Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

Examples of Experiential Learning in the Classroom

The course Pragmatism and American Culture has exercises in old magazine browsing, film viewing, and interviewing after each segment of learning from books, lectures, and discussions. And as part of AMST 452, Nature and the American Marketplace, students visited the Disney-Wilderness Preserve, and learned hands-on and on-site about the work of restoring the landscape that the Nature Conservancy is pioneering at this park south of Orlando that was created as a mitigation project for the environmental destruction generated by the Disney theme parks. The students in another class, AMST 154, Environmental Issues, read the book, The Ecology of Hope, co-authored by the preserve's former director, Jora Young, and she visited the class in person to discuss the book, the preserve, and her vision of environmentalism.

Learning the Built Landscape... The class AMST 261, Material Culture: Things and Their People, regularly requires four hours of field experience, with experiences that could include learning about architectural salvage, visiting local archeological sites, documenting historical buildings, leading visitors on the West Volusia Historical Society's Candlelight Tour of Homes, and taking field trips to local cemeteries and the historic DeLand House.

Campus Outreach was a major activity for Ann Jerome Croce during 1996-98, when she served as Director of the Discovery Program, which was then a new program to help undeclared students to understand liberal education. She initiated and directed the Discovery Course, a multidisciplinary introduction to thinking about pressing issues such as health care, gender roles, and environmentalism. The course involved during every semester as many as eighty-five students, seven faculty members from across the University, and seven student assistants. Ann Croce's innovations live on in the Discovery program, which is currently directed by Leonard Nance.

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