ERIC Number: ED194439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The City as Instructional Tool in New Dimensions of Learning.
This paper analyzes an instructional approach based on a student-designed and constructed model of a city and describes how this approach was used in a college-level sociology class on ethnic relations in the city. The approach is called 'City Building.' The major objective of this approach is to bring social life into the classroom. Students using this approach are directed to solve futuristic and complex problems using the objects in the model environment. The responsibility of the instructor using the City Building approach is mainly to play a facilitative role as consultant. Advantages of this approach are that it enables students to experiment with the concept of physical space so that it becomes relevant to their needs and experiences, become involved with architectural planning, understand the influence of physical space on human behavior, gain appreciation of both man-made and natural objects in the environment, and gain a concrete understanding of the social world upon which sociological abstractions regarding urban life are based. Features of the sociology course based on City Building included a contract specifying grading criteria, class participation, activities, assignments, and responsibilities of students and teachers; fieldtrips to different types of communities; and simulations to encourage group solidarity and consensus regarding the type of community which would be built. Student evaluations of the course based on the City Building approach revealed a high degree of interest and appreciation that there was an actual representation of sociological concepts which are generally only relayed verbally. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (74th, Boston, MA, August 27-31, 1979).