Walk the Walk: Experiential learning and university campus field trips

Supervisor's Name Zoë Newman
Supervisor Email Address* znewman@yorku.ca
Supervisor's Department Sociology
Project Title Walk the Walk: Experiential learning and university campus field trips
Description of Research Project
Over the last few years, I have used various modes of campus-based experiential learning in my courses. In Sociology of the Body and Sociology of Urban Life, I teach students about the history of flaneurs and Situationists, who used walking in the city as a way to experience and play with the urban. Inspired by community events like Jane’s Walk, in both those courses we have done on-campus “drifts” to make connections between embodiment and knowledge. In Everyday Life in the Metropolis, we do mental maps of the campus to think about perception as a precursor to field work, and we then conduct on-campus field work at a site of students’ choosing. In Publics and Privates, we have been fortunate enough to be able to make thematic links with exhibits at the AGYU, which we’ve visited on field trips. While I have already done a preliminary literature review on walking in the city, I would like to focus more on literature that considers walking as a mode of experiential learning. I would also like to further explore York’s Keele campus to find additional ways to make connections between its sites and my course material. I am particularly interested in documenting the many pieces of public art on campus. This would require a few walking tours of the campus. It would be invaluable to have a student’s point of view of the campus, and here I would be able to begin to think about another area of interest, which is to make connections between students’ relationships to their learning and to the space of the university.
Undergraduate Student Responsibilities
Online searches of relevant literature.
Online searches of relevant visual material.
Preliminary review of literature.
Preliminary review of visual material.
Accompanying faculty member on walking tours of the campus.
Recording information about relevant sites, including locations and observations.
Qualifications Required
Some knowledge of critical theories on the body and embodiment.
Some knowledge of urban theories.
Interest in critical engagement with experiential learning theories.
Ability to conduct online searches.
Ability to synthesize written material.
Ability to be observant and think creatively.