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Community Coalition Simulation: Experiential Learning of Community Psychology Practice Competencies

Tom Wolff & Gregor Sarkisian

Community psychology (CP) practice competencies have recently emerged as a contemporary issue in community psychology (Society for Community Research and Action, 2012). One of the more challenging CP practice competencies to learn, in the experience of the authors of this paper, is collaboration and coalition development, listed under Community and Social Change as CP practice competency number twelve – “The ability to help groups with common interests and goals to do together what they cannot do apart” (SCRA, 2012, p. 12). This paper describes a community coalition simulation exercise as a teaching tool for CP practice competencies in both community and academic settings. Whether one is engaging in working as a member of a coalition for the first time, or, engaging in learning collaboration and coalition building as a student of CP, teaching and learning about coalition development is challenging.