This spring, St. Edward’s University faculty and staff are designing a workshop for students in Cultural Foundations courses around the topic of the Syria conflict. Our goal for this is to provide an experiential space in which students can learn about the complexities of this conflict by role-playing actors and agencies involved in the conflict. These represent entities such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in addition to countries like Turkey in addition to Iran, Russia and the Western Powers.
On April 22, 2013, student groups will role-play these actors and non-actors in a game-like fashion in which they will be given choices of actions to play across a period of 6 game rounds. Each round will be prefaced by a description of one or more critical events, and students will be asked to make decisions about how to respond. Play will be divided into 3 phases–Research, Action and Voting.
Students will be asked to research the event and the actions they can take prior to taking action, and non-actors will be asked to cast votes of Confidence or Contempt for these actions.
Actions will generate scores across dimensions including casualty rates and refugee counts and groups will be presented with a “Win” condition to promote peacemaking in the region.
The group successfully pilot-tested this design at a recent World History Association of Texas conference. They are looking forward to fleshing out this work for the full event in mid-April.
Project Team Members
Jason Rosenblum, M.S.
Mity Myhr, Ph.D.
Selin Guner, Ph.D.
Christopher Mickelwait, Ph.D.
Christie Wilson, Ph.D.