“Reacting to the Past” Winter Conference

Are you looking for a way to increase classroom interaction and student engagement? Do you hope to implement high impact practices into your course or program curriculum? Do you want to explore active learning across academic disciplines?

If so, you may want to learn more about the “Reacting to the Past” pedagogical technique. Reacting’s second annual Winter Conference will be held on January 12-13, 2018. The conference is being hosted by the University of Georgia and sponsored by The Reacting Consortium, a not-for-profit organization that supervises and disseminates the pedagogy.

What is Reacting to the Past?

Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a pedagogical approach pioneered by Columbia University professor, Mark Carnes in his teaching position at Barnard College. RTTP’s approach to teaching and learning consists of elaborate multi-disciplinary 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 as well as participation. In drawing students into the past, Reacting instructors promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills.

But Reacting is not just about teaching history. This pedagogy fits comfortably within classes from any discipline, from humanities classes to science classes (there is a game for almost every discipline). It also complements a variety of class types, from first-year seminars to major courses to capstone courses and everything in between. And it has found a home in over 300 institutions from public and private universities to community colleges.

What to Expect from the Conference

Participants will engage with experienced practitioners, learn more about using RTTP in teaching, and explore the pedagogy from the student perspective by actually playing a shortened version of one of the following games:

  • Kentucky 1861: Loyalty, State, and Nation
  • Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution France, 1791
  • Greenwich Village, 1913: Suffrage, Labor, and the New Woman
  • Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty
  • Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945
  • The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.E.

To learn more about the Winter Conference and to register, click here. Early bird registration closes 11/19/2017.