In an effort to engage my 7th graders (12-13 year olds) in our medieval Europe history unit, I ask students to become ‘museum curators’. They choose an object, research it, create a replica on the 3D printer, and create a video in which they present their findings. Students answer questions about the production, use, and meaning of the object and what it tells us about medieval life. The project ties together modern technology with medieval history and makes the past seem more approachable and less distant.
Scientific university collections offer great opportunities for teaching material culture. Familiarity with medieval objects helps students to comprehend the alterity of medieval literature. In a teaching project conducted at Marburg University objects mentioned in medieval literature were contrasted with genuine objects from different university collections. With the method of research-based learning, students developed ideas how to present their findings to a broader public. The results were exhibition boards, audio guides, games, virtual exhibitions, and many more. In my paper I would like to discuss the didactic methods as well as the results and show how much students can benefit from the use of objects in teaching medieval material culture.
In this paper we present an educational proposal for the secondary school levels to understand and learn the spaces and parts of a medieval town using new educative methodologies that include the thinking based learning, collaborative learning, and learning by doing. Taking the medieval town of Cáceres (Extremadura, Spain) as the reference to our lesson, we show how students are engaged to their learning thanks to educational tools and concept scaffoldings, like the parts and the whole analysis, graphic organizers, and thinking maps. We also show the outputs and evidences given by students during the last years of this school workshop.
Today’s business students are taught assumptions about material culture with little attention paid to medieval roots. Omitting medieval foundations of materiality leaves students with an ahistorical understanding of the current management challenges in today’s culture of materialism. In developing management courses incorporating history, we highlight the importance of medieval modalities of materialities and materialism using a systems-theory approach to connections across time. By engaging in a forum for discussion, we investigate broad historical themes such as critical explorations of consumption, the embeddedness of materiality in modern business theories, and inequalities in the distribution of material wealth across class and gender.