College Students Will Live History through New Program
Mcgraw, Carol, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)
Last summer Professor Wayne Artis was the Marxist head of a miner's union in South Africa.
Before you raise your eyebrows, know that the Pikes Peak Community College professor was actually recreating history in a program which will soon be become part of the curriculum.
PPCC has received a $100,000 grant from the Colorado Community College System to develop the student learning tool called Reacting to the Past. PPCC will collaborate with University of Colorado at Colorado Springs history professor Roger Martinez of, who is using the program, to expand it regionally. The program consists of scenarios that set students at the center of historical times. They take the roles of historical figures, divide into factions and argue issues of the time, using classical works, historical papers and other documents to shore up their positions.
There are no scripts. The students have to do research to develop their personas and arguments. They sometimes create costumes, and items popular during that period - at UCCS, students created a catapult-like weapon.
"It's an exciting opportunity to engage students with primary sources and look at the assumptions that people at the time were dealing with," said Artis, co-chair of PPCC's history department. "If they are really good at their arguments, they can change history."
"Reacting to the Past" was created at Barnard College, and has spread to more than 300 colleges. It has been found to promote teamwork, speech and writing skills, critical thinking, and global knowledge. …