Conference Program: https://cue.commons.gc.cuny.edu/previous-cue-conferences/program-2019/
Conference Schedule: https://cue.commons.gc.cuny.edu/conference-schedule-2019/
Reviewed and Accepted Abstract:
Title: Learning Places: Observing, Analyzing, Understanding New York City
Students in the co-taught interdisciplinary course Learning Places: Understanding the City meet general education learning outcomes through a series of place-based learning experiences and assignments that foreground the study of a specific place in New York City. Drawing on a shared orientation to the site chosen for study from documentary films, site visits, reflections on their own experiences as urban dwellers, and focused research visits to archives and special collections, students learn not just about New York City but more importantly how to observe, how to construct meaning from observation, and how to verify data gathered through empirical study. Students conduct empirical studies of the chosen place and then analyze the evidence they gather through research in archives, special collections, and demographic and geographic data. After documenting their observations and documentation (including photographs and sketches) in a site report, students use a range of research methods to draw further meaning from their empirical study, which they apply to their research throughout the semester. The site report launches students into the process of meeting a specific general education learning outcome: using skills in inquiry and analysis to derive meaning from experience as well as gathering information from observation. In this presentation, instructors and a few current students (schedules permitting) will offer their perspectives on learning from studying one New York City place through place-based empirical observation and analysis of a range of historical and contemporary primary sources.