Making Students Knowledge Producers, Not Passive Consumers

How do you lift a poem out of history and "into your own history"?

The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas on Nantucket, MA, is described by its founders as having reached version 2.0. What does that mean? Instead of this event existing as a mutual admiration society, founder Tom Scott says he wants the ideas that are planted as seeds on Nantucket to grow into actionable ideas.


One of the speakers that exemplified that maturation process this year is Harvard professor Lisa New. Inspired by a panel discussion at the 2012 Nantucket Project on MOOCs, New decided to develop a Harvardx American poetry course.

The course offers students the opportunity in a very hands-on way "to think through a poem," New says, which needs to be a very active process. The idea is to lift a poem out of history, New says, and "into your own history."

In a conversation with Big Think co-founder and CEO, Victoria Brown, New says that at the center of her course is conversation - between students, teachers and other experts - and these conversations are used to transform students "from passive consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge."

Watch the video here

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