Carefully assessed role work with trained actor/teachers has been shown to increase students’ interactive proficiency. We hypothesize that it also develops intellectual flexibility and ethical awareness of the roles and responsibilities that make practice challenging.
Designing courses that include the use and assessment of simulated problem-solving presents a complex challenge. Many teachers consider role work a sophisticated pedagogical approach, but hesitate to use it because it can feel uncomfortably unnatural to students and teachers outside the performing arts and because its objective assessment seems difficult. The Experiential Learning Lab seeks to demystify and systematize the “acting” and critique functions that characterize simulated problem-solving. Building on successful experiments with role work and actor/teacher training in NYU’s medical and law schools, the Lab will identify best practices for teaching through simulations and test the effects of well designed role work on students' interactive sophistication and professional judgment.
Peggy Cooper Davis