PBL in the Humanities: Latin American Cultures and Civilizations Persephone Braham University of Delaware - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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PBL in the Humanities: Latin American Cultures and Civilizations Persephone Braham University of Delaware Redesign of a humanities lecture course to integrate PBL and appropriate technologies. University of Delaware’s 10 Goals for Success.

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PBL in the Humanities: Latin American Cultures and Civilizations Persephone Braham University of Delaware

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PBL in the Humanities:

Latin American Cultures and Civilizations

Persephone Braham

University of Delaware

Redesign of a humanities lecture course to integrate PBL and appropriate technologies


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University of Delaware’s 10 Goals for Success

  • Attain effective skills in oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning, and the use of information technology.

  • Learn to think critically to solve problems.

  • Be able to work and learn both independently and collaboratively.

  • Engage questions of ethics and recognize responsibilities to self, community, and society at large.

  • Understand the diverse ways of thinking that underlie the search for knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.

  • Develop the intellectual curiosity, confidence, and engagement that will lead to lifelong learning.

  • Develop the ability to integrate academic knowledge with experiences that extend the boundaries of the classroom.

  • Expand understanding and appreciation of human creativity and diverse forms of aesthetic and intellectual expression.

  • Understand the foundations of United States society including the significance of its cultural diversity.

  • Develop an international perspective in order to live and work effectively in an increasingly global society.


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Latin American Culture(s) and Civilization(s)

  • Latin American history, culture, geography, politicspre-Columbian to present

  • taught in Spanish (through FLLT)


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Existing course logistics

  • lecture with textbook

  • required course for LAS majors

  • 300 – level (mostly juniors)

  • meets “multicultural” distribution requirement

  • 20-25 students per section

  • traditional “technology-ready” classroom


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Problems with existing course

  • lecture format

  • no critical / synthetic thinking required

  • no problem solving

  • little peer interaction

  • few opportunities for oral / written communication

  • no use of technology to support learning activities

  • textbook based – single, instructor-defined source

  • subject matter “long ago and far away”


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University of DelawareInstitute for Transforming Undergraduate Education

  • Engages the University’s 10 Goals for Success through faculty development workshops and institutes

  • Teaches PBL methodologies

  • Facilitates access to PBL resources

  • Grants for course redesign

  • Support for faculty in design, implementation and assessment

University of DelawareCenter for Teaching Effectiveness


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Rationale for course redesign using PBL:

  • focus on student-directed learning (Goals 2, 6)

  • focus on application and synthesis of knowledge (2, 6)

  • integrate technology to facilitate research and learning (1)

  • integrate instructor and peer feedback (3)

  • increase opportunities for oral and written communication in Spanish (1)

  • apply concepts to real-life issues of responsibility and global community: (7, 10) “Real-world contexts and consequences not only allow learning to become more profound and durable, but increases the transferability of skills and knowledge from the classroom to work (Gallagher, Stepien, & Rosenthal, 1992).”

URL:http://edweb.sdsu.edu/clrit/learningtree/PBL/PBLadvantages.html


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  • Anticipated challenges:

  • relatively few existing Humanities problems / models

  • traditional expectations for high content mastery>> “Emphasis on Meaning, Not Facts”

  • students new to group work

  • students new to active learning:(Woods: “shock, denial, resistance…”) “PBL requires more time of the student's time and expects students to be responsible and independent learners.”

  • institutional and departmental practices

  • students not native speakers of Spanish

URL:http://edweb.sdsu.edu/clrit/learningtree/PBL/PBLadvantages.html


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How I incorporated PBL: “a religious conversion”

  • Problem, Problem, Problem

  • “In this situation, PBL is used from the course beginning to end. Educational objectives for students focus on the discovery of knowledge and skills. Students in this type of course are continually challenged to discover new knowledge and follow their “need” to know.”

  • http://www.samford.edu/pbl/process_crsmapping.html


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  • Syllabus redesign - concepts:

  • de-emphasize instructor, move learning to students

  • peer group work for all projects

  • emphasize skills development

  • concept mastery over content mastery

  • relate to “real world”


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Syllabus redesign - pragmatics:

  • 80% PBL, 20% lecture/seminar

  • rich, relevant problems to elicit skills and content mastery (Thom Markham - “hearts and minds”)

  • classroom / computer time for learning /research activities

  • WebCT / internet for delivery of all texts and assignments

  • textbook as research tool, not focus of learning enterprise

  • new assessment tools to reflect new outcomes


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Syllabus redesign – 3 content modules:

Problem 1 (5 weeks):

“A letter to Pope John Paul II”

The Conquest of the Americas and Human Rights 1492-2003

Problem 2 (3 weeks):

I’m Chiquita Banana and I’m here to say...

Globalization, Neoliberalism and US Intervention in Latin America

Problem 3 (4 weeks):

A Very Limited Exhibition of Latin American Culture


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Problem 1 (5 weeks):

“A letter to Pope John Paul II”

The Conquest of the Americas

and Human Rights

1492-2003


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Problem 2 (3 weeks):

I’m Chiquita Banana and I’m here to say...

Globalization, Neoliberalism and US Intervention in Latin America


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Problem 3 (4 weeks):

A Very Limited Exhibition

of Latin American Culture


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My process of problem design

  • Barbara Duch of the University of Delaware recommends:

  • Identify a central idea, concept or principle commonly incorporated in the course.

  • Delineate learning outcomes for the problem.

  • Brainstorm and then . . . outline an ill-structured, complex problem.

  • Divide the problem into stages to allow for progressive disclosure.

  • Develop a tutorial guide.

  • Assist students in identifying resources.

  • http://www.samford.edu/pbl/process_crsmapping.html


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Problem 1 (5 weeks):

“A letter to Pope John Paul II”

The Conquest of the Americas

and Human Rights

1492-2003


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  • Objective:

  • With this problem on the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, students familiarize themselves with the facts and impacts of the Conquest from the Discovery to the present.

  • The problem introduces the class to group work dynamics, electronic and conventional research methods, and oral and written presentation techniques.


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To: the Vatican and Pope John Paul II

APPEAL TO THE VATICAN AND POPE JOHN PAUL II, On November 28, 1998, Pope John Paul II called “Christianity’s 2000th anniversary a year of mercy,” as reported by AP, saying “the church will seek forgiveness,” “atonement,” and that he “wants the church to enter the third millennium with a clear conscience.” We, the undersigned, join with Indigenous Peoples everywhere in calling upon Pope John Paul II to revoke the 1493 Bull “Inter Caetera.” We recognize that this initiative would be a spiritually significant step towards creating a new way of life, and a step away from the greed and subjugation in a history that has oppressed, exploited and destroyed countless numbers of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world. The Bull “Inter Caetera,” like many other edicts issued before it by the Vatican, established Christian dominion and subjugation of non-Christian peoples and their lands. It has yet to be revoked.

Sincerely,

We, the undersigned


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Documents provided to students va WebCT:

  • Cronología de la Conquista de Américas

  • Bula Inter caetera de 1493 (la Bula de Donación)

  • Tratado de Tordesillas

  • Bartolomé de las Casas – Brevíssima relación de la destrucción de las Indias

  • Visión de los vencidos (ed. Miguel León-Portilla)

  • Tzvetan Todorov – Moctezuma y Cortés

  • Hernán Cortés – Segunda carta de relación


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Days 1-2: Brainstorming and problem analysis:

Students research the Bull and identify the historical circumstances and interests which led to its promulgation.

New World cannibals (T. De Bry)

The Myth of El Dorado

Columbus, Map of Hispañola


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Days 3-6: Research phase 1:

Students divide into groups representing the major protagonists of the Conquest:


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Days 7-9: Assessment activity 1 (PowerPoint presentation):

Students present their cases for or against the Papal Bull “Inter caetera” in a hypothetical papal tribunal.


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  • Days 10-11 - Research phase 2:

  • A study of human rights abuses in Latin America, 2003:

  • serial murders of women in Ciudad Juárez

  • electoral violence in Guatemala

  • forced sterilizations in Perú

  • the Zapatistas in Chiapas

  • the plight of indigenous peoples of the Amazon

  • Maya slaves working on fruit plantations in Florida, USA


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Day 12 - Assessment activity 2 (synthesis):

Students write a “Papal Judgment” summarizing all the arguments; relating their present-day human rights case to the facts and attitudes of the Conquest; and defending their decision to either revoke the Papal Bull “Inter caetera” of 1493, or leave it in place.


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Lessons Learned

  • Student assessment of the project:

  • Approximately 90% of students believed they learned more content than in a traditional lecture format.

  • 61% felt they improved their oral communication skills more than in a traditional course.

  • 55% felt they learned more about using PowerPoint effectively to present ideas.

  • All students reported that they learned the same or more than in a traditional class in the areas of written communication; group work and research techniques.


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Lessons learned –things that really worked:

  • peer facilitators

  • students helping each other

  • WebCT for document and resource delivery

  • class time for group activities

  • assessment criteria and expectations outlined specifically up front (rubrics, how-to’s, do’s and don’ts)


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Lessons learned -

areas for improvement:

  • PBL-equipped classrooms are essential

  • hard to maintain all communication in Spanish during group work (peer tutors helped)

  • technology affects time management

  • more up-front demonstration of process as well as product

  • refine peer assessment instruments

  • add “what can you do?” segment in reflection period or as final product


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