This research examines the Arab-Israeli Conflict (AIC) Simulation, an internet-based simulation program for high school students administered by Interactive Communications and Simulations at the University of Michigan School of Education. The goal of the research is to determine the extent to which the AIC Simulation develops a series of global education competencies (perspective consciousness, state of the planet awareness, cross-cultural awareness, knowledge of global dynamics, and awareness of human choices.) Furthermore, the research aims to examine how well the AIC Simulation accomplishes those objectives in comparison with more traditional methods of instruction.

Semi-structured interviews with teachers who have used the AIC Simulation and Likert scale surveys of student participants in the simulation are used to collect data concerning the outcomes of the exercise. Results are summarized and analyzed using the five global education competencies specified above as a framework. In addition, experiential learning theory is discussed as it pertains to simulations and their use in the classroom.

The research suggests that the simulation examined is successful in introducing most of the global education concepts studied, and notes the importance of preparation and post-simulation debriefing in solidifying and reinforcing the learnings involved. The challenges of conducting internet based debriefings are also explored. Finally, the benefits of simulations as an experiential learning tool are examined from the perspective of teachers and students.

The research offers practical suggestions for the implementation of internet-based simulations with high school students. Furthermore, it reinforces the growing body of literature that sees value in the ability of simulations to help students internalize the learning of difficult concepts and skills, including conflict resolution, negotiation, and compromise.


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | International Relations