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The Strategy of Using Role Play in Health Care Education
Role play is a teaching strategy that identifies real world practical situations and encourages students to think critically to determine the probable method of actions to solve a given issue. The method provides a dramatic, unscripted way for the students to play the roles in a situation that can assist them in handling it later should they experience it. Those that do not participate in the acting portion of role play observe and analyze the outcome and assisting in the discussion that follows. Role play enhances the student's decision-making, problem-solving, and communication abilities and skills.
Dr. Adam Blatner associates the method of role play to Jean Piaget's theory of assimilation and accommodation when learning. Dr. Blatner states, "In assimilation, people figuratively "fill in" their mental map of their world, while in accommodation, they figuratively change that mental map, expand or alter it to fit their new perceptions.
Both processes are complementary and concurrent, but different types of learning tend to emphasize one or the other mode." (Blatner, 2009) With the use of role play the student is able to experience the situation and make mental markers of what actions to take if the situation arises.
First, the instructor must decide the situation that should be acted out and plan the scenario. It should be familiar enough that the students understand the purpose and can decide how to act out their particular part of the scenario. The observers should be able to understand what will be acted out so they can analyze it properly. A short description of the scenario should be written with a minimum of two parts to be acted out. The instructor should decide whether one group or multiple groups will act out...