Professor Tim Hibsman of the English Department and Lydia Rose, a Kent State University professor, published their chapter titled, “Embracing the Dark Side: Playing the Bad Guy in an Education Environment” in It Works for Me with Critical Thinking, A Step-By-Step Guide (May 2019).
The notion that teachers should encourage a “positive teaching environment” seems to be universally accepted as a strategy that educators should strive for in the classroom. One method of teaching that is often avoided, is creating a negative teaching
environment or playing the bad guy. This practical pretending/role playing model introduces negative issues that must be addressed for positive outcomes. Students are often familiar with the concepts such as: opposing viewpoints, cause and effect, debate
analysis, but they are rarely engaged in a practical, real-life environment where they must deal opposing viewpoints. This bad guy teaching method forces students to use critical thinking skills to positively succeed.
In many social situations, the average person will be required to interact with people in different power positions, such as bosses, spouses, customers, politicians, or drill sergeants. Social interactions are not always positive and comfortable. The
skills to manage unpleasant interactions at an individual level or to endure unpleasant interactions should be addressed, taught, or practiced in the classroom setting.
Department of English