Lila Staples

Active Learning

Engaging students in DOING things directly instead of just reading.
Students make their own life stories. Out of their readings and their reflections on experiences, they create theories. They connect their stories to other readings, etc. making connections.
Intrigued by how to treat an oral history as an artifact? How to make it come alive, connect it to a place, analyze the idea of memory.

Discovering Nikkei, looking through stories, discovering diversities as well as commonalities, all is Nikkei related, visitor makes choices, upload their own photographs, tell their own stories in the context of a community virtual museum site.

Issues of accessibility, making the classroom accessible, to learning differences, etc. so that students can learn in ways that they thrive. In terms of visual material what are options, alternatives, diverse range of assignments - visual learners, kinaesthetic learners, auditory learners.

In the Regional Art History course, which is also an upper level research / writing class, I have students choose their research topic and pose it in a question format. Often students don’t like this, wanting to be “given” a topic. But once they think about what they really want to know more about, they become attached to it personally and are more active in figuring out what they already know, what they want to know, who might be able to help them, where they might go to find more information, how their research focus might change, and then after writing their 10 – 12 page paper they share with the other members of the group what most excited them about what they found out. They become very creative in seeking out interviews, going through archives of old newspapers and photos, etc.

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