Try out classroom exercises

In my teaching, I would like to develop more classroom exercises. I am particularly interested in exercises that can be used for one of two things:

(1) to give students a taste of how one might look at, problematise and analyse, certain artefacts, phenomena or cases. I am thinking of the exercise devised by Robert Martello and Jonathan Stolk to introduce their course The Stuff of History (Olin College) which brings together history of technology and materials science. The version I experienced at one of Olin’s summer workshops a few years ago had us (in small groups) choose an item from a big pile of heterogeneous stuff and examine it by comparing the material composition and societal impacts of this modern artefact with those of an ancient counterpart.

(2) to create an experience that ‘brings home’ something of importance for the class and/or individual students in it. I am thinking, for example, of role play as a way to get students to break away from the constraints of being themselves when exploring an issue from multiple perspectives.

For this proposed THATCamp session, I would like to bring one of my classroom exercises to try out on, and critically evaluate with, other participants. The exercise will be for the interdisciplinary seminar on ‘Fakes‘ which I’ll teach again later this year with students at Tembusu College, National University of Singapore.

I would also like to be a participant in classroom exercises others wish to try out.

If you are keen to participate in a session of this kind let me know (gs.ud1513381226e.sun1513381226@snam1513381226pooc.1513381226enjil1513381226etac1513381226)! We can then think about what time limits to set for the exercises, flesh out what kind of critical evaluation would help us improve them, etc.

2 Responses to Try out classroom exercises

  1. Hi Catelijne,

    I’ve done a similar experiment with students using ‘unfamiliar’ objects. The purpose of that task is to identify the function of the object through what Dennett calls artefact hermeneutics; in the class, a kind of amateur archaeology. I’d be happy to explain it as part of your session if you like.

Leave a Reply