Specific/Deep

Practitioner Speakers

Goal/s:
  • To provide students with insights into how individuals shape their urban environment by engaging them in conversation with key actors in Boston government policy, community organizing, entrepreneurship, nonprofit sector work, etc.
  • To teach students about Boston history and contemporary challenges.
  • To equip students to be better members of urban communities by teaching them the skills to understand their urban environment and become civically involved.

Class: United States in the World 24: Reinventing Boston: The Changing American City

Introduction/Background: This course introduces students to Boston and the study of urban life through a variety of readings, discussion, guest lectures from practitioners, and visits to four neighborhoods in Boston. Students learn to utilize quantitative and geographical information to understand the city, and to conduct their own research through careful observation and interviews. Throughout the course, the instructors invite local practitioners to share insights into Boston’s history and future.

Structured Field Assignment

Goal/s:
  • To get students out of the “Harvard bubble” and help them learn about Boston’s diverse neighborhoods through conducting and analyzing observations and interviews.
  • To teach students about the ethnographic method, including interviews and field observation.
  • To equip students to be future members of urban communities by teaching them skills to appreciate and understand urban diversity, complexity, and context. 

Class: United States in the World 24: Reinventing Boston: The Changing American City

Introduction/Background: This course introduces students to Boston and the study of urban life through a variety of readings, discussion, guest lectures from practitioners, and visits to four neighborhoods in Boston. Students learn to utilize quantitative and geographical information to understand the city, and to conduct their own research through careful observation and interviews. Students visit multiple neighborhoods in Boston to practice these skills.

Sounding China

This was a semester long project. Throughout the semester, graduate students (many of whom had little previous exposure to the course material) studied the history of Chinese music theory, the Jesuit missionaries who transmitted it back to western Europe, and the reception of Chinese culture there in the 18th century. The website commemorating the exhibit and giving more information can be found at hcs.harvard.edu/soundingchina

HMS/BWH Case Study

For her sixth section, Kirstin Woody Scott prepared this activity based off of the HMS/BWH case study on Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and tuberculosis. This activity allowed students to discuss and present the knowledge of the case they had reviewed in lecture and tackle policy realities in global health. Students prepared oral arguments to take on the role of different stakeholders and defend their positions when faced with cuts to global health funding.

Open Review Discussion

Students used a platform called Open Review (www.openrev.org), developed by the members of the Harvard physics department, which is a PDF annotation tool that is tailored to discuss scientific publications openly. Every week, students read two publications related to research in the Harvard Physics Department and used Open Review to discuss them online and learn about the academic research.

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