Saturday, July 10, 2010

More semi-relevance

To follow up on something I mentioned a while ago here, the New York City school with a curriculum built around games is open for business.

I've been meaning to mention this for a while, mostly so I could post this summary of one of their 6th grade social studies units, "Spartan Private Investigators":
Aligned to the 6th grade-overarching theme of “Beginnings,” this mission asks students to travel back in time to the birth of the world’s first democracy in Ancient Greece and study the time period when Sparta is faced with making a policy decision about how to deal with the actions of Athens. They will explore cultural differences between Sparta and Athens and consider the role that geography plays in the development of societies and their relationships to each other. They will also consider specific historical events affecting city-states in Ancient Greece prior to 432. B.C. as they weigh the advantages and disadvantages of three resolution strategies (war, diplomacy, or neutrality). Throughout the Mission, students are working to create and deliver a policy brief to the political leadership of Sparta (the Council of Elders) stating which resolution strategy is best, using evidence to support their ideas. In order to help them construct their argument students are immersed in different digital simulations to explore possible ramifications of different resolutions. The final presentation (in front of the Council of Elders) requires them to collaborate with other students, to gather evidence from multiple sources, and consider several points of view.
Pretty cool. Though when I think of a Spartan policy brief, this is what comes to mind first.

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