Making Memory, Making Landscapes: Classroom Applications of Parallel Trends in the Study of Landscape, Memory, and Learning

Article excerpt

New approaches to cultural landscape have encouraged a widened range of encounters with the relationship between memory and landscape. At the same time, changing pedagogical approaches moving from an instructional to a learner-centered paradigm have emphasized hands-on, authentic assessment and inquiry-led, project-based learning. In this paper we reflect on two exercises that we have developed in our very different settings to respond to these trends in landscape and learning. In one case, students in a first-year seminar created, shared, analyzed and reflected on childhood landscape maps, engaging multisensory registers of memory and adopting a particularly agential perspective on the exercise and the making of memory. In the second case, an upper-level seminar explored disciplinary traditions and techniques in the context of a hands-on geocaching exercise aimed at everyday memorial making. Together, these exercises suggest the potential for learner-centered pedagogies and a widened range of approaches to memory and landscape to animate our classrooms.

Nuevos enfoques hacia el paisaje cultural han fomentado una amplia gama de encuentros con la relacion entre la memoria y el paisaje. Al mismo tiempo, el cambio de enfoques pedagogicos desde un paradigma de instruccion a uno centrado en el alumna ha enfatizado un aprendizaje practico, de evaluacion y dirigido a la investigacion, y basado en proyectos. En este articulo reflexionamos sobre dos ejercicios que hemos desarrollado en nuestros marcadamente diferentes entornos pare responder a estas tendencies en el paisaje y el aprendizaje. En un caso, estudiantes en un seminario de primer ano, crearon, compartieron, analizaron y reflexionaron sobre mapas de paisajes de la infancia, atendiendo registros de memoria multisensoriales y adoptando una particular perspectiva agencial sobre el ejercicio y la elaboracion de la memoria. En el segundo caso, un seminario de alto nivel exploro los tradiciones disciplinaries y tecnicas en el marco de un ejercicio practico de "geocaching" dirigido a la construccion de la memoria del diario vivir. En conjunto, estos ejercicios sugieren el potencial de las pedagogias centradas en el alumno y de una ampliada game de enfoques para la memoria y el paisaje pare animar nuestras aulas de clase.

KEY WORDS: Landscape, memory, pedagogy, active-learning

PALABRAS CLAVE: Paisaje, Memoria, Pedagogia, Aprendizaje Activa

INTRODUCTION

The past fifteen years have witnessed diverse attempts by geographers to extend their examinations of cultural landscapes beyond the well-developed interpretive approaches of political economic and symbolic-discursive analysis. These attempts to reanimate encounters with landscape are exemplified by a host of studies that propose new methods and new approaches, ranging from embodied accounts of landscape (e.g., Ingold 2000; Nash 2000) to post-phenomenologieal perspectives on the unfolding of landscape (e.g., Rose 2002; Wylie 2007). Among the motives for this work has been a desire to explore the distinctly lived, practiced, and performative aspects of the relationship between landscape and memory. Whereas interpretive approaches to landscape studies focus on landscape meanings and the politics of what is remembered and forgotten, these recent efforts take an approach that is at once more processual, participatory, and individualized.

In parallel with this shift from interpretive to more performative landscape studies--a shift from seeing landscape as a pre-existing object revealed by a knowing subject, to landscapes and subjectivities in the making--there has been a pedagogical shift in many classrooms from an instructional approach to a more collaborative, learning paradigm. In the realm of landscape and memory studies, a traditional interpretative emphasis on artists' biographies, the political economy of the establishment of memorials, and the symbolic content of their form, has been enhanced by recent trends to emphasizing audience response and interactions. …