I was expecting to write more of an opening post to my new blog, but considering that I am in the midst of sifting through the NYS standards in order to design lesson plans for the D.I.G. summer program, it seems appropriate that I launch right into librarian-faculty collaboration. This program has been the epitome of educational collaboration. Last year, the camp focused on CSI techniques under the premises of a series of fictitious art thefts that happened on SUNY Geneseo’s campus. Each of the disciplines was dependent on each other, especially in the lessons provided by the Critical Thinking Unit (CTU) - a mixture of sociology, ethnographical and library research, and overall critical thinking. In the CTU curriculum, students put the pieces of the puzzle together working with interview transcripts, forensic evidence, information found from the web, and tips and additional pieces of evidence left by a secret admirer. Story boards were used to visually tie the different disciplinary information together in one place. With this information, a communication professor and a graphic arts specialist worked with the student teams to develop an oral and pictorial presentation to be delivered to a “grand jury.” Depending on how compelling each team’s case was presented, a panel of three judges ordered an indictment for our four criminals.
I never would have been involved in such a fantastic program had it not been for the Sociology professor with whom I had been working in her semester courses. Because she saw that I was able to weave in research skills to cover the content of her designated lessons, she knew we could work well together to deliver a fun and meaningful curriculum to our middle school students. You never know what good things will come out of your everyday work responsibilities.
Anyway . . . back to those standards . . . This year’s mystery – an archaeological dig where we hope to find Seneca artifacts – goes even further as far as seamlessly merging academic disciplines. Archaeology, chemistry, history, math, english language arts, technology, art – each subject will rely heavily on the other in the hope of providing another enriching experience for our young scholars bound for college . . . in about 4 or 5 years.