Classrealm - When the roleplay meets school


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So a teacher turned class into D&D and paid out experience points for homework.


Not only is it elitistic and encourages competition before cooperation, it's also stupidly sexist.

This is really, really bad.


Goshdarnit, this makes me seriously mad. How the frakk do you even come up with that idea? For sixth-graders? How old are those, 13? And that bulls about "completely voluntary"? There's no frakkin' voluntary for 13-years old in a class! How could someone like him even be a teacher? He must know absolutely nothing about psychology, and less than nothing about child psychology!

GAW! :@

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

D&D/Pathfinder makes an excellent school activity - in encourages reading, resource management, teamwork, problem solving, and creative thinking.

But ... The teacher is carrying this a little too far. Stringburka is basically right (if overly upset): "There's no frakkin' voluntary for 13-years old in a class!"


Pathfinder or D&D is an excellent school activity if done properly, it can be a great educational tool if made as a specific activity with a clear goal where cooperation is encouraged; it can show how you can work together with different skills to complete a goal, it can be used to allow playing with societal norms in an easily accessible way, it can cause kids to read more, and train their fantasy.

Making an XP race for a class and assigning teams based the teachers/states view of childrens gender is completely absurd.

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So Gold Stars with Nazis?

Liberty's Edge

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It would be an interesting and possibly informative experiment to see what longer term effects this might have on the students learning. American education seems to me to be going the way of mediocrity, where everyone "wins", competition is discouraged for fear of hurting students feelings, and standards are dumbed down so that hardly anyone "fails". In New York, there has been a marked decrease for the support of classes for "gifted" students.


Interestingly enough, countries such as mine (Sweden) that has had a decent tradition of minimizing competition in school and that has never had classes for "gifted" has had quite a great history when it comes to scientific advances, cultural expressions and social equality.

For having less inhabitants in the whole country than the city of London, we have quite a few notable inventions and have long been seen as a well-educated people.

In the last 15 years or so we've increased competition of students and allowed more private schools. In those same years, we've seen a steady drop in student performances, especially when it comes to those who might have a hard time studying in the first place. Class matters more than ever in Swedish education nowadays.

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I think this is a great idea, it encourages class participation and in entirely voluntary. Kudos to this inventive teacher using terms and types of participation that the children are already familiar with to encourage them to participate makes friends and learn on their own and in teams.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
It would be an interesting and possibly informative experiment to see what longer term effects this might have on the students learning. American education seems to me to be going the way of mediocrity, where everyone "wins", competition is discouraged for fear of hurting students feelings, and standards are dumbed down so that hardly anyone "fails". In New York, there has been a marked decrease for the support of classes for "gifted" students.

Yes, Education in the United States has been "going the way of mediocrity." But "standards" are not the problem.

No the problem is the defunding of Public Education. Look at swelling class sizes, and other budget cuts to see why we are having a problem in America.

Liberty's Edge

I'm not a middle school or high school teacher (I taught 11th and 12th grade English almost 15 years ago, before being called to active duty), but shouldn't cooperative learning have made the rounds before the sixth grade? Sixth and seventh grades are when, I imagine, competitive learning should become most important.

I dislike gender-based educational competition, but otherwise this teacher's approach looks interesting (and a bit fun).


I think a campaign involving time travel would be even more educational.

Liberty's Edge

I found it incredible effective to constantly reference previous material:

"Man, it's like when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were..."
"Kinda like Ahab shouting at the wind..."
"Studying for the test is like pinning down elementary particles..."
"He probably felt a lot like Stephen looking at himself in the mirror, happy with his piety..."

The kids would give the the knowing head-nod, sometimes the wry chuckle. Doing the same thing on a test showed me they both understood the material and could apply it to other things.

Nonetheless, I had an evaluator sit in a couple classes once who told me that we were all over the place, cracking jokes about relationships between the great white whale and the Enterprise. She said I was probably confusing the students and should focus my classes with no extra-genre or pop culture references.

She said it was pointless.


Andrew Turner wrote:
She said it was pointless.

Assuming for a moment her analysis was correct, she choose to disenfranchise a teacher who actually cared enough to try?! Words fail me.


CourtFool wrote:
I think a campaign involving time travel would be even more educational.

This.

Not in school (I'm 40, lol) but, I just did a small Cthulhu adventure for my group and it turned out to be an incredible historical research for me. Even my players were wowed by the historical detail I managed to fit in there. We all learned alot of cool stuff about the 1920s in only one afternoon of playing... That is, besides the tentacles, the insanities and the gruesome deaths.

Imagine having a role playing session with a class of students on board the Titanic just before it sank, or during the attack on Pearl Harbor, or any other historical time/place that the class happens to be studying at the moment. It's like having been there, instead of just reading about it.

Ultradan


CourtFool wrote:
I think a campaign involving time travel would be even more educational.

You mean like this one


Group work is harder than calculus for me at least.


Also, there is a kickstarter for Class Realm


stringburka wrote:
Making an XP race for a class and assigning teams based the teachers/states view of childrens gender is completely absurd.

And from my experience with the multiple teachers I had through the years who did it, highly effective at increasing class participation.

Liberty's Edge

Andrew Turner wrote:
She said it was pointless.

CourtFool wrote:

Assuming for a moment her analysis was correct, she choose to disenfranchise a teacher who actually cared enough to try?! Words fail me.

I only taught for a year (while I waited to go on active duty in the Army). I taught a couple evening continuing ed classes at the college, and at the high school I taught three honors classes, and an AP class. I wasn't at all concerned that my honors students were seriously getting confused by comparisons of Moby Dick to Wrath of Khan (and thinking Kirk was a actual character in Melville's novel, which she brought up as a concern).

"That kind of thing may work for the college students, but I think it's best left out of the high school setting, Mr. Turner." Or words to that effect (it's been over 15 years).

I also remember the emphasis she kept placing on 'Mr.' when she addressed me, so I think there was some degree-envy going on, as well.


But it was Queequeg who died saving the Enterprise from a warp core meltdown, right?

Say what?! DAMN YOU TURNER!

(Sorry, I had to; Personally I think RPGs can be a great educational tool, however much I may hate the word "edutainment.")


Andrew Turner wrote:
She said it was pointless.

Pretending literature exists in a vacuum makes it more special.

/sarcasm

Hitdice wrote:
But it was Queequeg who died saving the Enterprise from a warp core meltdown, right?

I though Queequeg was Skully's dog?


It made for an interesting read. Hard to judge as I'm sure there are more details about how it works on a day to day basis. I'm not sure about people charging him with competitive learning at the expense of cooperative learning. Teamwork is a significant part of RPGs but he doesn't really talk about it in any detail. As for the gender thing well yes I'm not surprised that his boys responded with the most enthusiasm. Still I hope the girls are playing samurai yeti as well and not just mermaid princesses (nothing wrong with mermaid princesses but good to see both represented).
Kudos for getting a response and a lively dynamic in the classroom. Not sold on it myself but thats from a lack of information not the concept alone.
(Though I have to admit this concept applying to everything does seem like it will lose its effect as the novelty wears off. Good for a unit but everything? curious to know the results after a longer time)

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