lined both sides of the path in a parallel pattern. At the Â“ entranceÂ” she had made a triangle out of two toothpicks. I wondered why she did not think it was Â“good.Â” Teamwork helped Raven. As the vignettes illus trated, often students worked together. Lindsey and Paula stressed that the students sh ould cooperate. Almost every day they reminded the st udents to help one another. Part of the captainÂ’s responsibility was to help the privates, but the st udents other than the captain worked together as well. One time Lindsey reminded the students, YouÂ’re responsible as a writer and as a student. So, do your best. Work with your teammates to help you. You donÂ’t have to be BFFÂ’s, charms, and have a special bracelet to conduc t a writing conference. Discuss how you can improve as a team so that you could be successful and make it to Fort Clatsop. The students usually followed her advice. Within the Trailblazers team, I noticed that Raven demanded the most hel p. Frequently, one of the other team members sat with her when she was a jour nal writer or interpreter. On one occasion, Harry worked with Raven on her interpreter card (see Appendix O).
229 Like Trevor had done with her journal entry he coached her on what to write. They had four books on their desks. Rav en asked, Â“What Indian tribe are we doing?Â” Harry replied, Â“Good question,Â” and picked up a How We Crossed the West book. He traced the trail with the end of a yellow highlighter, and Raven checked the chart to determine the lati tude and longitude of their troupe. She said, Â“We are between 110 and 115 degrees, write 113.Â” Trevor looked up from his journal, and said, Â“ThatÂ’s about right.Â” Based on the location, Harry located the Nez Perce tribe as one that they would encounter. When I interviewed Raven, she expl ained that working in groups helped her to learn because Â“if you donÂ’t know something then you have all these other people to teach you the same stuff.Â” She described how Harry helped her when Mrs. Romano asked her a question: HarryÂ’s like, Â‘CÂ’mon, you can do it!Â’ Â‘Cause heÂ’s like my encouragement. HeÂ’s like, Â‘CÂ’mon, you can raise your hand and answer the question now.Â’ IÂ’m like, Â‘Noooo, IÂ’m too shy.Â’ But, whenever I raise my hand, she calls on me, and IÂ’m like Â‘Okay, what was the answer?Â’Â….Harry slips notes to me, and IÂ’m like, Â‘Oh, yeah, thanks.Â’ Then whenever he raises his hand sometimes he acts like he forgets. Then the teacher looks at me. HeÂ’s like (makes a face and shrugs innocently), that to me. IÂ’m like, Â‘Harry!Â’ Both Harry and Trevor seemed to sens e that Raven required additional help. They did not seem to mind working wit h her, and she benefited from their more
230 advanced writing skills. In any case, Ra ven made an effort and completed her daily responsibilities. RyanÂ’s lack of motivation. In contrast, on several occasions I noticed that Ryan remained idle. He abandoned projects or waited for others to assist him. Even with the support of his teacher and classmates, he often grumbled throughout the simulation. Besides Am anda, his behavior affected Becky and John. Many times his frustration stemmed from writing tasks. For instance, as the private, he decided to write a quiz about Sacajawea for his corps task. When he realized that he had to write ten mult iple choice questions, he said, Â“I ainÂ’t writinÂ’ no written responses.Â” John told him thatÂ’s what multiple choice is, having different responses. Instead, Ryan decided to learn sign l anguage, and Becky and John practiced the hand signals with him. In the second interv iew, he told me he chose to sign the words Â“bat,Â” Â“cat,Â” and Â“SacajaweaÂ” becaus e they were the easiest words with a lot of Â“aÂ’sÂ” in them. I re called that three weeks earlier he had said that he would not choose sign language. A few days la ter, Amanda complet ed the Sacajawea quiz that he disregar ded (see Appendix P). Several times Paula worked with Ryan. When he could not locate information for his interp reter card, Paula sat on the rug with him and looked through manila folders that contained Internet handouts about different tribes. Eventually he did complete his card at home (see Appendix Q). A different day, I observed as Ryan stared at a blank piece of paper in the journal. He complained
231 that he did not know what to write. John tried to help him a few times, but he was consumed with writing his interpreter card. Distracted, Ryan picked up a retractable ruler and stretched it the lengt h of his desk. He estimated the speed of the measuring tape. He a sked, Â“What do you think John?Â” John replied, Â“Maybe 30 miles per hour.Â” Ryan exclaimed, Â“Man, thatÂ’s as fast as a car!Â” He looked at his paper again and complained, Â“I donÂ’t know how to do it!Â” Later, Paula showed him the journal writerÂ’s responsibilities from the Interact student guide. She was patient and supportive, and he listened to her as she explained his duties again. She advised Ryan to conduct a writerÂ’s conference with John. After Ryan wrote a few paragraphs, John examined what Ryan had written and proofread it. He to ld him that he had spelled Missouri wrong and said, Â“Look at it. Make sure all the other words are correct. Make that word lowercase. You need to go and see what else we decided to do.Â” Ryan placed his head on his journal and stared at his desk. Towards the end of the simulation, I noticed that Ryan chose to research the life of Thomas Jefferson as his pr ivateÂ’s task. He had a library book and a few pages from the Internet on the forme r president. However, he reclined into his chair and asked John, Â“Will you help me? Â‘Cause youÂ’re smarter than me.Â” John read the directions and told Ryan to find out when he was born and when he died. A little later, I looked over at Ryan, and he said, Â“I hate writing! I hate writing! I hate writing!Â”
232 I asked, Â“Why did you choose to write a report on Jefferson?Â” John said, Â“I was wondering the same thing.Â” Paula came over and gave Ryan an encyclopedia that had the information for Jefferson. However, she to ld him not to copy it but to rewrite the information in sentence form and to paraphrase it. He looked surprised when he found out that he was going to have to read the report to th e class. A little while later I observed Ryan and John as they leafed through the fo lders that contained privateÂ’s tasks. Ryan wanted to locate a different opti on. John told Ryan, Â“You donÂ’t have much time left. You really should stay with the original task.Â” A few minutes later, Paula said, Â“Everybody should be in final wrap up mode.Â” Amanda and Becky informed me that Ryan was singing and talking about a pop singer named Fantasia. I recorded that Ryan seemed distracted today and seemed disconnected a majority of the time. The students communicated directly and indirectly their frustration with Ryan. On one occasion, Becky gave me her journal entry to read (see Appendix R). I read, Â“Sergeant Harris has been kind of restless and lacking self control and the rest of our Corp is ge tting frustrated with all the nonsence [sic].Â” She opened her eyes wider, and said, Â“ItÂ’s true!Â” Another time, when Ryan was the capt ain, John noticed that Ryan did not complete his responsibilities. John showed Ryan the Task Log and told him, Â“You didnÂ’t mark what Jasmine and Amanda did!Â” Ryan shrugged.
233 John penciled in the girlsÂ’ initials and reviewed RyanÂ’s work. He turned around, faced me, and muttered, Â“Man, Ry an isÂ…Â”. He did not complete his sentence, but I inferred his frustration. My ethical dilemma. In contrast to my observations, Ryan stated in the second interview that no one helped him during the simulation and that he worked on his own. He said that he did not like John and that he Â“hit him onceÂ” a few months ago. He added, Â“Som etimes I want to punch hi m in the teeth so hard, itÂ’s hard to stopÂ…Â”. He grimaced and made a fist when he said the statement. Confused, I mentioned that I thought he and John Â“got along.Â” He repeated Â“No, no, no! Â‘Cause Ms Williams was talkinÂ’ to me, Â‘You gotta get along with yo ur group.Â’ I was only nice for the simulation not for everything else.Â” My initial perception that Ryan admir ed John was incorrect. I considered if Ryan believed that he was being Â“nice.Â” In one journal entry he seemed to enjoy antagonizing Amanda and other members of the team. He had written, Â“I angered Lewis and Clark. I know they w ould do that to [sic]. I guess me and Lewis and Clark think just alike (see Figure 13).
234 Figure 13. RyanÂ’s Journal Entry
235 After RyanÂ’s comments from the inte rview I wondered if I should report what he said to Paula. I was concerned abou t John, but I did not want to repeat what Ryan had said. I had told the students before their interviews that I would keep their interview statements confident ial. Two days later, Ryan punched and shoved John during a kickball game. John pu shed him to stop. As a result, both students received disciplinary referrals. Paula shook her head as she wrote a note of explanation to the A ssistant Principal. In her opinion, Ryan instigated the incident, and John defended himself. She asked me to make a copy of the note and deliver it to the office. I spoke wit h the students as they sat outside the Assistant PrincipalÂ’s office. Later, in my journal, I reflected on the incident: Ironic that both John and Ryan told me independently how they didnÂ’t like each other. Then, today, they got into a fight and ended up in the Assistant PrincipalÂ’s office. John sa t with his eyes red-rimmed, and he seemed genuinely upset. Ryan seemed angry and asked why I had made a copy of the report. I told him for Mrs. WilliamsÂ’ recordsÂ…I wrote in my field notes that I donÂ’t know if I vi olated any ethics by not revealing the fight that occurred today. I kind of k new how angry Ryan wa s, but I didnÂ’t say anything. Should I have? I didnÂ’t w ant to break a confidence. How was I to know that the next day everything would erupt? I did not realize that I would have to face a dilemma extraneous from Lewis and Clark. My unexpected influence. I chose not to act in the situation with John and Ryan. However, I interacted with the st udents after they discussed the dilemma
236 and started their tasks. As they complet ed their duties, I asked questions to clarify my field notes. Sometimes they a sked my opinion about their projects. At times, I offered suggestions. To my surp rise, some of them integrated my ideas into their work. I noticed Harry and Raven Â“borrowedÂ” my comments and included them into their tasks. This appropriati on increased my awarene ss that I impacted the outcome of events to some degree. On two separate occasions, Harry deliberated on what to include in his writing. The first time he wrote a speech to Congress from the perspective of Thomas Jefferson. The purpose of the ta sk was to prepare a speech to Congress and ask them to finance the Lewis and Clark expedition. As he chewed on a pencil eraser, Harry said he did not know what to write. I had visited Monticello two years ago, and I remembered that Thom as Jefferson was a curious person. I shared this information with Harry. He nodded, and I did not think more about the comment. Later, when he read his speech to the class, I heard the phrase, I am a curious man and IÂ’m not about to stand down until I find what is in the West. So, I, the President of t he United States want to explore the West! ItÂ’s your decision so make t he right one and letÂ’s explore the West of America. I noticed Lindsey beamed and applauded w hen she heard this paragraph. She raised her eyebrows when she heard, Â“I am a curious manÂ” and pointed out she especially liked the phrase Â“West of Americ a.Â” For his efforts, she gave him an extra point. Harry mentioned that Trevor suggested that slogan. I deliberated if I
237 had inadvertently affected his grade or gave the team an advantage. My comment influenced his lear ning in that aspect. Another time, he chose to write a persuasive speech titled Â“Equip an ExpeditionÂ” (See Appendix S). From a list of 19 items, he had to select five and convince others why those objects were the most essential. The list included hand saws, a hand compass, steels, syringes, tiny beads, pocket mirrors, forceps, and pliers. As he studied the list he did not know why some items were included. He questioned Â“tiny beads,Â” and Tr evor explained that he would need them for trading. I joked, Â“You should bring a mirror so that you could check your hair. After all, who wants to be in hi story book with bad hair?Â” The team laughed, and again, I dismi ssed the comment. Later, Harry gave me his speech to read (see Appendix T). Among the items, he chose tiny beads Â“to impress the IndiansÂ” and a po cket mirror. He had written, My last and final item was not hing but dun de de dun dun (sound of a drum roll) pocket mirrors for nothing else but (dun de de dun dun) checking your hair. You donÂ’t want to be in a history book with bad hair! Just kidding, that would also be for trading. After the second reference, I r ealized that Harry internalized my statements and that I had to re main aware of that fact. The other time I noticed my influence was with Raven. One time as a private, she decided to complete a cinquain poem on the Nati ve Americans. First, she wrote a draft on notebook paper (see Figure 14).Then, she located a cardboard toilet paper holder and cut
238 it in half. I told her it was a creative idea, and she credited another student for the concept. She rewrote the poem on the fla ttened holder. As she considered what color markers to use, she narrowed the choi ces to red or royal blue. I suggested that she use red because the ink would resemble berries, and Harry agreed. He said that they could pass for crayons because Lewis and Clark brought red and blue crayons on the expedition. When she re wrote the draft, she said, Â“I have to write in my best handwriting.Â” Harry, half-serious, said, Â“Yeah, you better be on your best.Â” Following LindseyÂ’s instruct ions, she wanted to make the poem look Â“old.Â” Therefore, she ripped holes into the cardboard. I remembered that in the dilemma some of their items fell into the water. I sugges ted that she could splash some water onto it for a wrinkled e ffect. She agreed, and her final product included a water stain (see Figure 15). Figure 14 RavenÂ’s First Draft of Cinquain
239 Figure 15. RavenÂ’s Final Draft of Cinquain Like HarryÂ’s project, Lindsey was impr essed by her efforts and rewarded her with an additional point. These three incidents taught me that I had to exercise caution when I observed the groups. In order to st udy how they responded throughout the simulation, I needed to sit with them and lis ten, watch, and interact with them. However, I was not invisible, and I affect ed other areas that I probably did not recognize. Through my observations I noticed emergent patterns of behavior with the teachers and students. These themes c hallenged my notions and precipitated further inquiry and reflection. By the end of the action phase, I had an informed understanding of how the t eachers communicated their beliefs and the students engaged in the content.
240 The Later Stages Throughout the simulation, Lindsey and Paula assessed the students on their writing and performance tasks. They used log books and rubrics to track their studentsÂ’ progress. In addition, t he teams recorded their grades on the CaptainÂ’s Log (see Appendix U). At the end of the simulation, the accumulated points translated to their placement at Fo rt Clatsop. Some t eams arrived at the Pacific Ocean while others lagged behind. For the ten students I studied, the competitive aspect motivated one team and disinterested the ot her. This section explains how the teachers determi ned what students had learned through ongoing assessment, the debriefing, and analysi s of the pretests and posttests. Teacher Assessment Since the teachers used continuous assessment, in the final interview, I asked the teachers how they awarded poi nts for the teams. Both maintained records in a log book and recorded the individualsÂ’ points for every task. Occasionally they wrote comments such as Â“awesome voice of the timeÂ” or Â“good application of factsÂ” next to the studentsÂ’ names. Vargas (2000) suggested teachers rank student work with (a) thr ee points Â– exceeds expectations, (b) two points Â– meets expectations, or (c) one poi nt Â– does not meet expectations. In contrast, Lindsey assigned three points to only two students and Paula did not give anyone a three. They loosely followed the recommended guidelines and considered individualsÂ’ abilities when they awarded points.
241 PaulaÂ’s criteria. Paula explained that Â“neatness, authenticity, completeness, following directions, and looki ng like they put effort into itÂ” were important to her. She stated some students took tasks home to complete. However, others did not. She replied, Â“Some just donÂ’t have that inner drive to do that whether theyÂ’re by them selves or on a team.Â” Because she did not assign three poi nts to anyone, she converted two points to an A grade and one point to a B or C grade. If students did not complete the task they received a zero. For one st udent who had a writing disability, Paula made accommodations. She related, One of my students who has a difficult time writing, he ended up writing two things and taking it homeÂ…That was an exemplary exhibit of his knowledge or his ability. He has a hard time writing, so, that was good for him...He had team members that were encouraging him and helping him and telling him, Â‘Well, maybe you need to do this, this, and this,Â’ but, itÂ’s just the kidsÂ’ personality. ItÂ’s a whole bunch of different things that go into how that all pans out. Often Paula awarded grades for more than one subject. For instance, she would count a journal entry for writing and soci al studies. She explained that because of the integrated content, they received grades for both areas. LindseyÂ’s criteria. Like Paula, Lindsey assign ed grades for more than one subject. She said that she did not enjoy grading but disciplined herself to grade student work every day to hold the students accountable. In part, her frustration stemmed from the Â“compartmentalize an d departmentalizeÂ” sections on report
242 cards. Due to the nature of integration, she thought it was problematic to relegate a grade to an individual subject area. She regarded the log book as a useful resource because it helped her to rememb er the different components of the simulation. In the third interview, I asked her to describe her thoughts when she assessed student work. She replied, I definitely look at quality. I look at, in some cases, quantity, if they were supposed to do some sort of research on Thomas Jefferson or something, two sentences out of fifth grade at this level isnÂ’t appropriateÂ…With a lot of the art activities, quality and aest hetics came into mindÂ…but also capability. I knew with some students -that although a rubric is supposed to be something thatÂ’s set in stone -and I knew for some students, no, this wasnÂ’t necessarily a two, but Â…I knew that this was way above and beyond for them. So, thatÂ’s kind of w here itÂ’s a little bit subjective. Just as Paula considered studentsÂ’ abilit ies, Lindsey assessed individuals based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Debriefing Both teachers allotted time to di scuss the simulation after the final dilemma. In the literature on simulations, researchers regard the debriefing stage as one of the most important. During this stage the students transform what they had experienced to learning. Vargas ( 2000) stated that the Lewis and Clark simulation targets knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Students gain knowledge of the expedition, geography, and discoveries Students practice their reading, writing, and geography skills. Also, st udents may value teamwork, understand
243 the importance of the j ourney, and the impact of t he human spirit. During the debriefing, I noticed that the studentsÂ’ comments alig ned with these areas. To record these exchanges, I obser ved and audiotaped PaulaÂ’s lesson. At the same time, I asked a student to videotape LindseyÂ’s session. Occasionally, I entered LindseyÂ’s room to ensure that the student did not have any questions about the video camera. On this day, the students received their final miles and the teachers announced the teams who traveled the farthest. Paula facilitated the discussion. Before Paula started the debriefing, she announced the mileage that they had earned from the final dilemma. The students calculated their miles and mov ed their pushpins along the trail to determine the order that t he teams finished. The capt ain of each team convened by the bulletin board and compared thei r points. I noticed that Paula had rearranged their seats in t hat teams were no longer sitting together. Ryan faced the wall towards the front of the class, John, Becky, and Amanda sat together on the left side near the back, and Jasmine was seated towards the front on the right. When Paula announced the final plac ement, I perceived th e outcome to be anticlimactic. The teams who placed in the top three did not cheer or celebrate. I noticed the Teepeeshon placed fourth out of the six teams. When I interviewed the students later, none of them knew t heir correct placement. Ryan and Jasmine said they placed second, John guessed se cond or third, and Amanda mentioned first, second or third. I thought their disinterest was curious, especially in comparison to the TrailblazerÂ’s reaction.
244 Paula led a discussion in two par ts because the students attended their P.E. special. For the first half of th e debriefing, the students remained at their desks, and Paula asked questions at the front of the r oom. For the second half after they returned from special, many students moved to the rug. Paula sat in a blue chair. She began, IÂ’m going to ask you a couple of questions. I want you to think about it, and then if you have an answer that y ou would like to contribute, IÂ’d like everybody to raise their hand. My first question is, think about it. Think about working as a team. I know we Â’ve learned a lot about the Corps of Discovery, but what characteristic do you think was important for the members of the Corps of Discovery to have? Meaning, what personal things or like, or what kind of peopl e do you think that they needed to be in order to get this basic feat accomplished? The students mentioned traits such as bravery, teamwork, mapping skills, strength, and responsibility. After eac h student commented, Paula restated their thoughts and asked some to elaborate. Fo r example, after one person mentioned intelligence, she asked why he felt that wa y. He replied, Â“Because there were so many obstacles that they had to know how to go around and you had to figure out what to do.Â” He considered The Gr eat Falls to be an obstacle. Becky added the Fork in the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Others believe d friendliness and trustworthiness towards the Native Americans were important. Then, Paula asked, Â“In your opinion, what do you think the most important contributions that Lewis and Clark did for our country? Contributions meaning
245 what did they do to make our country what it is? What is something you think they did?Â” Several students answered the explorat ion of the Louisiana Purchase, the land west of the Mississippi, making peac e with the Native Americans, and locating different plants and animals. When Paula asked about their favorite roles, they mentioned every one. They seemed to prefer the roles of jour nal writer and interpreter more than the captain and private. Jasm ine mentioned that she liked the journal writer because Â“you got better and better as time went on.Â” Paula answered, Â“I agree with you our interpreter cards and our journals got better and better as time went on and you got into it, and what was expected. You did an awesome job.Â” Another added that he liked the interpreter because he enjoyed learning about the Native Americans. Paula reminded them of the prereadi ng activity that they had completed several weeks before. In the third interview, Paula shared, The debriefing was, to me, justÂ…trying to find out what they liked about it, what they didnÂ’t like -I was really su rprised that a lot of them liked doing those interpreter and journals. Because a lot of times kids, you know, the writing, and there were kids that liked to do the privatesÂ’ tasks but there were a lot more people that said they liked the jour nal writing and the interpreter card than I had ant icipated to be honest with you. As the discussion continued she introduced a variety of topics. One addressed the level of realism within their roles. One student mentioned the
246 actual privates did not make boats out of clay. John thought, Â“A little bit real figuring out the problems like math and stu ff but really not very real with the physical part.Â” Another commented, Â“We were just doi ng it in effect towards our grades, but theyÂ’re doing it for t he future of America.Â” Paula clarified that the privates in the original ex pedition would not complete written tasks and asked why. O ne student answered, Â“They didnÂ’t know how to read and write.Â” Paula reminded them that they had st udied this issue all year. She said, We talked about that. Schooling was not a priority. If you were rich, you definitely went to school. Some of you might think that was pretty cool, but in reality, many of those expediti on and Corps people might not know how to read and write. So, thatÂ’s why their duties ended up being the worker bees. Towards the end, Paula asked them to consider the diversity of the Corps of Discovery. The students believed that if a team conducted the same trip in 2005, they would invite more women and people of color. However, Paula stated that ClarkÂ’s slave, York, and Sacagawea voted on where the team would spend the winter. She asked, Â“Why is it si gnificant that York and Sacajawea were allowed to vote? Now remember th is takes place in 1805. Kayla?Â” One African American student answer ed, Â“You were allowed to have an opinion.Â”
247 Another African American male added, Â“They probably had a better idea to spend the night in the winter because Sacajawea was Indian.Â” Paula restated that in 1805 women we re not allowed to vote. Then, she asked, Â“Do you think William Clark treated York like your pictur e of a slave, how a slave was treated?Â” One student answered, Â“No, because he wasnÂ’t like a slave, he was a member on the expedition w ho helped them find stuff.Â” Another student said, Â“an equal as his friend and worker.Â” Jasmine replied, Â“He wa s treated with respect.Â” Paula concluded her debriefing with a s hort speech. In part, she told them: Ms. Romano and I were talking when you were at P.E. today. I hope when you get to eighth grade, and youÂ’ll a ll get to eighth grade some time soon. You will study American history in the eighth grade and you will study again as a junior in high schoolÂ…WeÂ’re hoping when you get to eighth grade that you will remember so much about this that you will just Â‘wowÂ’ your teachers when they start ta lking about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and you will tell them all t hese little tidbits youÂ’ve learned. I know itÂ’s possible because IÂ’ve had children come back that have done different simulations, and they talk about, Â‘Oh, yeah, I remember!Â’ and they can remember that stuff. Becaus e of the way, the style that you got into it. You were doing a task, you were sampling the journal writing, the interpreter card. So, you actually got to become involved in it. When youÂ’re involved in it, it kind of sticks a lot better than if you just read about it.
248 PaulaÂ’s comment affirmed one of the majo r reasons she used simulations: learn the material for l ong-term retention. The Trailblazers mobilized. In contrast to the subdued reaction in PaulaÂ’s team when they calculated their placem ents, the Trailblazers formulated a strategy. Harry and Trevor recognized t hat they could place first, and they developed a plan. Each mem ber would locate additional research in order to receive bonus points. The extra points would result in increased mileage. The day before, Trevor explained to me: We went 330 miles today and what weÂ’r e going to do is today, weÂ’re going to do a really good job on our journal. No t just the journal but with all of our stuff. And weÂ’re going to get res earchÂ…that will be five bonus. So, we should get to the Pacific by tomorrow Â…If we could get what we want we could get six or seven degrees bec ause that would be really amazing. Today we only got six. The day of the debriefing, I waited to learn if their idea worked. Lindsey asked each team to stand as she alloca ted their points. For each team, she announced their final points and the total num ber of expedition cards, bonus, and penalty cards they received. When she turned to the Trailblazers, she complimented HunterÂ’s writing and Â“great voice,Â” Harry and TrevorÂ’s speeches, and ChelseaÂ’s postcard. She said, Â“I hear d them strategizing and other teams did this as well. Each person brought in research so that they could receive bonus cards. The team received eight regular points and four bonus for a total of twelve.Â”
249 Harry placed his hands on his head and spun in front of his chair. Trevor kneeled down slightly and rose again. He opened his mouth to a narrow Â“O.Â” In comparison, most of the other teams received six or seven cards. Harry and Trevor appeared to be the most excited as each person reached into the bin and retrieved two cards. Harry accidentally re ceived an extra card, and told Lindsey twice. She did not hear him and moved to another team. He followed her and said, Â“I had an extra.Â” I admired his honesty especially because I knew that they wanted to place first. After each team received their points, they huddl ed together and added their mileage with calculators. In cont rast to LindseyÂ’s class, the students seemed eager to discover their placements. They waited impatiently for their turn at the map on the bulletin board. Some boun ced in their seats while others paced the floor. When I entered the room to ta lk to the student videotaping, Harry rushed over to me and said, Â“We received 12 points! All of us brought in research except Hunter because his printer wasnÂ’t working.Â” I asked him which place they were in, and he said that he didnÂ’t know yet. A few moments later, they had their turn at the map on the bulletin board. Hunter, Trevor, Harry, Chelsea, and Rav en scurried over to the chart and moved their pushpin. They realized that t hey had tied for first. They exchanged high-fives and hugs. Trevor and Harry walk ed over to the camera, and Trevor said, Â“Everybody ready? OkayÂ…Â”. Together, Trevor and Harry flung their arms out, and said, Â“Oh, the joy!Â” Hunter repeated, Â“Oh, the joy!Â”
250 Harry exclaimed, Â“We m ade it to the Pacific!Â” Trevor danced back to his chair. They echoed the phrase Â“Oh, the jo y!Â” from LewisÂ’ journal entry dated November 7, 1805. Â“Ocean in view! Oh! T he joy. This great Pacific Ocean which we have been so long anxious to see, and the roaring noise made by waves breaking on rocky shores may be heard di stinctlyÂ” (Schanzer, 1997, p. 34). In a later interview, Harry told me, Â“We all worked especially good the last two days. We really wanted to win. We all were focused and it really helped us.Â” I told Lindsey I thought it was inte resting how they had planned a strategy to assume the lead. She smiled widely and said she noticed the quality increased the final day. Many students brought in bonu s items in an attempt to surpass others. Later, I asked Lindsey about the competitive a nd cooperative aspects of the simulation. She compared the rela tionship as a symbiotic one. She explained, I guess to me, part of the whole immers ion philosophy is the reality of it. ThereÂ’s the historical reality and then thereÂ’s the present reality and thereÂ’s the future reality. And the reality is thatÂ’s what life is. ItÂ’s competition. Those people were competing as well, so to speak, andÂ…I think itÂ’s important becauseÂ…(sighs) they need to be able to realize that in order for a competition whether it be academic, whether it be in the business world, whether it to be spor ts, that competition to be of any successÂ…you have to work together. I think those two things are just really important.
251 Lindsey facilitated the discussion. Lindsey called teams to join her at the rug for the debriefing session. She sat in a chair facing the students as they sat cross-legged on the floor. Two teams st ayed at their desks and turned their chairs to face Lindsey. She said, Â“You m ade it. Give yourselves a hand, please.Â” She smiled and applauded with them. She raised her arms and said, Â“Raise your hand if youÂ’re the bright green tack.Â” The Trailblazers raised their hands She applauded in the air, and said, Â“Everyone say good job, Team Six.Â” They repeated her request. She looked at the Trailblazers, and sa id, Â“I want to know something, and Ms. Gauweiler said something, and I want to know. You werenÂ’t always in the lead, were you?Â” The Trailblazers shook their heads and uttered, Â“No.Â” She asked, Â“So, what happened, w hat did you all decide to do?Â” Harry raised his hand and mentioned, Well, one day we got a penalty card, and it was our first penalty card, and um, and we only got 95 miles. So, we like, from then on there were only two days left. We were in the lead before then but we lost the lead with our penalty card. And we just started focusing. He held the teamÂ’s journal while he spoke. He asked his team, Â“Does anyone want to say anything?Â”
252 Trevor added, Â“The second to last day, everybody was doing really good and we ended up getting eleven cards. The next day, we were like, we have to get so many cards, everybodyÂ’s gotta bring in research and that worked out.Â” Lindsey asked what characteristi cs enabled them to receive the cards. Harry answered, Â“Teamwork,Â” and Trevor re plied, Â“Reliability. We relied on each other to bring in that research.Â” Lindsey nodded again and stated, Â“T eamwork and reliability. So those might be two words weÂ’re talking about to be in the 1800Â’s on the Corps team. Definitely reliabilityÂ…like what, what is reliability?Â” She pointed to a student. He said, Â“ItÂ’s like being able to count on people.Â” Lindsey continued, Â“What other char acteristics did they have to have?Â” One student answered, Â“Knowledge. They had to have knowledge about different things and they had to have the knowledge of what other peopleÂ’s limitations were.Â” She said, Â“Having knowledge of di fferent peopleÂ’s limitations and not making fun of other people. Also knowi ng that someone may not be strong in an area, but being able to grasp theirÂ….?Â” He replied, Â“Their abilitiesÂ…talents.Â” She opened her eyes wider and gesticulated with her arm when she emphasized, We know there were certain people on the trip who had specific talents, like they could go out and scout and look at tracks. But, then that person may not be good at, like Augustus Pelle tierÂ…writing. Not everyone at that
253 time was good at writing. So, I love how you worded thatÂ…knowing their limitations and their talents. After twenty minutes of sharing other traits like, confidence, determination, attentiveness, and courage, Harry raised his hand. He said, Â“IÂ’d like to compliment Team Five. Even though they di dnÂ’t place, I thought their teamwork was very good. They didnÂ’t place but Â– Â“. The class laughed, and Harry blushed. Lindsey encouraged, Â“No, I think this is interesting.Â” He continued, Â“They didnÂ’t place, I think Joanna got the only three I think, but you were always saying they had such great journal entries and everything.Â” He looked over at the oppos ing team when he spoke. Lindsey said, Â“Yes, it didnÂ’t matte r who the journal writer was, the interpreterÂ…they always showcased qual ity and their best with that. ItÂ’s good you werenÂ’t like, Â‘Oh, my team won,Â’ and inst ead stating that you think they worked together the best.Â” After HarryÂ’s compliment, severa l other students began to praise one another. Lindsey smiled and commended them fo r their courtesy. She said, Â“ItÂ’s great that people are not acting Â‘too c ool for schoolÂ’ about saying that some teams worked well together.Â” She stated that she noticed one team st ruggled but then they improved. Trevor mentioned, Â“I think we star ted off with extremely bad teamwork. Every single dilemma we would get into giant arguments and we would spend 40 or 45 minutes, all of our time and Harry and I would argue.Â”
254 Lindsey nodded and stated that some times others could not begin their work until they had made a decision. Trevor replied, Â“It would always be we would get really mad at each other, we wouldnÂ’t talk, and the next day, we became friends. Then, weÂ’d get mad at each other again, and then eventually we agreed on the last one.Â” Hunter, Trevor, and Harry laughed as Chelsea and Raven smiled knowingly. Several students giggled. Chelsea quietly stated, Â“IÂ’d al so say patience was important.Â” Lindsey asked why because patie nce was not a word that had been mentioned. Chelsea explained that the co rps members had to have patience with one another. If they did no t, the team would split apar t, and their dilemmas would not be resolved. Lindsey affirmed her co mment and connected it to teamwork. As the debriefing continued, Lindsey said that she would like to learn what their favorite roles were and why. Like PaulaÂ’s students, t hey mentioned every role. Harry said his entire team liked being the journal writer because Â“you got to express what you think and you got to experi ence the feelings of what it would be like to write through 1804 to 1806.Â” Linds ey commented that several people experimented with dialect, mi sspelled words on purpose, or wrote in a different style for their journal entries. On a related point, Sarah stated that she enjoyed journal writing because each person could state their opinion and choose their topic. Lindsey agreed and explained journal writers could express their perspectives and mention opposing comments. Harry added, Â“Yeah, itÂ’s like hav ing to write a Florida Writes essay
255 about Â‘Tell about the time you ate turkey.Â’ With this, we had more choice over the topic.Â” Lindsey and several students laughed. Lindsey mentioned that in school, often writers have limited choice. Raven shared, I donÂ’t really like writing. The first ti me I had to do the journal writing I was like, Â‘Man I wish I was captain.Â’ For me writing is really boring. But once I started doing the journaling I really liked it, and I didnÂ’t want to be the interpreter. I wanted to stay the journal writer. Lindsey smiled at her and added, Â“Sometim es itÂ’s good to take away those negative thoughts in order to enjoy the experience.Â” Like Paula, Lindsey expressed her belief that they would retain the information over time. She explained, You all gained a lot of knowledge just like the people going out to unknown lands gained a lot of knowle dge. I promise you, Mrs. Williams and I were talking about this, when you go to eighth grade, you will be the kings and queens of Lewis and Clark. If you all read just a few pages about it, you wouldnÂ’t know as much as actually having to solve the same problems and so forth. She concluded the debriefing and comp limented them on their teamwork, success, and problem-solving. The students applauded loudly. I compared LindseyÂ’s debriefing to a celebration. Like Paula, she conducted her debriefing in two parts becaus e of the studentsÂ’ special. However, they did not leave for art until 20 minut es past their scheduled time. When she
256 returned for her planning time, sh e told Paula, Â“Can I just tell you that I just love my class right now?Â” She was impressed with their comp liments during the deb riefing, and how Harry triggered a Â“compliment chainÂ” am ong the students. I hav e to admit it was touching, and perhaps that wa s the reason that she did not dismiss them for art on time. Perhaps she did not want the moment to pass. In an interview, Lindsey reiterat ed that she was Â“movedÂ” during the debriefing. She said that she knew that she would be videotaped, and she was initially concerned how the discussion would proceed because the end of the school year was close. After she chose some debriefing topi cs from the Interact guide, she asked the students to record their thoughts as a team. She recalled, So, when it started, and they were really hoo-rahing for the people who tied. I saw them kind of at ease and t hen, I was like, okay -see a lot of times they play off you -and I thin k I let my guard down. They felt more comfortable and I was honestly shocked with the maturity ofÂ…their insightÂ…A lot of them went to these application levels, and I was like, Â‘Oh, LordÂ…I mean, this is, this is, why, this is the whyÂ’! They werenÂ’t just spouting off the facts. Those are important from a historical perspective and that they move on in high school and college. ItÂ’s important that they know these components of history. Ho wever, itÂ’s also important for them to get the why behind it. I feel like with a lot of them they got itÂ…how the teamworking and how important that was and they were making associations even though it took plac e in room 230. When I was reading
257 my debriefing notes (my field notes) it gave me chills because I was thinking (makes a sigh) they are jus t, they got itÂ…itÂ’s like those moments when youÂ’re like, Â‘Oh, I wish t here was a cameraÂ’ and there was! The debriefing informed LindseyÂ’s belief that students increased their knowledge of the subject. Yet, the camaraderie within her group affected LindseyÂ’s perception that the student sÂ’ understanding transcended facts. Although emotion cannot be measured with numbers, knowledge can. Pretests and Posttests Besides the debriefing, Lindsey and Paula assessed student learning through posttests. They distributed a blank copy of the pretest and recorded the scores as a test grade (see Table 4). Lindsey said that the posttest served as Â“getting kind of a baseline of recollection, Â” but she did not elaborate. I perceived that the informal assessment through t he debriefing impressed her more. In contrast, Paula seemed less enamored wit h the debriefing and more enthusiastic about the posttests. In the third interview, she explained that she Â“felt like they learned a lot,Â” and she was Â“very impressed with the posttests.Â” Sh e reiterated, Â“I think the true test would be, if you we re to ask them a few years from nowÂ” because they should be Â“Lewis and Clark experts.Â”
258 Table 4. Comparison of StudentsÂ’ Scores on Pretests and Posttests STUDENT PRETEST POSTTEST POINTS GAINED Amanda 30 88 +58 Becky 30 87 +57 Jasmine 13 77 +64 John 58 95 +37 Ryan 0 70 +70 Chelsea not available 90 unknown Harry 28 90 + 62 Hunter 15 73 +58 Raven 12 73 +61 Trevor 20 90 +70 Based on the studentsÂ’ scores, they increased their factual knowledge about the expedition. In addition, the debr iefing sessions informed the teachers of student opinions and atti tudes. Throughout the simulation Lindsey and Paula evaluated their students based on their work samples and behaviors. They expressed their hopes that students would remember what they had learned. The StudentsÂ’ Thoughts In order to understand the ten studentsÂ’ opinions about simulations, I interviewed them three times over the eight weeks. I asked open-ended questions to learn their beliefs about si mulations. I summarized their prior
259 experiences with simulations and how they define them, their thoughts on their roles during the action phase, and what they learned from their participation in the Lewis and Clark simulation. Characterizing Simulations In the first interview, I asked t he students if they had participated in simulations before they entered fifth-grade. John and Ryan said that their fourth grade teacher at Miller used simulations and Jasmine thought she might have participated in a writing one. Raven com pared simulations as a type of learning center, and remembered that in second grade she explored math centers with stuffed animals. The other six st udents said that they had not. When Lindsey introduced simulations for the first time, the students felt excited and thought that it would be Â“f unÂ” and Â“cool.Â” Jasmine credited her excitement to PaulaÂ’s. S he recalled, Â“The way she explained it she was like really happy and it made me happy. So, I was like excited, and I just wanted to go for it.Â” On a related point, Harry commented, Â“Most teachers bring out this big, big history book (holds hands a foot apart) and they just say, Â‘Okay, read this page, tell me how you feel, read the next pageÂ…Â’. We got to actually relive history.Â” Similarly, John said, Â“I really like themÂ…because of the factÂ…you actually get to research it and re-enact what they did to find out what they did.Â” Chelsea explained, Â“You re-enact whatÂ’s in history and like, it shows what people did when they were in real life.Â”
260 Like Harry and John, Trevor, Amanda, Becky, Raven, and Chelsea mentioned that they would rather participate in a simulation than read through a textbook. Ryan defined simulations as Â“an activity we do so we can learn about the chapter more better and we can also have fun and learn.Â” However, he remembered when Paul a explained the first simulation on Pilgrims he felt Â“nervous.Â” He said, Â“I wa s afraid that I would mess it up. Because usually I mess a lot of things up.Â” I asked him to clarify what he meant by Â“mess it up.Â” He continued, Â“Sometimes I likeÂ…feel lik e I ruin it. I like, say, I donÂ’t like, get things rightÂ…I donÂ’t understand it.Â” When I read RyanÂ’s summary for a member-check in the third interview, he told me to change the word Â“nervous Â” to Â“excited.Â” We discussed how the words Â“nervousÂ” and Â“excitedÂ” could be rela ted. For this reason, I included the original quotation with his revision. In general, the students reported that they liked simulations. Raven, Amanda, and Harry specifically stated that they enjoyed learning. Amanda mentioned, Â“I like, basically learning what happened and the choices they made. ItÂ’s interesting because sometimes they donÂ’t make very sm art decisions. ItÂ’s kind of funny.Â” Harry said, Simulations really help you because it Â’s a lot easier for students to focus when theyÂ’re trying to win somethi ng or being competitive and also, I
261 mean, when theyÂ’re having fun itÂ’s a lot easier. AndÂ…I think I could speak for a lot of other kids by saying that, too. I noticed that like Harry, John, and Ryan us ed phrases such as Â“other kidsÂ” to speak for their peers. Through this l anguage, I perceived t hat they regarded themselves as spokespersons for Â“other kids.Â” For example, when I asked what they disliked about simulations, John replied, I think every kid in the world would say work. Even though itÂ’s fun workÂ…the whole thingÂ’s fun, but IÂ’d say the least fun part, even though itÂ’s still funÂ…is like writing down the stuff. Although I like doing it. Although there are some parts of the work that I like more than doing, like the private stuff. I like doing that sometime s. Sometimes if IÂ’ve got the choice between doing that and going outside? If thereÂ’s something I really like, like building the keelboat? I migh t do that instead of going outside. Besides JohnÂ’s comment, most of the students did not report negative opinions when I asked, Â“What do you like the least about simulations?Â” Harry said he did not like the review of la titude and longitude because he remembered it, and Ryan mentioned Â“the confusing stu ffÂ” such as the CaptainÂ’s Log. Becky stated that some students do not enjoy certain roles in the simulation like the interpreter. In addition, Amanda, Raven, and Jasmine commented working in teams could be difficult. Jasmine thought, Â“S ometimes when we have to work in groups and I donÂ’t feel like it, then someti mes I get upset. But I put all that down and I start working.Â”
262 They elaborated on these less positive issues when I asked specific questions about their roles. Reflecting on the Roles Lindsey and Paula had conducted the debriefing before I interviewed the students a second time. Therefore, afte r the second interview I compared my field notes to their interviews and work sa mples. Nine of the t en studentsÂ’ beliefs coincided with these three sources. However, I noticed that RyanÂ’s comments contradicted some of his actions in the classroom. When the students discussed their roles, I learned that their opinions varied. Their inte rests and abilities appeared to influence their opinions when they were the captain, journal writer, interpreter, and private. Captain. Hunter thought the captainÂ’s job was Â“easyÂ” because his responsibilities were to determine the la titude and longitude, help the interpreter, and ask the privates to write down t he tasks that they did. He seemed dispassionate about this role, in comparis on to Trevor, Raven, and John. Trevor stated that the captain was his favorite ta sk. He liked that he could make the final decision for the dilemma and t hat he could Â“float around.Â” Raven said, Â“I really liked it. Â‘Cause you get to do math, and I love math, and then you could help people. I love helping people Â‘cause I always buy a helpful card to go help the kindergarteners.Â” In addition, Becky, Chelsea, Harry, Ryan, and John stated that they enjoyed helping others.
263 Ryan commented, Â“ItÂ’s pretty fun becaus e you get to help people with their things, with like their projects and then itÂ’s like you can help them, the interpreter, and the private if theyÂ’re having trouble.Â” In contrast, I never observed Ryan help anyone on his team. On the other hand, JohnÂ’s thought s matched his behaviors during the simulation. He replied, I liked that one the most. Â‘Cause I lik e being in charge. I donÂ’t like being bossy, but I like having a little bit of command. LikeÂ…my dad always says IÂ’m a good leader. He says, I just kind of got that personalityÂ…All the time IÂ’m either the captain of the football team Â‘cause I like, or if weÂ’re doing groups, I might say, Â‘Oh, youÂ’re going to do thisÂ’ and I might take charge. He added that he enjoys debating and composing a Â“a good reason to agree not to do this.Â” He explained, I might have to defend one thing even t hough I want the other thing to win. I can make up a whole speech about how that thing should winÂ…I like trying to persuade people and fighting for what I think is right. Even if I donÂ’t think itÂ’s right, I just have to think itÂ’s right. I remembered his passionate plea for the students to choose the Yellowstone River or the Missouri. For other dilemmas, he often led the discussions. Likewise, Amanda said that she thought it was fun to be Â“in chargeÂ” as the captain. In contrast, Harry stated it was Â“kind of boringÂ” because he had limited responsibilities. Ryan thought it was di fficult to determine the latitude and longitude. Jasmine expressed annoyance wit h the CaptainÂ’s Log. She received a
264 penalty card one time since she figured an incorrect equation. She recalled, Â“Everybody started messing up and doing the wrong thingÂ… Someone put down a different one, and I got a zero because I put dow n the wrong thing. And I did everything and worked real hard on it.Â” Journal writer. Of the four tasks, the students reported that they enjoyed this role the most. Jasmine explained she Â“loved itÂ” because she could Â“write, write, and then write.Â” In fact, everyone except Ryan stated that it was their favorite or that they liked it a lot. Ry an commented that the role was his least favorite because it was Â“hard.Â” He added that he would not want that role again. Hunter said that he did not like writing, but he t hought the role was Â“fun.Â” Becky, Harry, Chelsea, Amanda, and Trevor commented that they liked having the freedom to choose their topi c and to express their thoughts. Becky said, Â“I liked writing about the fee lings of what happened in the group and anything we wanted to write about -what we thought.Â” Trevor stated, Â“You got to express how you felt, if it didnÂ’t go your way? Say, this person wasnÂ’t doing that great and he really got on my nerves. And you really got to get it off your chest, you know?Â” Likewise, Harry stated that he Â“h ad the power to write people up,Â” and Raven said she felt like, Â“IÂ’m the teacher and you get to like write people down.Â” Harry and Raven laughed when they made these comments, but I believed that they enjoyed their authorit y, even when their entries aggravated members of their group.
265 Chelsea and Harry shared that they liked writing in a different voice. Chelsea explained, Â“I thought it was cool because you got to express yourself and try to make your point of view from back then. You wrote in a different way, not how you would talk in 2005 but in 1806.Â” Harry said that he identified with the characters through writing, a sentiment he had expressed befor e. He stated, Â“You just get to feel what it would have been like in 1804 through 1806. And so itÂ’s pretty cool. That was my favorite.Â” Harry and John remarked that t hey liked taking notes before they wrote their entries. Interpreter. Even though the interpreter shared similarities with the journal writer, this role divided the students on a range from extreme dislike to enjoyment. Hunter, Harry, Becky, and Chelsea liked conducting research on Native American tribes, and Hunter enj oyed describing the geography of the land. Jasmine, Becky, and Raven apprecia ted the artistic component. Jasmine said, Â“I really liked the interpreter because we got to write to the President. Mine was just plain on the first one. My day seven was really, really awesome, it was like a two-pointer.Â” Ryan stated that he thought the role was Â“easy.Â” On the other hand, Amanda and John said that the interpreter was their least favorite task. Both stated that t hey had difficulty locating information in the folders and on the computer. Even though he considered himself as a Â“straight-A writer,Â” John replied, Â“It gets very confusing when thereÂ’ s all these tribes except youÂ’re not exactly sure which is where and which is which.Â”
266 Harry added, Â“A lot of people didnÂ’t lik e it. To me it was average, because it was in betweenÂ…I didnÂ’t really like writing the postcard.Â” Raven stated at times she interchanged the role of interpreter with journal writer. In the beginning s he was confused. When she was writing her journal, she remembered that Trevor helped her. She re called their conversation as follows: I said, Â‘Trevor, what am I supposed to do? I donÂ’t get it! Â‘DearÂ…Dear What, who am I writin g to? Am I writing to the President?Â’ And then TrevorÂ’s like, Â“No, youÂ’re writing to the j ournal not the President. ThatÂ’s the interpreter! Darn interpreter.Â’ Â‘Cause he hates the interpreter. Trevor affirmed her comment in the sec ond interview. He flatly stated, Â“The interpreter? Hated it. I hated doing that one because itÂ’s just soÂ…not really fun you just write there and you just write all this stuff about the Native Americans.Â” Private. The role of private and the journal writer shared similarities. They both involved choice and the students could work with others. In addition, some tasks required writing and research. Hunter thought that his favorite task was when he researched LewisÂ’ Newfoundland dog Seamen (see Appendix V). He discovered that the only it em that remained from the dog was his collar. When he grows older, he may name his future dog or cat Seamen because Â“itÂ’s a cool name.Â” Besides Hunter, Harry, Becky, Ja smine, Amanda, and Trevor chose writing activities for their privatesÂ’ tasks. For instance, Jasmine commented, My favorite activity was writing the biography of SacajaweaÂ…like her brother of the chief was her older brother not her younger brother. Her
267 grandmother died because she fell down and she was really weak when they traveled. She really wanted to travel with Lewis and Clark to see where the sunÂ’s tipi was, where the sun came from. Ryan did not want to write a repor t, but he claimed that no other tasks were left. On the contrary, I counted nine unclaimed choices. In the second interview, Ryan said, Â“I donÂ’t like writ ing. I had to write a report. Ugh.Â” I asked why he chose the task, and he answered in a high voice, Â“It was the only thing! I looked through every single section except for writing. I hate writing. I wanted to do that last. Ugh!Â” Becky and Raven preferred to work with clay, but other students had chosen those activities. Amanda constructed a fort and Ryan and Chelsea had created keelboats. Instead, Becky paint ed a flag and Raven designed a rain stick. Even though Trevor did not learn sign language, he considered it his favorite task. Besides that, he and J ohn liked the challenge task of a coded message, one of the most difficult options. Harry had a different perspective on the privateÂ’s role. Through his behavior in the classroom, I observed t hat he was a sociable person and enjoyed collaboration. In the se cond interview, he said, I liked private a lot because you got to choose what you were going to do and stuff. But sometimes it felt like you werenÂ’t really part of the group because you were just doing the work. And then everybody else was helping each other and you werenÂ’t getting any help or anything. You couldnÂ’t help anyone, and sometimes it didnÂ’t feel like you were exactly
268 part of the group. But it was fun doing all the work. Like I did two speeches and a biography and that was fun. Reporting What They Had Learned At the end of the simulation, I ask ed the students, Â“What have you learned as a result of doing this simulation?Â” I had copies of their pretests and posttests, teacher observations, and my field notes I compiled their thoughts into the subcategories of historical knowledge, Native Amer icans, teamwork, making connections, and transformations. Historical knowledge. All of the students except Hunter mentioned that they increased their overall knowledge of Lewis and Clark. Others cited specific details. For example, Jasmine learned about the Louisiana Territory, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Thomas Jefferson. Becky and Amanda claimed that they did not realize the difficulty of cr ossing the Bitterroot Mountain s. Chelsea identified with the members of the expedition and expressed that she ex perienced their feelings when they discussed the dilemmas. She said Â“I just knew they traveled West. Then I learned some of the dilemmas when they had to choose between horses and their rifles and if they wanted to go down the ravine or up a mountain.Â” Harry and John commented that they knew a minimal amount of information in the beginning. Harry remembered he missed 17 questions on the pretest. John replied, IÂ’ve learned a lot about Lewis and Clark. Â‘Cause IÂ’ve always wanted to learn about Lewis and ClarkÂ…I learned a lot about how they lived and how
269 they did the trip, how they work ed together, and how they and the people that were there overcame hardships and obstacles. Raven echoed LindseyÂ’s statement during the debriefing that she would retain the information over time. She believed that it would help her in the future. She said, I learned a lot. I keep on rewinding back, back in time sometimes. Whenever IÂ’m in eighth grade I feel lik e IÂ’m going to be raising my hand up a lot on all this stuff. I feel really c onfident, like, if I take tests when IÂ’m in eighth grade or college or someth ing, about Lewis and Clark, I think I would do really good on it. Other peopl e donÂ’t really have experience with this stuff, so this is like a new thing theyÂ’ve never did last year or anything. So, this is really something really new. Then theyÂ’ve never had the experience and, I donÂ’t want to say IÂ’ m better than them, but I might grow up and have like a better job or something, but I donÂ’t mean that in a bad way, like IÂ’m better than you. Teamwork. The students and teachers learned the dynamics of teamwork and how group members influenced one anot her. Hunter mentioned that he learned, Â“Teamwork really helps. You donÂ’t want to argue that much because somebody will get really mad. The next day they might be really mad at you. But, I got past that and I learned to just go on.Â” Raven, Chelsea, and Trevor made similar references. Raven thought Â“teamwork really worksÂ” while Chelsea said Â“If youÂ’re fighting youÂ’re not going to
270 get anywhere.Â” She restated what she had sa id in the debriefing that she thought patience was an important trait for the team. Trevor commented that Lewis and ClarkÂ’s arguments were not the same as theirs because they faced Â“a life and death situation.Â” I asked Lindsey her impression of how the Trailblazers worked together. She and I had formulated similar perceptions of the studentsÂ’ personalities. Since I had known the students for a shorter per iod of time, I thought our agreement was interesting. I included a longer excerpt from her third interview. I believed it gives another perspective on how the team worked together besides my observations and the student interviews. Lindsey explained, IÂ’ve always been surprised by Trevor Johnson. He is one of those students that you kind of look at him and you kind of prejudge and think, Â‘Oh, heÂ’s just going to be a li ttle fifth-grade rat.Â’ But, heÂ’s very sensitive. I feel like that came up. I was happy to see him come to the rescue of different boys and girls in there. I al so knew and watched and he came to with his personality, of having an opinion, but being able to back it up and I think thatÂ’s important. I was very happy to see Hunter more engaged in conversation. He just got here in J anuary and has felt a little aback. I think heÂ…intermingled more and I liked that. I saw Harry coming to his role of that he naturally does of fighting fo r what he believes but in a way with back up. But also taking care of people, and I like that in him. UmÂ…and itÂ’s true I mean, heÂ’s not just doing it for t he sake for the team He really, he really cares about people. I was wo rried about Raven, sometimes she
271 gets a littleÂ…if she feels intimidated or if she feels like she doesnÂ’t, if sheÂ’s not in the know, she gets defensive. At first I noticed that, but then I think I feel like sheÂ…was then coming around. I would say halfway through I saw her doing that. I guess my concern was at first, I was worried that they were going to be backpedaling and wa sting time on things on arguing points. Sometimes I would come over and redirect. But then I feel like they saw, Â‘Like okay, this is not productive ,Â’ and they pretty much figured that out themselves. I never had any se cret meeting with them (laughs). She explained that she was pleased with their interaction. I asked her about Chelsea, and she paused. Then, she replied, I didnÂ’t have worries about Chelsea because sheÂ’s the type of person that listens for the expectation, she follo ws through, umÂ…I heard her giving opinionsÂ…I feel like she played into the role that she normally does which is being dependable, being helpful, lik e I saw her working with RavenÂ….I do have concerns for her not as a success as grade point averages and graduating going to college, but I do s ee her more of a person that is a follower. I noticed that during the dilemmas, Chel sea was the most indecisive. In the second interview, she explained that s he wanted to listen to the arguments before she made a decision. Other times, she was Â“confusedÂ” which choice to make. I believed that her compliance temper ed the conflict that arose. However, I was unsure if she would have behaved differently in another team.
272 On a similar point, RyanÂ’s behavior surprised Paula and resulted in comments from Becky, Amanda, and Ja smine. Paula expressed, I was really surprised by Ryan bec ause I thought with the influence of John, Becky, and Amanda, I specifica lly placed him there because he has some real, heÂ’s my passive-aggressive and has an attitude issueÂ…The girls that were in that group are easy to get along with, I mean, they will listen, theyÂ’re not ve ry strong-willed. I tried to pick easy people to get along with so there wouldnÂ’t be an issue because what he doesnÂ’t need is some strong-willed I-know-it-all pe rson with him. He needs more people that are willing to listen and kind of go with the flow. So, I was really surprised that that did not work out as well as I had anticipated. I think the other four people worked out gr eatÂ…They worked well together. But he was like the thorn in the side through the whole thingÂ…basically. Although the other students did not use RyanÂ’s name, they commented that they learned about conflict within a team. Am anda said that she learned how Lewis and Clark Â“got really mad at people sometimesÂ” and compared Â“a certain personÂ’sÂ” behavior to her aggravation. Becky said, Â“Every time we tried to say something he always interrupted and everyone couldnÂ’t get along because they wouldnÂ’t agree. So, it took a lot longer for us to figure out what the dilemma was and all that.Â” Jasmine added, Â“There was just like one person, you know we tried to help him out and tell him to calm down on some things.Â”
273 Native Americans. Just as PaulaÂ’s assumption about Ryan was erroneous, at first I thought only the female students would be interested in Sacajawea. I was incorrect. John, Ryan, Chelsea, Jasmine, Raven, and Becky specifically mentioned t hat they learned a lot about her. John commented he had not heard of her before the simulation. I in itiated this theory after I interviewed Becky the first time. She said that she was interested in how Â“a girlÂ” traveled with the expedition. She explai ned, Â“All these people went on adventures and stuff. They were all men and the armies and ev erything and she was like the only girl.Â” In the second interview, Becky stated that she learned how young Sacajawea was and that she was an active member of the Corp s. Raven clarified a notion she had about her. She said, I never thought they actually took Sacajawea. I thought they just left her there and came back for her. After she had the baby, then left the baby there and took her? But, then I got it a ll wrong, IÂ’m like, Â‘Oh, so they took her, she had the baby, and they kept the baby! I did not know that! Â’ So, I learned a lot. Chelsea and Raven stated that they learned about the Native American tribes. They identified with them for different reasons. C helsea said that Sacajawea was Â“the only girl in the group.Â” She said, Â“I think it was kind of hard because she had to go along the journey, and she didnÂ’t really know all these people. She was away from her family, and she didnÂ’t know where they were.Â” As a comparison, Raven remarked that she learned about Native Americans through research. She noticed t hat one of the Native American tribes
274 traveled north from Mexico She thought that was Â“coolÂ” because her family was from Mexico. Making connections. Chelsea and RavenÂ’s comments about the Native Americans related to comments from H unter and Trevor. Both connected their understanding of the simulation to their liv es. In the second interview, Hunter described how the time his brother dr ove a cat home from South Carolina reminded him of how the explorers brought animals back to Thomas Jefferson. He remembered making bows and arrows from tree branches in Colorado just like the Native Americans made theirs. Also the rain stick reminded him of a rain stick that he owned. His parents purchas ed it in Ecuador, and he described how the craftsman went hunting to gather leather for the rain stick. Tying in his own experiences with Lewis and Clark, he said, Â“They had to make everything I mean, if they didnÂ’t have i t, what were they going to do? They couldnÂ’t go back!Â” Beyond that, Trevor made two connections Â– one with a sticker on his Interactive Student Notebook and the other at home. The last day of the simulation, Trevor pointed to a sticker of ten members of the Lewis and Clark expedition on his notebook. He said, Â“I put this on in the beginning of the year, and I never knew what it meant until now.Â” He showed the sticker to Lindsey. She smiled broadly, and replied, Â“Oh, look at that.Â” He told her, Â“I know who everybody is in this picture except the guy on the end.Â”
275 She suggested the sticker was like Â“a premonition or omen of things to come.Â” In a later interview, Trevor shared t hat he received the sticker earlier in the year. Lindsey had distributed them to t he students so that they could decorate their notebooks. He said, Â“Yeah. I thought th at was pretty cool Â‘cause Chelsea pointed that out to me and it was like, of the whole cr ew. We could pretty much point out every person except one guy. We didnÂ’t know who he was.Â” In the debriefing and in the second interview Trevor commented on how he recognized a school project that his olde r sister was working on. He recalled, My sister Jessie, was doing a clay model on Lewis and Clark. I walked in on her and my sister Renee doing the clay and bringing it all onto the poster board. I looked at it for a wh ile and asked if they needed help. And I realized, Â‘Hey, wait a minute!Â’ bec ause I saw the red lines going through the mountains. Like, Â‘Is that supposed to be the path of Lewis and Clark or something?Â’ And my sister ReneeÂ’s like, Â‘How the heck would you know that?Â’ Transformations. Based on my observations and student interviews, I noticed Raven, Jasmine, Harry, and Trevor altered their opinions about the subject through the course of the simu lation. Raven gained confidence, Jasmine and Harry sought knowledge, and Trevor felt appreciation. When Raven wrote her poem, she completed t he task with minimal assistance from her team members. As a result, she shared in the debriefing and in an interview her feelings of empowerment. In t he second interview, she said,
276 I feel like IÂ’m a poet or writer. I di dnÂ’t used to like writing poems and stuff. After I did the journal ing and the interpreter a couple of times, I felt confident about doing a poem and sayi ng it front of the class. In the beginning of the simulation, Lindsey and Paula encouraged their students to locate additional information. As a result, Jasmine and Harry located sources from the Internet and the library The first week I entered the field, Jasmine asked me to copy a paper she downloaded from the Internet for the class. It was titled Â“Lewis and Clark: Am erican Explorers.Â” I asked her, Â“Why did you do that? Were you interested in it?Â” She answered, Â“No, Mrs. Williams said that if we bring in extra resources our group gets extra tickets for the jour ney.Â” She added that she went to the public library for books. Later, she shared she completed the book on Sacajawea (Bruchac, 2001) and chose to writ e a report about her life. Halfway through the simulation, I had asked Harry about a Lewis and Clark book that jutted from his backpack. He showed it to me. It was titled, This Vast Land: A Young ManÂ’s Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Ambrose, 2003). He told me he checked it out from the library along with a few other books. One titled The Essential Lewis and Clark (Jones, 2002), included actual excerpts from LewisÂ’ journal entries. Yet, Harry said, Â“That book is too hard for me, and I only use it for reference. It helps me when I write.Â” Then, he held up the Ambrose book. He commented, Â“This book I really got into it. ItÂ’s really interest ing. IÂ’m now reading it for fun.Â”
277 A few weeks later in the second interv iew, he reiterated that statement. He said in the beginning of the simulati on, he Â“remembered having no clueÂ” about the Lewis and Clark expedition and I ac tually was really interested.Â” He mentioned the Ambrose book again and stated, I got this book and I mean, it was fict ional, because the kid in the book that was writing the journals, he was never in the story, and so what he said sometimes is fictional. But they actually have the d ilemmas and stuff on Lewis and Clark. And so I read that book and IÂ’m still reading it. Even though that itÂ’s over because I got so interested in it. Rather than a specific incident, Trev or experienced a change of attitude. The first interview he mentioned that he did not like the Lewis and Clark simulation. He explained, Â“ItÂ’s not so mething that strikes me as extremely exciting and like, Â‘I canÂ’t wait to go to school to do this.Â’Â…ItÂ’s not something that strikes me as fun.Â” He changed his mind by the second interview. I restated his earlier comment and asked if he had changed his mi nd. He reflected, Â“Yeah, I think it has. Now that itÂ’s over I think I almost took advantage of it or something. It seems like, Â‘Oh, I wish we were still doing it,Â’ because it was a lot of fun.Â” Summary This chapter reported the results of my experiences in two fifth-grade classrooms over a period of eight wee ks. I entered the field with a researchbased knowledge of simulations but mini mal awareness of the realities in the classroom. At that time, my research questions remained unanswered. Over my
278 time at Miller, I focu sed on understanding the phenomenon of simulations from the teachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ perspectives. I learned why Lindsey and Paula chose simulations as a pedagogical method: they believed simulations targeted diverse learning styles and facilitated how student s retained information over the longterm. Lindsey expressed how simulations allowed her to integrate content and create an active learning environment, and Paula stated that simulations fostered authentic learning. Since I interviewed the teachersÂ’ separately, the commonality of the themes supported how the two shared a similar philosophy of teaching and learning. Their partnership enabled me to travel between their rooms and observe their behaviors. Although their teachi ng styles differed, their actions in the classroom supported their comments duri ng the interviews. I noticed that they informed their students of why they chose to use simulations. Both expressed to their classes that they hoped their students would remember the information over the long-term. I reported the teacher and student interactions through a descriptive case study. This account depicted the interact ions of the teachers and students in a classroom simulation. To increase comp rehensibility, I divided the case study into three major sections. In the early stages of the simulation, I explained the site, how the teachers taught backgr ound knowledge, prepared the students, and formulated teams. I provided a detailed characterization of the ten students I invited to be part of the study. During this time, I worked to establish rapport with the students. Although I originally bel ieved some would not choose to be
279 included, all of them agreed to parti cipate. They continued to amuse and confound me as the simulation continued. I chronicled my emerging thoughts through my journal. I noticed how my perc eptions changed as my time at Miller expanded. I perceived the middle stages of the si mulation to be replete with emotion, and activity. In this sta ge, I compiled how the teachers conducted briefings with their students, how students interacted dur ing dilemma discussions, and how the teachers shared their expectations for t he roles. Lindsey and Paula established high standards for student work. As a resu lt, many of the student s strove to meet their expectations. Several wrote drafts of their journal entries and sought others for assistance. Although conflict angered so me of the team me mbers, humor and light-heartedness alleviated so me of the stress. At ti mes, the energy in the classroom was palpable. Students experienc ed the tension and excitement as if they were travelers on the Missouri River. Towards the end of the simulation, I addressed how teachers assessed the studentsÂ’ academic performance and conducted debriefing sessions. In PaulaÂ’s classroom, the team Â’s reaction for the last day of the simulation contrasted with LindseyÂ’s. Arriving at Fort Clatsop in first place mobilized the Trailblazers to earn additional mil eage. In contrast, the Teepeeshon group seemed disinterested in their final placement. During the second and third interviews with the student s, I compared the studentsÂ’ comments with their behaviors in the classroom. With the exce ption of Ryan, thei r statements during
280 the interviews coincided with my field not es. By this time, I believed that my account resonated with accuracy. I reported the studentsÂ’ thoughts in the last sect ion of this chapter. I summarized the ten studentsÂ’ beliefs on simu lations, their roles, and what they had learned. I culled the t hemes from two student in terviews and shared my results with the students in t he form of written summaries In a third interview, they agreed that my reports reflected t heir opinions. Although the ten students I portrayed here do not represent ever y student in Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s classrooms, their comments provide underst anding into what a select group of think about simulations. I integrated portions of my researcher re flective journal into this chapter to trace my emergent thoughts, questions, and findings. I used my field notes; the participantsÂ’ audiotape, videotape, and inte rview transcripts; teacher resource materials; and student work samples to creat e this report. By the end of the eight weeks, I enhanced my understanding of clas sroom simulations and completed my voyage of discovery.
281 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION To complete this study, I transit ioned from the stanc e of a classroom teacher to a researcher. As a form er public school educator, I had utilized simulations in my classroom. Simulations intrigued me, and my prior experiences incited interest for this dissertatio n. I wanted to understand what happens in classrooms that used them. The purpose of this research was to describe how two fifth-grade teachers help students unde rstand social studies and language arts concepts through simulations. I observed as two fifth-grade teacher s, Lindsey and Paula, conducted a simulation on the Lewis and Clark expediti on. I spent 100 hours over a period of eight weeks in their classroom. The fo llowing research questions guided my inquiry: 1. Why do the two teachers use simulations? 2. How do the two teachers implement simulations? 3. How do the ten students respond to simulations? 4. What do the ten student s think about simulations? To answer these questions, I interviewed each participant three times, analyzed teacher resource materials and student work samples, and observed the teachersÂ’ and studentsÂ’ interactions. I adopted a phenomenologic al theoretical orientation and reported my findings th rough a descriptive case study.
282 I discovered that the tw o teachers used simulations because they believed simulations targeted studentsÂ’ learning styles and enabled students to retain the material over time. Lindsey felt simula tions allowed her to integrate content and create an active learning environment, and Paula believed simulations involved the students in authentic content. To im plement the simulation, the teachers increased studentsÂ’ background knowledge on Westward Expansion, prepared them for their roles throughout the acti on phase, and evaluated student learning through written and oral assessments. I observed how two groups of fi ve students interacted throughout the simulation. I learned how they formul ated an identity, discussed dilemmas, resolved conflicts, and completed their tasks. The students shared positive and negative opinions about their roles as capt ains, journal writers, interpreters, and privates. They explained how they had learned about the content, teamwork, and historical figures. Four students made connections with the simulation to their lives and experienced positive transformations. In this chapter, I discuss my role thr ough this process, the contributions of this study, recommendations for practice and suggestions for future research. My Role as a Researcher As a participant-observer in this study, I chose to interact on some occasions and observe on others. I made these decisions based on the context of the setting. I realized that my presence would alte r the outcomes of naturally occurring events (Patton, 2002). As a result I tried to minimize the Â“researcher effectÂ” through a rapport with the teacher s and students. I adopted a reflexive
283 stance in order to examine my behaviors and understand my perspective (Patton, 2002; Piantanida and Garman, 1999). Continuous analysis enabled me to make sense of my expe riences (Schwandt, 1997). In this section, I explore how my prior knowledge, assumptions, and relationship with the teachers evolved throughout the study. I include exce rpts from my researcher reflective journal to compare my thoughts over time. Prior Knowledge In the final interview with Lindsey, s he referred to the studentsÂ’ pretests and said that Â“pretty much a lot of them went into (the simulation) knowing not a durn thing.Â” Like the students, I entered PaulaÂ’s classroom the first day with a scant amount of informati on about the Lewis and Clark expedition. I remembered that Sacajawea accompanied the men on t he trip and that they traveled west. I did not anticipate how I would learn about the content with the participants. Many times I felt like I was a student as I read the books the students read, learned about the dilemmas, and listened to the teachersÂ’ instructi ons during the briefing stages. In my researcher re flective journal, I wrote, I donÂ’t know if this is an implication or not, but itÂ’s how much IÂ’m learning as a result of being here. IÂ’m learni ng so much about Lewis and Clark, and IÂ’m reading on my own and experiencing it as the kids experience it. I donÂ’t know if thatÂ’s part of it, or a benef it, or what. I wasnÂ’t expecting that I would feel like IÂ’m in fifth grade agai n and being a part of a curriculum that I personally have missed.
284 I admitted this lack of knowledge to a fe w of the students and Pa ula in interviews. Some of the students seemed surprised by my ignorance while Paula seemed amused. As a result, my interest in the content propelled my focus throughout the simulation. I wanted to learn what o ccurred during the Corps of Discovery. I vicariously experienced the paradox of the dilemmas and the struggle as the teams made decisions. I listened as the teachers read from the shared texts, How We Crossed the West (Schanzer, 1997) and Lewis and Clark and Me (Myers, 2002). By the end of the simulati on, I departed the field with an increased understanding about the content and pheno menon of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In a late r journal entry I mentioned, Â“IÂ’m actually genuinely looking forward to reading the journal of Augus tus Pelletier! IÂ’ll probably learn something interesting along the way.Â” Examining Assumptions My researcher reflective journal a llowed me to review ongoing thoughts and feelings (Janesick, 1998). Every day that I collected data at Miller Elementary I wrote an entry to compose my thoughts, ward against bias, and make sense of my experiences in the fi eld. I started the j ournal on March 28, 2005 and completed it on May 18, 2005. As I reread this journal, I did not realize how critical this resource would be to my emergent and later thinking. I entered the field with certain assumptions about simulations. The journal illuminated these notions and documented my thought processes. For the first entry, I recorded my feelings towards simulations. I stated,
285 Advantages/positive: o I think that they motivate student s to learn more about a subject. o They can be fun. o They incorporate drama, which I LOVE!! o They help students to remember info rmation (recall, fo r a later time). o It helps them to care more about a topic. Disadvantages/negative: o They can be stressful. o They can exclude some students. o They can cause a lot of anxiety and stress on the teacherÂ…and students? o They can be time-consuming. o Other teachers can think youÂ’re a little crazy for doing them! Several weeks later, I revisit ed these beliefs with an informed perspective. I have learned that simulati ons do not motivate every student to work hard, and often they are not Â“fun.Â” Role-play may be less overt or implied. They require additional funds and are not predictable. Although they aim for inclusion, not every student has the maturity to handle the autonomy and responsibility well. As my time at Miller elapsed, I reflected, I canÂ’t believe that I will be leaving the field very soon! Only a few short weeks. The time has gone by very fast. I have to say I love qualitative research, and IÂ’m excited about enter ing the field every dayÂ…Am I seeing the truth? Have I been trustworthy? I th ink so. ItÂ’s important I keep my own
286 bias in check. I now think that si mulations arenÂ’t always Â“FUNÂ” and that they can be troublesome especially when working out the conflicts. In order to create a balanced re port, I included the advantages and disadvantages of simulations. I attempted to record the events as they occurred without judging the actions of the teachers or the students. Every day I visited my journal to explore my thinking. I felt like I could be myself and speak with candor. I perceived my journal as a type of confessional outlet. As an example, I considered how I perceived the proce ss of data collection and analysis: Also, I need to get over my concern of not painting a pictur e that would be altogether praiseworthy. The good, the bad, the uglyÂ…I need to report it all...I do like all this data analysis busine ssÂ…itÂ’s actually f un!!! I know that may be hard to believe for some p eople, but it is. I feel like IÂ’m accomplishing something worthwhile. Collegiality I believe my prior relationship with Lindsey and Paula influenced this study in a positive manner. An env ironment of mutual trus t facilitated my ability to answer my research questions. The teacher s accepted me into their classrooms with the awareness that I would observe thei r actions, record their conversations, and review their resources and grade books. This process could be a daunting one for any educator. Yet, I felt they perceiv ed me as an insider. They remained after school for interviews, reviewed my field notes and findings, and allowed me to access their records. I recorded in my journal my appreciation towards the teachers: Â“I am eternally gr ateful to Lindsey and Paula to allow me to come into
287 their rooms. ItÂ’s truly a gift, and I donÂ’t w ant to do anything that would jeopardize this study.Â” At the time, I considered t he importance of honori ng their voices and protecting their anonymity. I realized that as a researcher, I had an ethical responsibility to not betray their trust. Several times Paula asked me if I obtained the information I needed. My first week in the field, I realized that at times she said stat ements for my benefit. When she introduced the simulation, she to ld the students why they were doing a particular activity. She would preface the statement, Â“We always do this before a simulation.Â” I noticed over time, she di d not continue making these comments. Instead, she seemed concerned if I had obt ained the data I needed. She stated several times, Â“I donÂ’t know if this is what you wanted or not .Â” Other times she expressed frustration when t he students like Ryan misbehaved. I explained that I did not want her to alter her plans on my account. Aware of her sensitivity, I waited until I comp leted my observations before I shared my data with her. I wrote in an ear lier journal entry, Â“I have to be careful not to reveal too much information to Paul a. I donÂ’t want to color her opinions about anything or make changes to how she would normally feel .Â” In contrast, I did not perceive that my presence affected LindseyÂ’s behaviors. She said several times, Â“C ome in whenever you want, my doorÂ’s always open. You can stay here until the last day of school.Â” The only instance she seemed nervous was during the vi deo debriefing session. Other than that, my presence seemed to affect her in a positive manner. Like the students, she seemed to enjoy the attent ion, and I shared samples of my field notes with her
288 throughout the study. I asked for feedback to determine if I captured her Â“reality.Â” Often, Lindsey expressed how she did not realize how she taught. My field notes informed her on her behaviors and statements. In the th ird interview, she shared how she appreciated the opportunity to re flect on her practice. She explained, ItÂ’s been interesting going through just this process and having to reflect on things because a lot of times we just do what we do and people are always like, Â‘Oh, itÂ’s so awesome, and I wish weÂ’d done thatÂ…Â’. But to kind ofÂ…reflect and be able to al so realize, yeah, you know what? I did do that, and this, and I did integrate all this stuff, and wow, this is really awesome! Because so many times after the si mulation because there is so much, thereÂ’s this letdown of Â‘Thank God!Â’ You know IÂ’m glad they liked it but now to be able to look and say, yeah, itÂ’s over, and then look at what they didÂ…IÂ’ve enjoyed having you there toÂ…ItÂ’ s kind of nice to force me as IÂ’m leaving the school year to kind of reflect on all these things and realizeÂ…itÂ’s been great, and theyÂ’ve liked having you here, too, so I thank you for that. A collegial spirit pervaded my conversations with the students as well. If I did not gain their confidence, then I would not have been able to obtain trustworthy results from their perspective. In an earlier journal entry, I said, I have to say that when I interviewed the kids today I was touched by their innocence and vulnerability. They were excited to be part of Â“a bookÂ” and I would NEVER want to take advant age of their willingness to help me. I enjoy working with them.
289 Through this project, I am connected to these participants in an irrevocable manner. As I wrote in my journal, Â“The funny thing is, they will live in my memories for years to comeÂ…because they we re such a critical part of this whole dissertation process.Â” Summary of Contributions Even though simulations have existed for decades in classrooms throughout the United States, many educator s are not aware of them. In this study, I explained in detail the phenomenon of classroom simulations. Instead of the aim to generalize, I showed what is possible. This section synthesizes the teachersÂ’ beliefs and practices and student sÂ’ responses and thoughts through a simulation. I do not claim that simulati ons are a panacea for classroom problems. In fact, they may engender difficulties fo r teachers and students. The results of this study have implications for cl assroom teachers and the students they instruct. I address both populat ions in this section. Teachers Simulations offer an alternative to traditional instruction. Lindsey and Paula were not Â“traditional teachers.Â” P aula described herself as a Â“rebelÂ” in the classroom in my pilot study last year and in the first interview. Lindsey claimed that her teaching style had changed from traditi onal approach to more experiential. When they chose to incorpor ate simulations for th e first time, they accepted a challenge. They entered the simulation not knowing the results. Years later, they have refined their prof iciency with them. Their shared beliefs
290 that simulations helped students retain info rmation and meet individualsÂ’ learning styles propelled them to continue using them. As teachers, they shared common characteristics. Lindsey and Paula demonstrated a willingness to challen ge a prescribed curriculum and expended additional time and energy. They uphel d elevated standards for student performance and modeled their expectation s. Throughout the simulation, they addressed the academic and social outcome s. Often they required the students to read, write, research and interact as a team. As a result, they benefited from the ability to differentiate instruction, integrate curricula, and increase student interaction. However, they experienc ed difficulties through the process. A pedagogical choice. Simulations offered an option to traditional instruction. In Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s cl assrooms, students did not read from a single textbook and answer questions. T heir students sought numerous texts and brainstormed inquiries. Rather than sear ch for a correct answer, they located other possibilities. They worked collabor atively as well as independently. The teachers valued divergent thinking and pr aised them for their individuality. This kind of teaching and learning st retched their responsibilities. The teachersÂ’ school day did not begin and end at the scheduled times. Strategic planning enabled them to begin the simu lation on their target ed date. Over the summer of 2004, they brainstormed their objectives for the year. They attended grant-funded conferences to inform their pr actice. In addition, they wrote grants and requested funds from the comm unity to sponsor trade books.
291 Prior to the beginning, they loca ted supplies, duplicated handouts, and conducted research. As an example, they downloaded information from the Internet and compiled the data into fol ders for studentsÂ’ refe rence. Lindsey and Paula wrote grants and acqui red funds to purchase the trade books. During the simulation, they shifted from instructor s to facilitators. They offered students choice and control over the content and allowed students to negotiate conflict. Beyond that, they conducted writing conferences, assisted in locating resources, and managed student behavior. Throughout the simulation, the teachers assessed student learning through in formal, alternative, and written assessments. Simply stated, they worked hard. They understood that simulations demanded additional time and expense, and they accepted the challenges because of their beliefs about teaching and learning. In the second interview, Lindsey compared teachers to sellers. S he said, Â“YouÂ’ve got 30 buyers in here and theyÂ’re going to buy in or theyÂ’re notÂ…I can open a history book and just read it or I can integrat e all these things and make them want to do it.Â” Paula added the first time she used simulations wa s a Â“discovery.Â” She advised others who wanted to try them, Â“once you get going, and you can see the enthusiasm with the kids, it kind ofÂ…m akes it all worthwhile.Â” Differentiated instruction. In Lindsey and PaulaÂ’s classrooms, their students varied in terms of personalitie s, gender, academic functioning levels, and interests. Meeting the needs of a diverse population required an equal amount of instructional variety. Th e teachers chose alternative methods
292 throughout the simulation. They allotted time for direct in struction, shared reading, and guided reading. Throughout the action phase, they allowed students to work on numerous activities. The rotation of the tasks enabled students to participate in several roles. The students had opportunities to exert lea dership as captains, compose original writing as privates, and conduct research as interpreters. Because of the diverse activities, the teachers covered the differ ent learning styles of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Lindsey and Paula encour aged students to work on their own pace and circulated to assist them. They constantly assessed student progress and planned lessons based on their observations. Integration of curricula. Lindsey and Paula integrated language arts and social studies for different reasons. Paula claimed that she had always taught that way, and Lindsey said that s he enjoyed it when the subjects were interconnected. In the first interview Linds ey stated, Â“You canÂ’t just say, Â‘Okay, weÂ’re going to do reading.Â’ Because when youÂ’re reading youÂ’re reading about something. And, I think that you have to have connections.Â” Lindsey chose to make connections through blending social studies with language arts. They located historical fiction and informational text to address the content areas and maximize their instructional time. Besides reading, the teachers infused writing through the use of journal entries, privatesÂ’ tasks, and interpreter cards. They prompted the students to write from multiple pers pectives. They modeled their expectations and assessed students on their abilities to communicate e ffectively. Journal writers summarized
293 the groupÂ’s decision on the dilemma and co mpared it to Lewis and ClarkÂ’s. They documented the teamÂ’s interactions. In terpreters researched their encounters with Native Americans and described the geographical regions in postcards to President Jefferson. The fict ional audience of the Presi dent traversed to privateÂ’s tasks as well. Students pretended to convince the public through editorials and speeches. They experimented with expository, persuasive, and creative writing. One problematic issue with integrati on was grading. Report cards required that the teachers assign a grade for these subject areas : writing, reading, and social studies. Lindsey and Paula had to decide how to assign grades to the different columns. They chose to give multiple grades for one assignment. For instance, they would count a studentÂ’s journal entry for writ ing and social studies. Interactive classroom. Lindsey and Paula established themselves as authoritative figures in the first mont h of school, August of 2004. They taught their classroom procedures with the expect ation that the student s would interact in small groups often. T hey modeled how students should interact in a productive manner and related their expectations (s ee Appendix W). When I observed in April, the students had internalized these guidelines. Therefore, they had refined these skills prior to my study. As a re sult, throughout the simulation they had minimal behavioral issues. The students respected their teachers and followed directions with few disturbances. If Lindsey and Paula did not have exceptional classroom management, the simulation could have escalated to chaos. In the action phase, the students roamed between the rooms, traveled to diffe rent areas to locate information, and
294 consulted with their peers. T hey participated in all of the language arts: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing. They had an active role in their task. On many occasions, movement and noise in filtrated the cla ssrooms. Yet, the classroom hummed with productive activity The teachers acted as allies, not adversaries, and the students sought one anot herÂ’s expertise for assistance. They relied on one another to accomplish their tasks. The teachers encouraged conversation and teamwork and rewarded students for their efforts. The subtle difficulties. Lindsey and Paula began the simulation the last nine weeks of school. They had already produced two plays and implemented three simulations. By this point, I perceiv ed that they were exhausted. In one interview, I asked them why they chose to introduce a simulation late in the year. As fifth-grade teachers, t hey had extra-curricular obl igations that were not required of the younger grades. Both menti oned that they did not want to Â“lower their qualityÂ” because of the calendar. Lindsey remarked how they had to work harder at the end of the year to mainta in the studentsÂ’ focus. She explained, There are 21 days left, and we are going to work, and IÂ’m not going to lower my quality because itÂ’s the end of the year. And I think thatÂ’s when you have to pump it up more because you have to keep them on it. Because if not then youÂ’re doing Romper Room for 21 days and doing behavior management. Still, they experienced frustration. Although they reported that they enjoyed teaching through simulations, occa sionally they seemed fatigued. In part, LindseyÂ’s exhaustion stemmed from he r role as a mother of a one-year-old.
295 She once described that the simulation could be Â“overwhelmingÂ” and that she relied on Paula to help her. One time she a sked me to share to new teachers that they should not allow the external classroom responsibilities to Â“sink their ship.Â” I noticed that Paula worried about t he students who exhibited behavioral issues. She wondered aloud if they apprecia ted her efforts. To her credit, she gave them opportunities to improve and ignored some of their outbursts. She seemed to sense how to work with t hem and treated them with fairness. However, by the end of the year, she st ated that this academic year was one of the most challenging groups she had ever taught. Time exacerbated their discouragemen t. Often, they expressed how they had to adjust their schedule due to external events. Field trip s, assemblies, and guest speakers detracted from the time that they had to complete the simulation. They adjusted their schedules to accommodate planned and unplanned activities. As a result, t hey required the students to complete their tasks at home due to insufficient class ti me. Sometimes the students felt rushed, and they did not have the resources at home for their projects. At the end of the simulation, Paula explained that she w ould prefer that the st udents enter the simulation every other day. Then, she would be able to grade their tasks on alternate days. Lindsey expressed that she felt pressure to grade the studentsÂ’ journal entries, interpreter cards, captainÂ’s logs, and privatesÂ’ tasks daily. Other commitments inhibited this plan. In my literature review, I discussed how the research on simulations had not addressed the role of the t eacher. Underrepresented topics included
296 teachersÂ’ beliefs about teaching and lear ning, how they handl ed challenges and stimulated meaningful conversa tion, and the effects of the teacher as facilitator. I conclude the success of the simulation depends on the skill of the teacher. Paula and LindseyÂ’s ability to scaffold instruct ion and maintain order maximized their instructional time and minimized behavioral issues. Students Although classroom teac hers authored numerous articles on simulations, the majority of them did not include the studentsÂ’ perspectives. When I reviewed the literature, I was not able to locate negative points of simulations. All of the comments were complimentary. This di sparity prompted me to include the studentsÂ’ beliefs and behaviors into this study. I integrated the less advantageous aspects in order to report how simulations affected studentsÂ’ academic and social interactions. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this study was my involvement with the students. I felt that I had earned their trust, and they seemed to enjoy my presence. At first, I t hought that they would monitor their conversations and behaviors as I observed their teams. Inst ead, they spoke with candor. They did not appear to mind that I wrote in my notebook as they communicated. In interviews, the students articulated t heir beliefs and enabled me to understand their thoughts. I believed t hat they enjoyed the attent ion that I gave them, and that they made a contributi on. Through my interviews and interactions with them, I learned how students addressed challenge s, fostered teamwork, negotiated conflict, and experienced the content.
297 Challenge. In a previous interview, Li ndsey mentioned that she believed that the research on gift ed students included studies on simulations. She stated that she enjoyed how simulations met t he needs of gifted students as well as the students of other levels. I noticed that Trevor, John, and Harry shared a common trait. In interviews, they all stated that they enjoyed debating the dilemmas. I perceived that they thrived on the ve rbal interchange and the opportunity to conjure persuasive reasons for their ar guments. The boys referred to texts and maps to support their points. In partic ular, HarryÂ’s extracurricular reading informed his arguments. Lindsey support ed that Harry argues Â“for what he believes but in a way with back up.Â” In addi tion, Trevor and John chose a coded message as one of their privateÂ’s tasks. Vargas (2000) regarded the coded message as a challenge task, and they were the only two students in both classes to select that option. Even for the students who were not cl assified as gifted, the simulation required them to actively seek out in formation, solve problems, and compose journal entries. Often they struggled thr ough this process, but they managed to complete their tasks. The assignment s that the students completed were multi-faceted and required them to res earch, read, and creat e. For instance, through the action phase, students located information on Native American tribes, read directions and books, and created patterns for beadwork and rain sticks. These activities allowed st udents to attempt challenging tasks and celebrate their strengths. Raven had difficult y with writing, but by the end of the simulation, she felt proud of her poem. During daily briefings, Lindsey and Paula
298 challenged the students to work at their hi ghest potential. I obs erved that several of the students aspired to their challenge. Teamwork. The design of the action phase required the students to work as a team. They brainstormed an ident ity, made decisions on dilemmas, and moved along the trail as a unit. The st udents sought each other as resources and assisted each other on the tasks. The so cial aspect of the simulation required them to practice compromise, negotiation, and self-control. They did not always agree, and they had to make adjustments. Students cannot learn teamwork from a textbook. In order to practice cooperative behaviors, they need opportunities for interaction. Lindsey and Paula valued teamwork, and they encouraged the students to rely on each other. To promote this value, the teachers ask ed the students to create an identity and assist each other on the assignments. The students perceived each other as resources and often collaborated on thei r efforts. They acknowledged each othersÂ’ talents such as writing and ar t. Often, they asked each other for assistance. Through their specialized role s the students accumulated miles as a team. Their efforts accelerat ed or impeded their progress. Some students internalized the concept of teamwork and extended it to the actual members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Amanda and Chelsea imagined how the original ex plorers felt frustration. Chelsea mentioned how she had to have patience with Harry and Trev or just like she imagined Lewis and Clark did with their travelers. Am anda expressed how Ryan aggravated her, and she had to learn how to ignore him. She mus ed that if in the or iginal expedition,
299 she imagined the uncooperativ e crew members seated in the back of the boat, away from the other s in the front. In general, the students reported that t hey liked working in groups, and my observations verified these comments. Ho wever, Hunter seemed to prefer working independently. At one point, his reserved manner aggravated Harry. Harry interpreted HunterÂ’s reticence as being uncooperative. StudentsÂ’ interpretation of Â“teamworkÂ” affected how the groups interacted. Conflict. For this study, I define conflict as the instances when the students did not agree. By its connotation, the word Â“conflictÂ” conveys a negative association. Yet, conflict is a part of the classroom, and students have to learn how to manage their emotions. At ti mes, the students experienced anger, frustration, and despair. Ho wever, they managed to work through the conflict in order to locate a solution. Lindsey and Paul a tried to minimize their roles in these discussions. From the beginni ng of the simulation they to ld the students that they had a responsibility to work through thei r conflicts and the captain would make the final decision if they had a dispute. The teachers required the journal writers to report conflicts in their entries. For instance, Harry, Becky, Raven, and Amanda documented their team memberÂ’s acrimony. Some students, like Trevor, Harry, and John, reflected on their behavio rs to understand why they disagreed. At times, their personalities and opin ions collided. The students handled conflict differently. Harry, John, and Trev or seemed to enjoy verbal debates while Chelsea, Becky, Raven, and Jasmine aime d for consensus. Hunter refrained from the discussion except for one d ilemma. Ryan seemed nonchalant while
300 Amanda internalized her aggravation. For the majority of the dilemmas, they managed to negotiate their issues and arrive at a compromise. Even when they did not, some gained knowledge in how to work through their problems. During the debriefing, Harry and Tr evor mentioned their conflict and how they resolved their issues. Amanda identified with Lewis and Clark and imagined how they felt on the expedition. She commiserated wit h how they must have angered one another. Involvement. The nature of the simulati on involved the students in the learning process. They read from the text s in order to experience the content as if they were a part of the action. This kind of learning moved the students from passive roles to active ones. Lindsey and Paula prepared them for the simulated journey with supplies and knowledge. Afte r that, the students had to apply their skills to complete their responsibilities. For each task, their teachers assessed them on their quality. I noticed that the students seemed the happiest when they were involved. When Paula explained their duties in the beginning of the simulation, I observed that several students appeared bored. In c ontrast, during the action phase, they exhibited more energy and interest. After they located their resources, they focused on their tasks. The captainÂ’s role r equired the least amount of time, but it required the students to assi st the team members. Becky, Chelsea, Harry, Jasmine, and John stated that they enjoyed helping one another. However, Amanda and Harry did not like the captainÂ’s role as much as the others because they reported that they did not have Â“much to do.Â” They preferred engagement.
301 Ryan. In contrast, Ryan seemed to be the most content when he had a minimal amount of respons ibilities, such as the role of captain. From the group of ten students, Ryan appeared to be the student who had the most difficulty for social and academic reasons. He dem onstrated an awareness of his behaviors, but he seemed unconcerned how his behavior affected others. For every task, he struggled with the writing and claimed that no one helped him. However, I witnessed several occasions where P aula, John, and Becky assisted him. RyanÂ’s lack of intrinsic motiva tion created problems for the group and himself. He required PaulaÂ’s explanati on before he continued with a project. Paula removed him from the group on the final dilemma for a reason unrelated to the simulation. On that day, he worked by himself, and the group solved the dilemma without him. By that point, Paul a felt perturbed by his actions and that he had expended his chances. For student s like Ryan, a simulation hosted additional challenges for Paula. Even t hough she had taught the procedures for group activities, his behavior countera cted her expectations. His resistance through the simulation affected the group dynamics. Simulations created difficulties for the students and the t eachers. Some of these included time constrai nts, conflict, and stress. T hey required the teachers to work additional hours and the students to adjust to various personalities. On the other hand, simulati ons allowed Lindsey and Paula the opportunity to differentiate instruction, integrate curri cula, and promote student interaction. They offered a cognitive challenge to students, facilitated teamwork, and involved the students in the content.
302 Recommendations for Practice Simulations offer teachers an option to traditional instruction. Their design requires teachers to transition from a direct or to a facilitator. As a result, students adopt active roles through cooperative lear ning structures. Although simulations connect to the field of dram a in education, in Lewis and Clark, role play was implied rather than overt. T he students interpreted their roles in various ways and often wrote in character. Therefore, teachers who are not comfortable with drama may not emphasize this aspect. Through the integration of social studies and language arts, teachers fuse the content to meet their curriculum standards and maximize their instructional time. On the other hand, simulations require extensive time for preparation and implementation. In this case, Lindsey and Paula expended several hours planning. Then, they allotted numerous in structional hours to build background knowledge, enact the action phase, and conduc t the debriefing. Over a period of six weeks, they entered the simulation approximately three days a week. For the alternative days, they graded studentsÂ’ work and prepared for future lessons. They had outlined their Americ an history curriculum in the beginning of the year. With the History Alive program and the Interact simu lations as their guide, they chose to delve into certain subjects in depth. As a result, students gained extensive knowledge of certain time peri ods. However, they did not study more recent history, from 1805-2005. Teachers who incorporate simulations have to ask themselves how a simulation addre sses their curriculum and standards. If
303 they choose one area to investigate in deta il, then they will not have time to teach other topics. Simulations adhere to an established design. Commercial materials provide the structure of the simulation, and teachers can modify the information for their purposes. Additional resource s include books, supplies, and time. External or internal agencies, such as local grants or the PT SA could sponsor the costs. Team members could share the materials with one another while parental volunteers and student assistants coul d assist with t he preparation. Depending on the skill and classroom m anagement skills of the teacher, the instructional and affective benefit s will vary among classrooms. Novice teachers to simulations would benefit from the expertise of someone proficient in using them. In this case, Lindsey and Pa ula ranked among exemplary teachers. They were former Teachers of the Year had written grants, received awards from local literacy organizations, and had attended workshops on simulations. An intrinsic motivation propelled them to s pend several hours per week beyond their assigned time in the classroom. Through simulations students have an oppo rtunity to think, research, compose, and create. They encourage st udent autonomy and involvement in the learning process. Lindsey and Paula valued these traits, and their students benefited from their efforts. Student s gained knowledge beyond a factual understanding of the Lewis and Clark expe dition. They learned how to resolve dilemmas and assume responsibility for their tasks. This Â“untaught curriculumÂ”
304 augmented explicit instruction and blended cognitive and affective understanding. Suggestions for Future Research The limitations of this study inclu ded the time constraints and the small number of participants. I examined one simu lation over a period of eight weeks. As a result, the findings of this study were not generalizable to other populations. The interactions of the participants we re unique and could not be replicated in another setting. My prior experiences wit h simulations might have influenced the findings to some degree. Future research could surpass the limit ations of this study. Simulations connect to the fields of experiential learning and drama in education. Future studies may investigate how other teachers infuse simulations in their educational settings and review the academic and social outcomes. For example, a study may compare a classroom that does not use simulations with one that does. StudentsÂ’ perceptions remain unde rrepresented in the literature. Researchers could investigate other studentsÂ’ thoughts and extend the findings from this study. They could investigate how learning styles and behavior affect student performance in a simulation. Thos e interested in drama in education may examine how role play affects studentsÂ’ understanding of the content. They could conduct longitudinal studies to determine if students retain the information over time.
305 Summary I divided this chapter into four secti ons. First, I described my role as a researcher and shared my prior knowl edge of the topic and how my assumptions changed during my time in the field. I co mpared my later impressions with earlier expectations. I addressed how a mutual co llegiality facilitated the process of data collection and analysis. Second, I summarized the contributions of this research for teachers and students. Simulations offer teachers a choi ce for instruction, allow them to differentiate and integrate subject areas, and promote an interactive classroom. Moreover, I shared the difficulties teacher s could experience with simulations. I explored how the students responded to issues of challenging content, teamwork, and conflict. Although simulati ons involve students in the learning process, they do not motivate all students to learn. I explored how RyanÂ’s lack of motivation created frustration for Paula and his team. RyanÂ’s actions demonstrated that not ev ery student responds favorably to simulations. In the third section, I shared the advantages and disadvantages for teachers interested in im plementing simulations. The success of a simulation depends upon the instructional and classr oom management skills of the teacher. In some instances, teachers will not know what students have learned. The teachers will have the information from test scores and journal entries, but the inner thoughts and musings of the student s remain unknown. I concluded this chapter with suggestions for further search.
306 Lewis and Clark conducted an expediti on to examine unknown territory. Their discoveries ignited a nationÂ’s im agination. I equate simulations in the classroom to uncharted terrain. Their pot ential for the integration of subject matter and the involvement of students in the learning process offer a viable alternative for motivated teachers and potent ial studies for curious researchers. Allow the imagination to inspire action.
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332 Appendix A
333 Sample Questions from Teacher Interview Protocols How many years have you taught? How would you define a simulation? Have you always used simulations? Where did you learn how to use simulations? Describe your teaching philosophy. Has your teaching style changed over the years? Explain your behavior management system. How did you teach the students the routine? When did you start planning for the simulation? How do you see your role in the simulation process? How do you think students learn? What do you like the best about simulations? What do you like the least about simulations? You mention Â“scallywagÂ” sometimes in re ference to work ethic. How would you describe your expectations about student work?
334 Appendix B
335 Sample Questions from Student Interview Protocols What are some things that you like to do for fun? Pretend I have no idea what a simulation is How would you explain to me what it is? Have you ever participated in simulations for other classes? How did you feel when your teacher introduced simulations? What do you like the best about simulations? What do you like the least? How do you think you learn best? How do you feel about the role ofÂ… Captain? Journal writer? Interpreter? Private? How do you think you group worked overall? What have you learned as a re sult of doing this simulation? Is there anything else y ou would like to say?
336 Appendix C
337 Sample Student Interview Summary Research Question: What do fifth-grade student s think about simulations? Interview Summary: John McNeil Date: May 22, 2005 John is a humorous, talkative, intelligen t student who earns straight AÂ’s. He admires the teachers he has had in elementary school and values his friends. Outside of the classroom John has several interests su ch as building models with Legos and participating in contact sports. Currently, he plays lacrosse for a local team and used to belong to a local football team. He is consid ering trying out for foot ball again this year. He loves the Harry Potter series, an interest he shares with his aunt He is close to his parents and extended family. JohnÂ’s ethnicity is Italian and Span ish, although he only speaks English. John defines simulations as Â“experiencing what the peopl e in history experienced except in a different time with a more safe environment, better guidelines, and more know-how.Â” He comically provided the exam ple that teachers ar e not going to arm students with shotguns so they can hunt fo r bears behind the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). In the classroom, John prefers to lear n by doing. He clarifies that he likes to experience the content as well as read about it Sometimes he rehearses information in his mind such as the songs for Lewis and Clark musical. This is the second year J ohn participated in classroom simulations. In fourth grade he was chosen for a major role as a judge in a mock trial and a minor role in a Civil War simulation. He credited his fath er for instilling confidence when he tried out for the part as the judge. He remembers his dad told him, Â“Â’Think that youÂ’re going to win and youÂ’re going to win.Â’ I thought I was going to win and I won.Â” John enjoys simulations and considers them to be fun because the student s do not just sit down and do work. Besides being allowed to interact, students Â“ research it and re-enact what people did to find out what they did.Â” One of JohnÂ’s favorite aspe cts of the Lewis and Clark simulation was debating the dilemmas. He said that he really Â“gets into it Â” because he enjoys persuading others. John stated, Â“I liked coming up with a good reason not to do this. I might have to defend one thing even though I want the othe r thing to win. I can make up a whole speech about how that thing should win.Â” On a related note, John enjoyed the role of Captain because he likes being in charge a nd having command. He clarifies that he does not mean Â“bossyÂ” but that he is able to be th e leader. Others have told him that he has the personality to be a good leader. (In the past he has been chosen as Captain of the football team as well as the leader for several group activities.) Another task John enjoyed was the role of private. He liked the challenge of creat ing a secret code and th e artistic aspect of the rain stick. Although John thought the entire Lewis a nd Clark simulation was fun, he thought the interpreter card was the l east fun. He said that he had difficulty locating information
339 Appendix D
342 Appendix E
344 Appendix F
346 Appendix G
348 Appendix H
350 Appendix I
352 Appendix J
354 Appendix K
356 Appendix L
359 Appendix M
362 Appendix N
364 Appendix O
367 Appendix P
370 Appendix Q
373 Appendix R
376 Appendix S
378 Appendix T
380 Appendix U
382 Appendix V
384 Appendix W
386 About the Author Cher N. Gauweiler is an assistant professor of Element ary Education at St. Petersburg College in Tarpon Springs, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Tampa in 1993, 62 hours in Elementary Education certification from the Univer sity of Southern Colorado in 1996, and a MasterÂ’s of Education degree in Se condary English Education from the University of South Florida in 1999. Cher taught eight years as a public school teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. As a si xth grade teacher, s he represented her school as Teacher of the Year in 1999 and received two Celebrate Literacy awards from a local chapter of the Inte rnational Reading Association in 2000 and in 2002. She traveled as a Fulbright Memo rial Fund scholar to Japan in 2001 and to Kennedy Space Center as a NEW (NASA Educational Workshop) participant in 2002. A successful grant writer, she se cured $25,000 to fund several projects in elementary and high school classrooms. Cher has published articles in st ate and national journals regarding creative experiences in education. She continues to read, research, and write about interactive methods to enhance st udent learning across grade levels.