Teaching With Objects
June 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
The best advice I got as a new teacher designing my first syllabus was to teach what I know. Thank you Rosemarie Garland-Thomson! I was new to Women’s Studies but had spent many years as a professional public historian – and I knew objects – the material and visual stuff of everyday life.
I grabbed the attention of my first class on my first day with an exercise in reading the object – this circa 1940 Trojan condom tin. It was different enough to puzzle my students and familiar enough to be relevant to their daily lives.
This single object opened the door to an array of topics pertinent to Women’s Studies from reproduction rights and the science of sex to the gendering of colors.