Select a text that you wish to use in your final project and write a very brief blog post explaining why you chose it and how you might use it.
Selected text: Levine, Mark. “Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization? – The New York Times.” New York Times Magazine 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 June 2017.
Reasons: This article actually inspired my project topic. I knew that I wanted to focus on book arts, and handmade paper is often a part of this medium. I am personally interested in handmade paper as well and have taken classes on the topic. This article ties the art and craft of papermaking to our cultural history. This history (in both Eastern and Western countries) can easily incorporate teaching opportunities and help students to ask “historian’s questions.” This article serves as a jumping off point to other texts, including lesson plans and papermaking tutorials. It will be part of a larger bibliography to help both teachers and student see how handmade paper fits into history. This article also speaks to the need for authority in information sources. The subject of the interview is Timothy Barrett, a papermaker and former director of the Center for the Book at the University of Iowa. He is an established expert in the field. Although the New York Times Magazine is not a peer-reviewed journal, it is a respected publication and accessible to a wider audience. In addition to these kinds of texts, I will include several images and videos to help explain handmade paper and the process to create it.
Answer to at least one of the following questions:
- What elements of historical thinking have remained at the heart of history teaching over the decades?
- How have history teachers responded to technological change in the 20th and 21st centuries?
- How have external expectations constrained teaching and learning in history, and how might the digital turn disrupt those constraints?
There are constraints on teaching and learning in history (and in general) because of standardized testing which requires students to regurgitate certain facts/content knowledge. However, I have seen acceptance of technology in the classroom which is encouraging. As our readings point out, the incorporation of digital tools at the K-12 and undergraduate levels have not been a wholesale by-in. In contrast, it it a smattering of hopeful examples a here and there. However, I see hope for more significant changes because of the changes in how graduate students are learning. (Once upon a time) when I started a PhD program in art history because it seemed like the logical next step, the way to learn was still information passed down directly by my advisor. Who were the Victorian-era paint companies to needed to look at? Which London galleries should I focus on? Looking at homes of 19th-century artists was difficult since many of the buildings were radically altered or no longer existed. In one of our previous classes, I examined Bowdoin College’s DH project the London Gallery Project. Even 15 years ago, I was only seeing a small glimmer of technology being used in such ways. This makes me hopeful that we will see changes in how history in taught. While students will still need guidance with concepts like procedural knowledge and information literacy, they are coming in with a lower threshold of learning when it comes to technology. I can envision this comfort level as being a future advantage.
Dr. Kelly’s article taps into the growing awareness that history teaching needs to change. Our earlier readings have shown us that history teaching has not changed significantly in the last one hundred years. Historically (pun intended), teaching has been a passive, one way flow of information from teacher to student. Our readings show that several advances have been implemented at the graduate level. However, these changes have not been implemented across the board in the primary and secondary levels. Dr. Kelly sets forth manageable and beneficial approaches to changing this. The challenge is to figure out how to implement this interactive approach both online and in person.