Thursday, September 2, 2010

Learning by doing

One aspect about our British Culture class that I really like is that a lot of our homework involves going out and doing research as well as learning about historic events that still have relevance today. For one of our group projects, we were divided into groups of two or three and assigned a specific area of London in which we were supposed to visit, learn about and take pictures of and then report back to the class about our experience. My group was assigned Brick Lane, which is a street in East London that mainly serves as the Indian district, but also turns into a hip, artsy area with vintage boutiques and markets. I really like learning from personal experience rather than simply researching on the internet and putting together a power point. It’s a lot more enjoyable to give a presentation when you’re telling your classmates about something you actually experienced, which I have found myself doing in this class.

Another benefit of these presentations is you get to learn about what everyone else liked about their assigned areas and what they consider worth doing, which is most likely what everyone else in the class will want to do as well. Our final project is a paper done individually which must compare and contrast some sort of parallel between American and British culture.

I’ve come to find that our teachers in London give students less format and structure. Here, I feel more freedom in terms of thinking for myself, sharing my opinion, project ideas and creative ways of presenting information. I asked my teacher about my idea of comparing the original UK television show “The Office” to the now insanely famous American version of the same show, thinking it might be kind of a stretch. My teacher loved the idea and immediately said yes. I especially appreciated that he trusted that I would figure out the best way to present my idea. Having less structure in the way in which I approached the assignment allowed me to learn a lot.

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