Bronxville News

High School Students Take on Roles of Progressive Era Reformers
Bronxville, NY

Having studied the progressive movement in terms of its goals and impact on society, students in teachers Kris Hart’s and Steve Klurfeld’s Advanced Placement U.S. History classes participated in a fun, role-playing educational activity to further solidify their knowledge. 

As part of the project, each student was challenged to conduct in-depth research on a specific person from the Progressive Era (1890-1920) and create a résumé, explaining their greatest achievements, goals and impact on society. Then the students participated in a “speed dating” type of activity, where they role-played as Progressive Era reformers and interacted with other reformers of that era. 

“They met with every other student in the class – that’s 19 ‘speed dates,’ each lasting four minutes – to see who they would be most compatible with, sharing their goals and methods,” Klurfeld said. 

Some of the people the students portrayed included Eugene Debs, W.E.B. DuBois, Alice Paul, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln Steffens. 

“I hope the students learned about the wide variety of ways an individual is instructive and to see that people can make a difference,” Klurfeld said. “Not only large organizations, but courageous and community-minded individuals have been, and can be, real agents of change in our society.”