About this Person
About this Person
Dr Renée Worringer is an Associate Professor of Islamic and Middle East History in U of G's College of Arts and the author of Ottomans Imagining Japan. Having conducted research in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey through her academic career, she comes with a wealth of knowledge and expertise that she brings to her students in the classroom.
"They [the students] really enjoyed using their creativity"
Recently, Dr Worringer taught a capstone course, HIST*4820: Images, Conflict and Politics in the Middle East, wherein her students were able to engage in hands-on learning with the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Through the course, Renée built a partnership with the Educational Director of the Aga Khan Museum and created an assignment for the students that would allow them to apply their skills to create a tool for the museum. "They [students] really enjoyed using their creativity" says Renée. The students worked in groups to create family trail brochures using visual storytelling, digital tools and creativity in the process. The brochures created by students were given to the museum to adapt for their use and provided them with ideas on how to be more creative with their knowledge sharing.
"Experiential learning is another avenue for students to learn how to communicate about another culture, how to be more open-minded and how to help other people be open-minded as well"
When speaking about the benefits of experiential learning, Renée speaks about the exposure her students get to new work environments and different cultural contexts. Most of the students in the HIST*4820 course were not familiar with the Aga Khan Museum prior to enrolling in the course. "Experiential learning is another avenue for students to learn how to communicate about another culture, how to be more open-minded and how to help other people be open-minded as well," she says.
The opportunity opened up an avenue for dialogue about mainstream representations of the Middle East and how students can look past the media to connect with authentic sources of information on a different culture and develop a deeper understanding, and share that in a responsible manner. She saw her students develop an interest in Museum Studies and understand the impact of Museums in communities. In addition, students developed technical skills through their project with the Aga Khan Museum that allowed them to build their skill-set and understand how they can use their skills in a professional environment.