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Simulation Games as a Tool of Raising Democratic Awareness and Culture of Dialogue among Youth

Article

EDVACAY Fellows’ Majda Alagić, Šejla Kulenović and Tijana Nikić civic campaign is based on conducting simulation games on relevant democracy related topics in elementary and high schools in the Una-Sana Canton. Fellows started the implementation of their campaign by developing role cards for five separate simulation games, analyzing the topics of introducing uniforms in schools, introducing a culture of religions class in school curriculum, the effects of Internet on youth, and the pros and cons of traditional upbringing. Separate roles were developed for each of the simulation games – persons arguing for and against the topic, the competent authorities, for instance Ministry of Education or school management, parents, and teachers.

The goal of the simulations was to inspire students to share their opinions on the analyzed topics, but also to challenge them to enter different assigned roles they do not necessarily agree with personally.

After acquiring the needed permission from the Ministry of Education of the Una-Sana Canton, the group visited five classes, with approximately 25 students in each, in four different schools: Harmani I and Harmani II Elementary Schools in Bihać, Mahala Elementary School in Sanski Most, and the Gymnasium in Bihać. Each simulation was held over a 45-minute long time slot. Fellows took into consideration the age of the students participating in the game, choosing the most approachable topic for them, in order to ensure the quality of the discussion. After the game was completed, the group interviewed some of the participants and handed out questionnaires to collect feedback. They used the information to improve their facilitation performance and to potentially modify some of the role cards they prepared. The initial response was excellent, and the students who participated in the simulation games, as well as their teachers, thought that this might be a great addition to their curricula.