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The Effects on Indian Students Who Participated in Wechihtowin - A Social Simulation Game Based on the Operation of a Federated Co-operative



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One of the main purposes of this study was to develop a social simulation game based on the operation of a federated co-operative. An investigative research study was conducted to measure empirically the effect of this social simulation game, Wechihtowin, on self-esteem, powerlessness, economic efficacy, co-operativeness and attitude towards the future of a group of Indian grade eight students. In addition, this study attempted to analyze the operation of the social simulation game in order to suggest appropriate changes in it. A premise of this study was that appropriate learning strategies have to be found and appropriate curriculum materials developed to meet the needs of Indian students. It was anticipated that the social simulation process would be appropriate. Whereas there is presently a dearth of literature on Indian students involvement in the social simulation process, this research study contributes to the available literature on this topic. A pretest-posttest control group, experimental design was chosen to test the research hypotheses. The hypotheses stated that the participants would show a significant positive change in self-esteem, economic efficacy, powerlessness, co-operativeness and view of their future as a result of participating in the social simulation game: Wechihtowin. The control group consisted of a class of 17 grade seven Cree students while the experimental group consisted of 20 grade eight Cree students at the same school. The subjects responded to a series of self-report written instruments: a powerless scale developed by Splilka, a self-esteem scale by Dreyer, a series of semantic differential scales developed by Dreyer and an economic efficacy and co-operative scale develop by the researcher. These tests were administered two weeks prior to the experi􁪽ental groups participation in Wechihtowin. These same tests were administered to the control and experimental groups on completion of the social simulation game seven weeks later. An analysis of covariance was conducted on the data with the pretest score as the covariate and the posttest score the dependent variable. The independent variable was membership in the control or experimental group. The level of significance was set at .05. The hypothesis which postulated that the co-operative groups would divide their respective dividends evenly among the members rather than on some other basis such as the amount sold or produced was analyzed descriptively. Three of the four co-operative groups divided their dividends evenly among their members thus supporting this hypothesis. The hypothesis which stated that the participants would show a significant positive increase in their view of their future was supported. The hypotheses deaiing with a positive change in self-esteem, powerlessness, economic efficacy and co-operativeness were not supported at a statistically significant level. Written comments on a questionnaire administered on completion of Wechihtowin, student verbal comments, and observations of student activities indicated that the students enjoyed the social simulation game approach, improved their ability to co-operate and gained an understanding of how a co-operative business is operated. The students were able to operate a successful business and declare a dividend for their members on completion of the activity. Certain changes in WechihtoWin were suggested but it was concluded that there were sufficient positive results in this investigative study to suggest further implementation and testing of Wechihtowin. It was concluded that the social simulation process offers a meaningful learning approach for Indian students. Additional social simulation games should be developed and tested.





Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Foundations


Indian and Northern Education Program




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