Georgia State University was recently featured in the Campus Spotlight section of the Reacting to the Past program website, highlighting how the university has used the innovative concept to teach history and leadership in a different and exciting way.
Reacting to the Past (RTTP) consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills. Reacting roles, unlike those in a play, do not have a fixed script and outcome, so while students will be obliged to adhere to the philosophical and intellectual beliefs of the historical figures they have been assigned to play, they must devise their own means of expressing those ideas persuasively, in papers, speeches, or other public presentations; and students must also pursue a course of action they think will help them win the game.
RTTP is a program of Barnard College at Columbia University.
The article at https://reacting.barnard.edu/RCSpotlightGSU describes the success Georgia State has had in undertaking RTTP, in addition to how the university went about assessing curricula and implementing the concept – work that helped the department garner the 2018 University System of Georgia’s Regents Teaching Excellence Award.
The university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning worked with the Department of History in implementing RTTP, including the LEAD with Honors program of Georgia State’s Honors College.
You can also watch the following videos with testimonials from students and Georgia State faculty.
What’s in a History Class at Georgia State University?
Teaching Leadership at GSU
Learn more about the Georgia State Department of History at https://history.gsu.edu. You can also visit https://cetl.gsu.edu to learn about the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and https://honors.gsu.edu/lead/ to learn more about the LEAD with Honors leadership program.
– Jeremy Craig, Manager of Marketing & PR, Office of the Provost