Author: Mészáros Edina Lilla
Abstract: In our paper, we wish to present the use of simulation games and exercises, as innovative, alternative and problem-based learning methods of European Studies, implementing David Kolb’s experiential learning theory and the constructivist learning paradigm. After a detailed presentation of the simulation exercises as experiential learning methods and in-depth theoretical framing, our research also aims to assess various EU simulation games organized at the level of the Union with a special focus on our country, Romania. The topic of this article originates from a personal experience, because it is based on the know-how gathered as a participant at the EU Applied Decision Making Simulation Game held in Brussels in 2010, where we have renegotiated an EU regulation concerning the Setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles. In the end, we will try to present the benefits and challenges of this experiential learning method, deciphering whether it honours its purpose of turning students form passive to active learners, fostering their more effective participation, once they are adults in community issues, contributing to the formation of future professionals, proficient in EU decision-making, or not.
Keywords: Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, EuroSim, Model United Nations, constructivism, problem based learning