Elon University (continued) and Looking to Spring

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These past several weeks have been busy! Directly after my visit to Elon university, I went into intense teaching mode – multiple photo critiques and follow-up with students on research projects. I also prepared to present at the 41st Annual Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education Conference, from which I just returned. So, I’m posting a short summary of my visit to Elon University a little later than expected, combined with a hint of things to come this spring.

I’ve already posted a few of the photographs I made at Elon University, but more specifically, I made photographs of faculty and students in the following classes:

  • Modern Dance
  • Writing: Argument and Inquiry
  • Biology
  • Human Physiology
  • European History
  • Hindu Goddesses: Myths
  • Psychology Lab

Here are more of the photographs:

Every class was vastly different, of course, and several were in classrooms that allowed instructors to manipulate the learning space and integrate images in a way that allowed students to examine and draw upon them during discussions. The Hindu Goddesses class (top/intro image) was particularly visually rich.

I had a great conversation with students in Writing: Argument and Inquiry about the Teaching and Learning Project and documentary photography in general. We talked about how the photographer’s views are always present in photographs, even in documentary work. Since students in this class are so interested in analyzing images from various media, I agreed to share with them the complete set of photographs from their class, unedited, so they could see my process and ask questions later.

I also had great conversations with some of Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. The next steps will be to talk with some or all of the participating faculty about the photographs and, through the images, their reflections on the class sessions and teaching practice.

It’s hard to think about spring or spring semester right now, mostly because as I write this I’m watching a blizzard transform my yard from green to white. I am excited about continuing the Teaching and Learning Project at other institutions in the coming months, however. I’m also looking forward to seeing this work contribute to the field in new ways – and to new fields altogether. For example, Texas Tech University’s Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development Center has plans to have me collaborate with faculty representing several disciplines to work with students in their Spanish Language Heritage Program. More on that as we approach March. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking of Texas warmth.