Off-campus tours added dimension and perspective to classroom experiences for students at the Charlotte Campus. To help color insight and “nurture intellectual curiosity” for his Honors English Composition Nature Writing Class, instructor Kenneth Harmon brought students to Dupont State Forest and Crowders Mountain State Park in North Carolina. The group also visited Hunting Island and Anne Close Springs Greenway in South Carolina.
Writing in journals, the students examined the role that their written expression plays on their perception of places. Faculty-led excursions and trips bring theory to life, allowing students to develop unique perspectives inside and outside the classroom.
“The journaling and essays they completed along with our group hiking trips led them to an understanding of themselves, their relationships with one another, and their relationships with the natural world in a manner that would not have been possible in a traditional classroom setting,” Harmon noted.
Students in Richard Pinder’s leadership classes left their classroom to put perspective on social injustice. Traveling to the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama, the group studied the Civil Rights Movement and the pivotal years of 1954 to 1972 in America’s struggle for equality. The tours took students to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where four young girls were killed in a bombing in September 1963.
Across the street, they viewed the Kelly Ingram Park where the Birmingham Department of Public Safety turned fire hoses on African-American demonstrators protesting laws on voter registration
“Most students had never studied civil rights beyond Rosa Parks and Martin King,” said Pinder. “To actually visit sites of such historical significance, for many, was awe inspiring.”