21ST CENTURY SKILLS FOR SOCIAL STUDIES
Preparing students for jobs that haven't been created yet can seem to be a daunting task for educators. By incorporating 21st century skills for social studies into traditional academics, students will be prepared to adapt to whatever new opportunities are created.
TEACHING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM
Creativity and Innovation
History Simulation Lesson Plans are not scripted or even role plays. Although students are guided by their objectives, which mirror the self-interest of the countries they represent, they have to be innovative in their strategy and negotiations with other countries. Students develop a deeper understanding as they use their creativity to problem solve one crisis after another.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
History Simulations have a lot of conflicts as they mirror the circumstances that created wars like World War I and World War II. Student's objectives can be similar, making achieving them difficult. Although the objectives drive the simulation, students have the freedom to use their creativity in situations that are inherent as well as situations that develop each day of the simulation. Critical thinking is very evident in class, but continues the other 23 hours of the day, as students meet, debate, strategize and communicate with their allies and their opponents. Problem Solving happens multiple times a day as students try to work through complex problems that arise have to be dealt with in this dynamic classroom.
There is no single country that has the power to dominate any simulation in this collection. Students must collaborate with other leaders in order to achieve the objectives of their country.
Flexibility and Adaptability
History Simulations are dynamic. Students will spend a lot of time working on their strategy and when they get to class, circumstances can change in one turn making them develop a new strategy or revised plan. Students are forced to adapt to different circumstances and to be flexible in dealing with other leaders in the room.
Initiative and Self Direction
Although students are guided by their objectives, they have the freedom to develop their own strategies and pathways to completing them. There is no script here, they must take their own initiatives to complete those objectives. The outcome is not guaranteed, so students will determine the fate of their own country!
Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
In order to complete the country's objectives, students must engage and interact with other students during negotiations, diplomacy and conversations about strategy.
Leadership and Responsibility
Students take leadership roles as the presidents of their countries as they conduct diplomacy, form alliances and work to complete their objectives. Students are responsible for the direction and strategy they develop when navigating the complex political situations they encounter in these history simulation lesson plans.