Teaching for Historical Understanding through Role-Play, pp. 10 of 14

Most groups were able to articulate fairly logical and reasonable answers for whichever party they were voting for. Students were also quick to offer alternative answers when they felt that their classmates were wrong.  At the end of the session, both classes concluded that Labour Front and PAP were likely to be victorious in the 1955 elections as the majority of the working-class people of Singapore would support them, as compared to the SPP.

Evaluation Of Lesson

Compared to previous years when direct instruction was used to describe the political parties and the outcomes of the elections, students were a lot more engaged and invested in the outcome of the elections with the role-play activity. Instead of giving generic answers for why a certain party won the election, like “PAP won because they promised merger”, they can now explain how the promises made by the different parties would affect people living in Singapore and who that would appeal to. The cartoons and the presentations also helped students remember the concepts and political terms.

In many ways, the lesson package helped the students understand this complex chapter at a more engaged and deeper level. The concept of diversity came out strongly in the role-play and the discussion of the elections while change and continuity was seen in the difference between the 1948 and 1955 elections.

On the other hand, there were areas that could be improved. These include:

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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