Jonathan Duveen and Joan Solomon
Department of Educational Studies, Oxford Universi& 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford, England
This role-play is published in Solomon (1993b). It is similar to that used in The Retrial of Galileo(SATIS16-19, 1990) and JabsforJamesPhipps (Solomon, 1991). Innocasearethere any “lines to be leamt” by the students, for this would inhibit empathic creativity. We have been concerned that all students should take some part in the exercise, that they should work collaboratively in groups, that they should study a comprehension passage, and that they should have sufficient time to get into character and create appropriate responses for expected questions. The early part of the work is a learning activity from a text, in the sense used by Davies and Greene (1984) about reading for leaming in science.
The students are first asked to form seven groups. Each group is then given a short character brief that provides some indication of their character’s rank, typical behavior, and attitude toward Darwin’s theory. This is followed by some questions for discussion within the groups to help the students get into role. The same questions are available to those appointed to be the “Judge” or “Judges” so that questions asked will not be totally unexpected. The groups are allowed 10 to 15 minutes for this study (see Figure 1).
Finally, each group is asked to appoint one student to take on the role as witness during the trial-gender is not to be taken into account in the casting-and the others then become part of the jury. The classroom is reorganized, if that is possible, so that the judiciary sit a t a table at one end of the room; a “clerk to the court” is nearby to cal1
each witness formally in turn. Only three or four questions are asked of each witness. At the end of the last witness’s questioning the entire class is asked to vote and give its verdict. The complete role-play and preparation usually takes no more than an hour. Teachers may want to follow the role-play by asking questions and explonng their students’ reactions.