Learn by doing: A bill passage simulation for Intro to American Politics students
by Renée Van Vechten, University of Redlands
Why lecture when your students can practice to learn? Realizing that lecturing alone is the least effective method for teaching “how a bill becomes a law,” I regularly incorporate a three-day bill passage simulation in my Introduction to American Politics class so that students learn more about a policy of interest, remember the steps in the lawmaking process, and get a taste of power—as wielded by the House majority party. We usually limit the process to the House alone but the Senate process can be added if time permits. Along the way, action is interspersed with short lectures or explanations about the process and key terms (outlined in lecture slides).