European imperialism expanded to Asia with the coming of the industrial revolution. The development of technology and increase in wealth prompted the imperialists to seek new boundaries. They eyed Asia and Africa for expanding their empire. Teachers find it a bit challenging to teach about imperialism or for that matter history to students. History simulation games are the ideal medium to get students involved and learn about the European Imperialism in Asia through playing games instead of lecturing to them.
The simulation is done either through enactment by students where they are assigned roles or through online games. Let us see how both these can help in learning a lot more about European imperialism in Asia.
To give an idea about imperialism an announcement in classroom is made
- The students are directed to stand at designated places as per the order.
- The rules henceforth shall be followed by one and all
- You shall write only with your left hand from now on.
- Girls will remain in their designated area and boys in their designated area
- During class, it is mandatory to stand up while speaking
Some more things can be added if required. After a few minutes, it is explained that what they have experienced is just a small introduction to imperialism.
A handout with the “experiencing terminology” is distributed.
The meaning of imperialism is then read out to the class from the top of the page.
Students are given some time to write their responses.
A debriefing session is conducted for a short time so that every point is touched upon and students understand the significance.
Similarly, the students can be assigned roles of historical figures and enact them.
History lesson with video and online games
The history simulation game has downloadable rules and flowchart which can be explained to students before beginning the game.
Main Objectives of the game
Understand the effect of the combined relationship among industrial production, natural resources, and market which is the reason for the creation of imperialism.
Eight groups are formed which represent Europe. At the start of the game, all groups have equal natural resources and industrial production.
The groups are given the option of spending their national income on
- Development of industrial production through research and development.
- Building Military to conquer Africa and Asia.
- Saving the national income for a future purpose.
As the decisions are made by students of each group they are learning and watching the progress of other groups too and learning from them. When students invest in technology their industrial production grows but national income can grow only if they expand markets and have more natural resources.
They then build the military to expand their markets and conquer a country in Asia. At this time the teacher changes the color of that country to that of Europe. The natural resources are added and market numbers also increase. The statistics are maintained in Microsoft word and excel sheets.
After completing each round students analyze their recorded results. They understand the effects their decisions had on the economic factors of production, markets, and resources. By the end of this simulation, students understand the causes of imperialism and also the interrelationship between industrial production, markets, and natural resources.
Teaching about the European imperialism in Asia through history simulation either by gameplay or role-play can be far more interesting and the students learn about the interrelationship of economic factors along with history.