HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.


Simulations are an excellent tool for teaching and have been used in many disciplines including in various subfields of political science, notably in international relations. We focus on the value of employing simulations in the classroom to complement the pedagogy surrounding political theory and related fields such as professional ethics and moral philosophy. Simulations, we believe, provide a unique educational benefit to the teaching of these subjects by supplying a concrete context for students to engage in ethical decision making, encouraging them to relate theory to practice. Simulations can achieve this goal, we argue, if they provide students with an immersive experience that confronts them with ethically significant choices. Further, we claim, game design theory and practices offer a useful tool set for designing simulations that can do exactly that. In this article, we discuss the educational benefits of using simulation to teach normative theory and present the principles that guide us in designing these simulations, drawing on some ideas in game design theory. Finally, we present a primaries campaign management simulation we have written and ran.


Perry, Tomer J., and Christopher Robichaud. "Teaching Ethics Using Simulations: Active Learning Exercises in Political Theory." Political Science Instruction (March 2019): 1-18.