Ron Helwig's Teaching Site

Helping raise smart and brave kids using Role Playing Games

Using D&D in Education

As an experienced player and dungeon master [i.e. Game Master], as well as being a parent, I have been interested in using Dungeons and Dragons as a learning tool for some time. For the last few years, I have been running games for my son and other kids and have found it to be a fulfilling experience. I am happy to share my knowledge and skills with others, using unschooling techniques as a starting point but incorporating some more traditional homeschooling ideas. Others have been doing this for years now, with promising results.

For at least a decade some teachers have been engaging students by having after-school D&D campaigns. Barely organized and mostly intended to just share a teacher's love of the game with students, it soon became apparent that the kids were learning - eagerly.

Dungeons and Dragons is an exciting form of collective storytelling. Even more importantly, it is story creating. Players create and control a character in the story, making decisions, planning, communicating, and reacting to the story world.

Players gain or practice a multitude of skills that will help their education, their eventual career, and their life, including:

  • Basic math
  • History
  • Geography
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Empathy

Where D&D Fits

While I wouldn't say that D&D classes are a core part of a curriculum, they can enhance a basic one in several ways. First, they can give kids a fun and engaging activity that makes them like their schooling more. They can also give kids an emotional outlet, letting them experience things in a safe environment. Kids may find increased confidence from play-acting scenarios and proving themselves in skill-based encounters. Often players of the game will become interested in some subject that comes up in the game, and end up researching more on the topic, possibly becoming a subject matter expert. You never know where it might lead!

So if you're interested in adding to your educational possibilities, please talk to me about my D&D Courses.

And if you are worried about the sorts of things that could happen in roleplaying adventures, please check out my parent's guide.

And More

There is more to D&D than just playing the world's best game. There's Dungeon Mastering (i.e running the game for others) and crafting. But as I grew comfortable teaching all those things I also learned to teach other subjects. These days I am teaching Video Production and Artificial Intelligence. Who knows what lies ahead?