Friday, January 11, 2008

The Pedagogy of Place

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed, called the “The Pedagogy of Place,” focuses on the popularity of courses that get students out of the classroom and into their local communities to conduct research.

Oddly, the article says nothing about getting students into local archives—even those at the institutions where such courses are taught. The missing link with archives is highlighted at the end of the article, which concludes by reporting that professors are often unsure what to do with students’ material since “professors aren’t archivists.”

I am always happy to support such community-based research projects at my institution, and I am happy to add to my archives good research material that might help others understand or pursue a topic further.

While more and more research is being done virtually (i.e., with electronic resources), there is still much interest and value in having students work with physical source materials, such as the unique records, rare books, and artifacts that are found in archives, special collections, and museums.

Link to “The Pedagogy of Place”:

Image: My daughter picking Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, October 2007.