"I feel fortunate that I have been able to tap the resources of Lowell National Historical Park in implementing some creative approaches to teaching and learning. For example, in conjunction with Andrew Harris from Criminal Justice and Jonathan Silverman from English, I helped develop and teach a First Year Seminar course called “Lowell as Text.” Our goals for the course were to introduce students to the City of Lowell, and to help students understand various modes of academic inquiry and analysis, using the City of Lowell as a learning laboratory. Our first day of class took place at the Tsongas Industrial History Center, where we sampled food from local ethnic restaurants and talked about diversity and immigration history in Lowell. Later in the semester, we viewed the film River Cycle: The Concord in Lowell, and Park Rangers led us on a tour of Lowell’s Concord River Greenway. We made two visits to the Park’s Boott Cotton Mills Museum, where we met with Park staff and critically examined how the museum exhibits present Lowell’s history. We also had the opportunity to bring in a special guest speaker, Cathy Stanton, author of The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City, who helped students explore and understand the making of public history and the ways that tourism, history, and culture intersect in the city their university calls home."
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