Time needed: 15 min

Why? In education in the classroom (education, science of education, social education) is the role-play an important method of social group work and similar contexts. Here are usually simulated real life situations. One goal is to expand the participants social action skills by alluding critical situations in the simulated reality already. In addition, players can try out in their respective roles, the role is to try to behave accordingly, and learn to accept others in other roles. Furthermore, a competence to be acquired in dealing with situations require serious (for example dealing with conflicts). Here, the roles assigned to the character of the people to be different or similar. Are the roles and the characters of the group members is given by the role reversal the opportunity to experience the feelings and thoughts of others. Secondly, the (playing) participants and the spectators will allow insights into the results of group work in real situations. It is also advised in this context, caution: The game is both in terms of flow and the result does not necessarily equate with reality.

When? In lessons, the role play are used as a way to demonstrate the processes of social situations and backgrounds, to analyze and evaluate. The game of conflict situations such as public education in the private sector enjoys (usually) very popular. Students are provided with easy ways to this kind of a view which is otherwise only possible with great effort. The educational literature on the role play are many suggestions in this direction. The role play is still – despite all the concerns about the types of knowledge – an excellent method of intuition, brings you the necessary skepticism in the evaluation process with a playful one. In language teaching role play is an extraordinarily excellent way to theoretically acquired linguistic knowledge into practice.


  1. Associated free and spontaneous role plays that make the game open to participants during the playing with fantasy. Such a game can be played with or without toys, and subject to outstanding agreements or scenarios. Mother-father-child for example is a role playing game that is used by many children spontaneously and mostly played in constantly changing scenarios.
  2. Regulated role playing, where players follow fixed rules, game schedules, match officials or make use of certain scripts and game resources. These include, in the broadest sense, all types of games that are played repeatedly according to fixed rules.
  3. The Educational role play combines both the regulated framework. A game manager organizes, directs, helps with distribution of roles and structures developed themes. Apart from the role players logged observers are used. The game master can interrupt, “double up” and support. The game itself is always in the context of the issue free, which means all the protagonists will express what comes to their mind spontaneously about the given problem. At the end is always a rigorous evaluation, all participants will have a feedback possibility. role play leader of this approach require additional training, and the educational role play claims to practice cause permanent learning effects.

Any risks? Role plays are often staged by non-professionals who can not provide specific training for this. And so there are limits to the applicability in education, training and therapy. Caution is offered as an example with themes which can set free backgrounds of abuses. Specialists are “capable” to respond in the right way to irritation or released aggressions and depressions, others remain helpless. The following “somehow” discussion is simply not enough from the perspective of the educational role-playing games. Another example: An adult who is playing child – regardless of age – is rather implausible, because the opportunities to put themselves in the situation of children are indeed limited. For a simulation of real social relations in the role play is pedagogically-didactically questionable. Similarly, it may go to the player who has problems with it, to empathize with social roles that he does not know, for example, or against whom he has reservations or dislike. Reflected so can be an excellent role-playing version of intuition in the context of social institutions, groups and constellations. In general, role-playing has to be always very good planed and the role-play leader has to clarify all eventualities in advance to plan appropriate responses.