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Role Play for Humanities Teachers

The Humanities provide us with a multitude of opportunities to become other people, for example:

  • Geography: Experts in their fields (geologists, town planners etc.) or members of the public who belong to particular social groups or are affected by natural phenomena or man-made planned or unplanned activities.
  • History: Famous historical figures and, equally, a whole host of non-famous people such as shopkeepers, servants, regular soldiers, schoolchildren, doctors or architects.
  • Politics: Politicians, civil servants and representatives of different groups with (or without) a vote.
  • Psychology: Members of groups in social psychology, individuals with a given psychological condition, experts in the field (psychologists, psychiatrists etc.)
  • Religious Education: Religious figures (Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu etc.), named religious leaders (Gandhi, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ayatollah Khomeini), unnamed religious leaders (a priest, a Rabbi, an imam), religious followers (possibly belonging to specific sects or denominations)
  • Sociology Members of particular social groups at a variety of levels and perspectives (leaders, followers, opponents), major theorists (e.g. Marx, Weber, Durkheim).

Harold Raitt, one of the Noisy Classroom’s expert trainers, has delivered role play CPD sessions for Humanities teachers and has written a basic guide to using role play in the Secondary Humanities classroom:

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