Eyal Schwartz, GBP Student
The great excitement of field trips rolled in once again a few weeks ago when the GBP classes took on our second adventure into the city of Boston. As everyone already knows, there is no way to study the city of Boston better than, well, spending time there. This time around it was all about business, no more introductions. We had the responsibility of getting on and off the train by ourselves and once everyone arrived in Boston, groups split up to get to work for the day. One group started off at the Boston Public Library, while the other group walked over to The Mass Historical Society; then, after a nice lunch, the groups switched locations. The main focus at both of the locations was to work on the upcoming project about pre-revolutionary propaganda.
The historical society this time around was a completely new experience as it was hands on; for a warm up, each project group was given a historical propaganda document and asked to analyze it and present to the class. There were different types of propaganda techniques showcased in these artifacts; some examples were: glittering generalities, name calling, and bandwagoning. These different types of propaganda styles each have their own purpose, which helped the us get an idea for what type of propaganda we may wish to use for our projects.
A couple days prior to the field study, we had made up a list of sources that we wanted to examine while at the historical society. So after the warm up activity, the helpful historians there compiled as many of those resources as possible and put them on display for our groups to gather information from. Our groups were given time to read through the documents and examine all of the information. I believe that this time really pushed us in the right direction to get a solid idea for how we want to display our projects. Not only was this helpful for the project, but it was also really one of the first times that many groups worked with primary documents that dated back to many many years ago. Learning to use these skills will become increasingly helpful for us as we move on a continue more independent work. It will be very helpful because we need to learn how to analyze text, especially in college when we don’t get as much teacher aid.
GBP students examine historical propaganda at the Massachusetts Historical Society in preparation for work on their projects.
(Photo by Ms. Tincher)
If the students weren’t examining primary documents at the historical society they were searching for secondary sources at the public library. There isn’t really a better place to find information about Boston than the library. Honestly, that place has everything, from books about anything to computers with information, and even a teen center with TVs and video games. It’s almost impossible to not find what it is you’re looking for. GBP is all about learning through experience and being in the library does just that. There were no rules about what to do in the library or where to go, there was just an hour and a half to do what was needed to research and work on our projects. As we become more and more independent these library trips are going to become more and more helpful.
Field visits are always a huge excitement because they can make a long week feel quicker, and, more importantly, can benefit your learning experience. Boston is one of the most cultured cities in the world, famous for hundreds of things. It is great that we get time to explore resources in the city while also getting to see the true side of Boston, with people walking around on their lunch hour at 12:30pm. I think this sparks our interest to want to spend more time in Boston and in cities all over. One person can never spend too much time walking around cities especially with all that there is to learn.
Bates Hall at the Boston Public Library (Photo from Wikipedia.)
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