Student-Led Research and Outreach in the Humanities: A Case of Experiential Learning

Mia Lee
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Abstract


Although historians often address a small target audience largely composed of other academics, history, like so many other humanities disciplines, has the potential to reach a much wider public and reconnect to a meaningful past by both providing new content as well as new perspectives. With this in mind, my collaborators and I designed a teaching platform based on non-professional history writing, which incorporated student-initiated research, student leadership, peer mentorship, and extra-university collaboration. Coinciding with preparations in Singapore to commemorate the 1819 British landing on the island, we asked, “Why 1819?” We wanted to consider the various stakeholders that made 1819 a significant date in Singapore’s history, which meant looking at British policy and strategic planning but also the role of local inhabitants and diaspora and migrant communities in building the island’s infrastructure. We hoped to foster a collaborative, bottom-up approach that included voices and issues beyond the ones typically found in the public school curriculum. Ultimately, what started as a modest ambition to foster student-led projects became a comprehensive research mentorship program that has realized two primary objectives: supporting student leadership and research work, and building public engagement and collaboration.

Keywords


Active learning, Experiential Learning, Collaboration, History curricula, Nation building

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References


Lee, M. (2022). Student-led research and outreach in the humanities: A case of experiential learning. International Journal of Studies in Education and Science (IJSES), 3(1), 75-84.


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