One of BU’s greatest resources may also be one of its least utilized: the city of Boston. In preparing to align its undergraduate curriculum with the new general education initiative, the university encourages “faculty developing new courses in any Hub area…to consider how student engagement and learning are enhanced when coursework incorporates use of the city as an extended classroom and/or capitalizes on partnerships with local institutions or community groups.” This vision for a BU education acknowledges the benefits of experiential learning and the opportunities presented by the university’s urban location. The advantages of Boston-based learning, though, extend not just to Hub offerings, but to all courses offered at the university.
Many BU instructors are already deepening their students’ learning by having them visit historical sites, view art first-hand at museums, collect oral histories, or perform service in the community. MET instructor Bruce Berman, whose earth science course, “Snails to Whales,” educates students about local flora and fauna, succinctly explains some of the advantages of “field study”: “I like to teach this class because there are a lot of people for whom science is an abstract thing…They can’t always see the relevance and importance of it in their daily lives or how it improves their quality of life. But I find that with this class, my students are really interested in learning about Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay. When they are interested and willing to learn, they learn a lot.”
feature articles on Boston-based courses at BU:
- Bruce Berman, “From Snails to Whales” (Earth Sciences, MET)
- Alexander Keim, “Archaeology of Boston” (Archaeology, CAS)
- James Pasto, “A Social History of Boston’s North End” (Anthropology, MET and CAS) and research guide
- C. Ian Stevenson, “A Walk in the Park: Understanding Boston Through Green Space” (AMNESP, MET)
- Merry White, “Food, Culture and Society” (Anthropology, CAS) and research guide
- WR100: Boston in Film and Literature
- WR150: Boston, You’re Our Home: Discovering the Back Bay
- WR150: City of Ideas: A History of Innovation in Boston
- WR150: Gentrification: Boston’s North End as a Case Study
- WR150: Public Gardens & Urban Wilds: Boston’s Natural History
BU library’s guide to research on Boston: http://library.bu.edu/boston
Please open this document to read about the October 2012 Town Hall Meeting which will focus on issues pertaining to Open Access: Town Hall Announcement October 2012.
We would like to share an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education that was written by Sargent College Professor Kee Chan. The article was based on Kee’s Fall 2010 CEIT workshop.