Touching the Past: Teaching History with Tactile Engagement

The participants in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar will be giving 10-12 minute talks this Thursday, May 5th, in the Walsh Library Special Collections Room from 10:00 am until 2:15pm.  Lunch will be served at 11:00am.  At 11:15, Alisa Beer, Senior Teaching Fellow in the History Department, will be giving a talk about teaching history with physical object. Alisa is already well-respected among students and colleagues for the way she weaves material culture into her classes. Earlier this year we managed to get some video of Alisa in action, talking with students about medieval manuscripts in the Fordham University Library collection:

So if you are interested in learning about how to teach history tangibly, please come along on Thursday May 5 at 11:10 for Alisa Beer’s presentation at 11:15.*

Alisa says about her talk:

As a medievalist and a rare book librarian, I believe strongly that a physical experience of the past can create a visceral connection to the study of history that is not available through the use of a textbook alone.  Allowing students to interact directly with primary source objects deepens their understanding of the tangibility of the past and engages them in a way that interaction with a textbook cannot rival. As a participant in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar this past semester, I was able to incorporate the Ignatian ideals we learned about into my teaching by developing a hands-on exercise on textile production in which students learned about making cloth in the middle ages by actually using spindles and a small loom.


*Alisa adds that it is perfectly OK if you want to show up only for one presentation and you need not stay for the entire day.

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