Teaching “Disaster” in the Classroom: A Workshop with Teach 3.11

Date: 22 March 2013 Time: 2:00 – 3:30pm
Workshop leader: Lisa Onaga (Nanyang Technological University)
Deadline for submitting materials: 15 March 2013
Venue: Research Division Seminar Room (AS7-06-42), Level 6, The Shaw Foundation Building, National University of Singapore,
To register, please email fasvksg@nus.edu.sg

The somber occasion of the second anniversary of the three disasters that struck eastern Japan in 2011 is a reminder that the work of teaching and learning about natural and manmade disasters from the perspectives of history of science and technology and science studies is far from complete.

Teach 3.11 is an activity of the Forum for the History of Science in Asia, a special interest group of the History of Science Society, that seeks to bring attention to the processes of building institutional and collective memory and understandings of disaster through science studies (defined broadly) perspectives. In conjunction with the FASS STS Cluster at National University of Singapore’s symposium, Nuclear Power In Asia: Two Years After Fukushima, we propose jointly to host a workshop to think through how we teach about “disasters” in the classroom, and to help us imagine other ways of gaining understandings of “disasters” both contemporary and historical.

We invite scholars, teachers, educators, and students to join us in a conversation around teaching and learning about natural and manmade disasters in classrooms through the lens of science studies and the history of science and technology. We also invite participants to come together and identify new opportunities and needs for teaching in this interdisciplinary area.

Ideally, we would like workshop participants to bring one or more of the following to this workshop: (a) an original syllabus for a university course engaged with themes related to disaster, (b) a suite of readings in any language at the secondary, junior, and university levels on a particular disaster-related topic; or (c) an active learning module on a disaster-related theme or issue. Deadline for submission is 15 March 2013 (Friday) to fasvksg@nus.edu.sg.

Appreciating that not many of us may have taught such a course or prepared such materials, we ask you to put together a paragraph on the kinds of issues, questions, and, cases that you think ought to be part of such a teaching programme. We intend to use this short 90-minute session to share these materials and to learn from each other through discussion and dialogue.

We would like to leave this workshop with a heightened sense of the possibilities inherent in teaching about disaster, as well as practical materials and ideas about how to structure our courses and modules. The newly redesigned Teach 3.11 site is willing to host the final versions of these materials to make them accessible to multiple communities.

This workshop, we hope, will also provide grounds for discussing the broader role that Teach 3.11 may play in continuing to support a space for exchanging knowledge and building collective wisdom as it looks to find ways to provide access to materials using various Asian languages as well as English. Thus, we also invite participants to help us envision where to take Teach 3.11 in its next phase of development.

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Teaching ‘Disasters’ in the Classroom: A Workshop
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