Exhibition Celebrates Completion of Semester I of First 360°

Posted December 9th, 2010 at 3:31 pm.

On Friday, Dec. 10, students from 360°: Changing Education will celebrate the successful first semester of this exciting new interdisciplinary and interactive educational experience for students and faculty with an informal reception and exhibition of work (both visual and textual) from the semester.

The reception will take place from 3-5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10, on the second floor of Canaday Library and is open to the entire Bryn Mawr community. Bryn Mawr students enrolled in the 360° will be joined by high school students from Parkway West High School with whom they worked as part of the 360°. Work from both groups of students will be on display. The exhibition will be on display at least through the start of the spring semester.

Selected images from the exhibition

“We had both groups of students ask a lot of questions about identity during the semester. We used photography, specifically portraiture, coupled with writing to further probe the intersections of representation, identity, and imagery,” says Zanny Alter, who worked with both groups as the Parkway West Partnership Coordinator for the Civic Engagement Office.

360º creates an opportunity for students to participate in a cluster of  courses that connect students and faculty in a single semester (or in some cases across contiguous semesters) to focus on common issues, themes, and experiences for the purposes of research and scholarship.

The 360°: Changing Education courses offered this fall:

  • “Identity, Access and Innovation in Education,” taught by Jody Cohen
  • “Women’s Higher Education in the 19th and 20th centuries: The History of Bryn Mawr College,” taught by Elliot Shore
  • “Mural Arts,” taught by Jane Golden and Shira Walinsky

Spring courses being offered as part of the 360°:

  • “The Historical Role of Women in Genetics and Embryology,” taught by Greg Davis
  • “Finding Knowledge Between the Leaves: 19th-Century Literature of Education,” taught by Anne Bruder

“The 360 program has been my most rewarding academic experience at Bryn Mawr so far,” says Sophie Papavisas ’11. “I feel that the future of liberal arts really depends on breaking down boundaries between disciplines and encouraging students to explore complex questions from many angles.”

In Cohen’s “Identity, Access and Innovation” course, students talked about the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court case and other cases related to access to education.

At the same time,  students in the “History of Bryn Mawr” course examined the origins of Bryn Mawr and studied issues of identity and access related specifically to the College.  And in the Mural Arts course, students were grappling with questions about who has access to art and how that might intersect with aspects of identity such as social class and education.

Both “Mural Arts” and Cohen’s course were Praxis courses with the field component taking place at Parkway West.

“Teaching and learning with this class has been a wonderful experience,” says Cohen. “Our shared texts and our connections with the other 360° courses have helped to engage us in deep, rich pursuits around the meanings of identity, access, and innovation in education.”

As with any new initiative, the 360° has had some growing pains, says Emily Tong ’13.  The participants in the 360° have been learning how to communicate across courses, a new challenge and opportunity.

“In the future, I’d hope to see other 360°s that structure conversation through consistent meetings or blog sites, and really utilize the resources available through the 360° — people are the resources,” says Tong. “But I love this concept. I love integrative course work, making connections between my classes. Knowledge and experience are not static; they are not segregated by disciplines. I think that, as we continue to develop solid structure for this collaborative/collective course clustering, the program will become increasingly beneficial both for students and professors.”

History of Art Professor Christiane Hertel and Professor of German Imke Meyer are teaming up this spring to offer the College’s second 360˚, “The Last Days of Habsburg: Vienna 1900 and the End of an Empire.”
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