C.C. reader. ([Middletown, Pa.]) 1973-1982, December 06, 1982, Image 11

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Innovative teaching
implemented at Capitol
By Barbara Myers
It's the twelfth century—and
guess who's coming to dinner?
For students in Dr. Theodora
Graham's Western Traditions H
class, "dinner" is a Medieval
Feast planned and prepared by
class members, complete with
a seven course meal and enter
Such innovative approaches
to teaching are found at
Capitol, not only in the
Humanities, but in Business,
Engineering, and Behavioral
Science. They make learning
Part of the fun in studying
history is looking at it from
many different perspectives.
"There is a new movement in
the study of history," says
Graham, "that deals with all
aspects of history, including
how people lived and what they
ate. The feast was a part of the
fabric of the life of the people
during that time."
In addition to the research,
planning, and preparation of
the meal, Graham said she
"challenged the students to use
other talents for presentation."
As part of the banquet enter
tainment one student selected
music and choreographed a
dance in the spirit of the
Renaissance. Another student
performed a vocal rendition of
Medieval music.
"One of the advantages to
students," Graham says, "is
that they can become advisors
to the next groul--ground
"What innovative teaching
does is to open up new possi
bilities. You take a risk when
you try new things, but you
hope people will come through
and grow."
Dr. Theodora Graham
Humanities Professor
The student who developed
the slide presentation of
Renaissance and Medieval
stained glass will find his work
part of the course material
presented to future students.
Senior engineering students
can also see their ideas take on
tangible forms.
William Aungst, associate
professor of engineering, has
students design a solar home or
system as part of their course
in Project Design.
"Students work in groups,"
said Aungst. "They come up
with an idea, develop a pro
posal, do research, and then
continue with the design and
The range of projects extends
from log splitters and
playground equipment to the
solar hot water system which is
in operation here at Capitol.
Another creative approach to
course material is employed by
Rie Gentzler, instructor in
social science.
The students in her Introduc
tion to Human Service
Organizations course have the
option of writing a major paper
or fulfilling a volunteer work
contract with a human service
agency. The volunteer work
gives students exposure to the
actual workings of an organiza
"I would guess that 90 per
cent of the students do the
volunteer work," Gentzler said.
"Not all students in the
Behavioral Science Department
can do internships so this way
they can get into the field. And
we have many students from
different majors in that class.
They are surprised to find that
organizations need all types of
Volunteer experience varies
from typing proposals, to car
ing for the elderly, to feeding
disabled children, to just being
The opportunity to observe
and experience the atmosphere
is as important as the task
itself, said Gentzler.
Pho _ h b Joe Hart
Page 11
Business division also has in
novation. Dr. John T.
Redington's Marketing Manage
ment class devotes the last half
of the term to student initiated
marketing strategies. They call
it a "game."
According to Redington, "The
concept of using a 'game' goes
back 20 years in various forms.
It is really an alternative to
case study. The objective is to
get students to see that plan
ning comes out of analysis."
In the simulation, students
are put into groups represent
ing the different channel levels
of middle management. They
must make pricing and promo
tion decisions, distribution
policy decisions, and other deci
sions related to their particular
Redington says: "This is
designed to show students that
implementation goes through
channels and everyone may not
see the situation alike."
Redington has been using the
game approach to marketing
management since 1969.
Innovations such as Medieval
banquets and business games
give both students and instruc
tors the opportunity to develop
and use creative ideas.
"One of the things that can
happen when you teach the
same material for a long time,"
says Graham, "is the process of
teaching can become
mechanical and stale—even
though you love your material
and are constantly learning
more. What innovative teaching
does is open up new
possibilities. You take a risk
when you try new things, but
you hope people will come
through and grow."