Saturday, October 23, 2004

Teaching about the Built Environment

Teaching about the Built Environment. This is an article which shows how the concept of the built environment can be used to teach students about social studies. This includes the study of history.

From the site:

Built environment education fits easily into the standard subjects of the social studies such as history, geography, civics, and economics. Consider, for example, the relevancy of using a nearby and familiar building or site as a "learning hook" and a "visual history book" for students in a high school United States history course. Historic buildings can be used as primary sources in the study of persons and events associated with a place. And studies of architecture in different places and periods of history provide insights about continuity and change in various civilizations. Examination of architecture in different civilizations is a useful exercise in comparative historical studies.

The five main themes of geography education can easily be connected to objects in the built environment. These five themes are (1) location, (2) place, (3) human-environment interactions, (4) movement of people, ideas, goods, and (5) formation and change of regions. It is impossible to teach these themes without reference to the built environment. Teachers should be urged to emphasize these connections through field trips and video programs that provide direct and vivid instruction about architecture and other aspects of the built environment.

Issues in city planning and community development can be treated in civics and economics courses. So can lessons in responsible citizenship that pertain to the ethics of environmental stewardship and historic preservation.

No comments: