On December 10, 2019, sixty students came together to showcase the products of their participation in Learning Communities. Learning Communities are two or more courses that are grouped together by a theme. Students engage in an integrated learning experience, in which they make explicit connections between the content of the courses and explore those connections through shared activities, assignments, and field trips.
One of the challenges we face as educators is attempting to ensure that students understand not only our course content, but how our course content fits more broadly into their education. For example, we hope that every photography student who takes chemistry understands the role of chemistry in photograph development, but how can we ensure that they actually do? At LaGuardia, the Learning Communities program supports deeper Integrative Learning–one of our Core Competencies– by offering curricular coherence across courses by creating opportunities to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects on knowledge-construction.
In Fall 2019, LaGuardia ran four Learning Communities centered on three different themes: The Art and Science of Photography, Synergies of Biology and Chemistry, and Speaking Out for Justice. Each group came together to present to their fellow students and the campus community the fruit of their integrated learning experience.
Students in the Art and Science of Photography, taught by Scott Sternbach and Sunaina Singh, presented their final portfolios and gave live demonstrations of historical photography devices. Their work showed variation in chemical processes, and the creation of students portraits using traditional techniques. Some of their work is in the picture below.
We hope that next time you hear about Learning Communities, you’ll get in touch with Professors Poppy Slocum (HUM), Milena Cuellar (MEC) or Naomi Stubbs (ENG) to participate or learn more.