MA Education, .b Mindfulness certified
Life-skills innovator, mindfulness coach, teacher-gamer. Zach has figured out how to combine game theory, literary criticism into social emotional learning through role-playing games with his Masters in Education, teacher training and producing artists.
“The satisfaction of youth success is second to none. I shared my love of role-playing games with kids in schools, homeschools, summer camps and youth workshops to glowing success. For the last 5 years, I have been honing this socio-emotional life-skills curriculum to be ready to share with the world.”
“We are all in this journey together to make the world more sustainable, conscious and connected. Bringing RPGs into education is teaching narrative and critical thinking, while refereeing collaboration and risk taking. Boom! It is so fun!”
Social Emotional Learning through Role-Playing Games
Although millions of people have played role-playing games, to put them into cognitive, psychological, social, mindful and educational terms is to begin to run along the cutting edge of transformative opportunities that are, as yet, barely measured.
For the last 10 years, Zach has spent countless hours with students and observed the need for more offscreen learning opportunities. What he found with role playing games, is that students have the freedom to propose ideas, disagree, and take a stand when they wouldn’t normally feel comfortable, because, as their character, they do not have to uphold the social dictates of their friends – in fact the rules of role-playing require they uphold their character’s values and motivations.
Students can literally try out what it feels like to go against everything they stand for as a person, because they have aligned their character’s personality arc to be completely different from their own. And why? Just to see what happens and reflect!
This is teaching role-playing games as a skillset where students can learn to accept, process and move on from defeat and be gracious winners socially. By providing a safe and fun container, teachers can facilitate this implicit learning experience that generates endless opportunities for students to sort through skills they need in life.
Alternative Education Programs
As this book unfolds you will begin to see all the opportunities that RPGs in Schools delivers. The more it takes shape in your mind in relation to your context and population of learners, the more you will think of new ways to integrate RPGs in your school. Suddenly at a certain tipping point, you will wonder why it has taken so long to get these games into the classroom. As you unpack the possibilities, you will most likely also be struck by the existential parallel of yourself as an adventurer on a quest to make education more powerful and authentic.