History Made Easy
History Made Easy
As a museum professional for over twenty years, my experience working with a wide variety of people has taught me how to interact with groups of people from different backgrounds. As the Assistant Director and later Interim Director of a natural history museum in South Florida, I oversaw design and construction of many of the museum’s expositions including ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian and African, Middle Eastern, Central and South American, North American, Australian, European, and...
As a museum professional for over twenty years, my experience working with a wide variety of people has taught me how to interact with groups of people from different backgrounds. As the Assistant Director and later Interim Director of a natural history museum in South Florida, I oversaw design and construction of many of the museum’s expositions including ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian and African, Middle Eastern, Central and South American, North American, Australian, European, and various cultures found throughout Asia and Southeast Asia. In addition, I helped establish the state’s first satellite school in the museum, and helped develop instructional programs for visitors of all ages. As the Director of Exhibits for North Carolina State Parks I managed seven state park’s visitor center projects. I have completed an Environmental Education (EE) certification which included attending a variety of hands-on outdoor education programs. In addition, I also developed and taught a wide array of classes for NC State Parks visitors and employees. I have extensive ethnographic, historic and natural history collections that I use as hands on material to aid teaching and assist students in the recollection of important points. During my career, I have had the opportunity to work on several archaeological projects in Greece, Cyprus and Central America. In paleontology, I have worked on many excavations including work in the Lance Creek Formation near Lusk Wyoming. Aside from the Cretaceous (WY), I have worked in Triassic (NC), Pliocene/Pleistocene (FL/NC) and Ordovician (MO) deposits. I have traveled to over 40 countries and use these experiences in my teaching.
I am a proponent of life-long learning and am disappointed if a day goes by when I have not learned something new. I am in my late forties and continue to pursue my PhD embodying this point. I applaud when young and old alike attend centers of higher learning. Practical “real world” experience is critical to truly teaching students in a given field. I believe that it is not critical to know all the answers but to know where to find the answers. Students need assistance on why learning things are important and how the information is applicable to the real world. Students should be taught in an interactive and innovative learning environment that stimulates their ability to learn and absorb information. Students have diverse ways of learning and these should be identified at the start and utilized to the best of the instructor’s abilities. I think students should be taught critical thinking skills so they can figure out things on their own – not just given the answers. I believe that people absorb and remember more if they learn with interactive (hands-on) objects to reinforce particular points versus just being taught with text books and computers. I believe an opportunity to teach in an upbeat, optimistic, and humorous way will reinforce learning. Students should be taught broad perspectives as well as the minutia of new paradigms. Students should be taught with the latest tools and techniques that facilitate and encourage use of cutting edge technology. I feel students should be taught and empowered to do the following: think of alternative approaches and solutions; Write in a clear, focused way; Be persuasive in writing and speaking; Offer and accept criticism without personalizing it; Summarize and logically organize complex information; Prioritize questions and issues; Evaluate opposing views; Determine the morally relevant aspects of situations, actions, and policies; and Take disciplined approaches to problem-solving I relish intellectual, social and cultural diversity. The values, goals, and learning styles of all students need to be recognized and supported. Professors and instructors should have the highest in ethics and integrity while promoting a culture of stewardship for the educational system as a whole, all the while with attention to diversity. Learning opportunities should be accessible to allow without the barriers of wealth, color or religion. Students should be taught mutual respect and empathy for other students. Curricula should be well balanced, developing the students’ critical thinking skills, aiding them in dealing rationally with issues of value and ethical responsibility. I am a firm believer in an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. Students should also be taught to be articulate and to think both locally and globally – accessing world views in their approach to problem solving. Improving their skills in writing and speaking is paramount. A well balanced education should contribute in an indispensable way to the realization of three goals that should be fundamental to any institution of higher learning: instilling habits of critical thinking in students; enhancing their reading, writing, and public speaking skills; stimulating them to engage fundamental questions about reality, knowledge, and value.
Charles hasn’t set a schedule.