Purpose: Mock trial is an activity commonly used both in and out of the class in citizenship education. Mock trial is a simulation technique rooted in experiential learning. This study aimed to evaluate the Mock trial method used by a primary school teacher in Turkey to solve the problems faced during lessons.
Research Methods: This research is designed as an intrinsic case study, which involves the use of Mock trials to solve the classroom problems. Participants were a classroom teacher and 20 fourth grade students attending her class. Research data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.
Findings: Mock trial procedure was conducted during the last 15 minutes of the lessons at one-to-two-month intervals. The problem to be handled in the Mock trial is decided by the consensus of the students and the teacher. Students solve the problem by acting out their roles as decided in the trial. In this way, students develop the skills of problem solving, self-control, responsibility, empathy, and communication. Also, they learn about the concepts of right and justice, and the functioning of justice system.
Implications for Research and Practice: When Mock trial is to be applied to solve classroom problems, especially the problems students commonly experience in their school can be prioritized. Rules to abide before, during and after the trial should be set up first, and a democratic classroom culture characterized with respect, affection and confidence should be established. Students should be encouraged to concentrate on the solution of the classroom problems. Further research can be conducted on utilizing this method as an instructional method in different courses. Moreover, training programs can be held to inform the teachers about this method.
Mock trial, human rights, social studies, citizenship education