By Holly Tucker (W&M Editor)
I’ve talked some, but not much, about the teaching I do as a professor at Vanderbilt University. I could probably do this more often–especially since Wonders & Marvels owes its existence to my work as a teacher.
For those of you who have been regular readers since the beginning, you know that the blog was originally created as part of a teaching experiment in my Early History of Medicine course in Fall 2008.
Students worked on a semester-long research project of their choosing. In addition to writing a traditional research paper, I required the students to present their research to the class–and to write a 250-300 word blog post. What I liked (and still do) about this approach is that my students have to give deep thought to questions of audience and context when presenting their ideas. A research paper is very different than a class presentation. And both are very different than a blog post. Some of those posts are here.
I have enjoyed every minute teaching the class again this fall. “Leeches & Lancets: Early Medicine, History and Culture” was a small class (14 students), which allowed me to organize the course as both a traditional class and a series of 14 independent studies.
Shepherding so many different projects from start to finish sounds more enormous than it really was. Much of this was because I was teaching the History of Medicine class for the Honors Program at Vanderbilt, which meant that I had a class full of the university’s best and brightest. And at a top-ranked university like Vanderbilt, that’s saying a lot!
All of this is to say that you’re in for a treat over the weeks to come as we post the work of my students, along with our regular content. All posts will be tagged Medicine, Health and Society (Vanderbilt).
I’ve asked the students to be on call when their post goes live, so they can take questions and join in the discussion. So be sure to chime in!