Engaging the Senses: Object-Based Learning in Higher Education (Hardback) book cover

Engaging the Senses: Object-Based Learning in Higher Education

By Helen J. Chatterjee, Leonie Hannan

© 2015 – Routledge

244 pages

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Hardback: 9781472446152
pub: 2015-10-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315579641
pub: 2016-03-09
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The use of museum collections as a path to learning for university students is fast becoming a new pedagogy for higher education. Despite a strong tradition of using lectures as a way of delivering the curriculum, the positive benefits of ’active’ and ’experiential learning’ are being recognised in universities at both a strategic level and in daily teaching practice. As museum artefacts, specimens and art works are used to evoke, provoke, and challenge students’ engagement with their subject, so transformational learning can take place. This unique book presents the first comprehensive exploration of ’object-based learning’ as a pedagogy for higher education in a broad context. An international group of authors offer a spectrum of approaches at work in higher education today. They explore contemporary principles and practice of object-based learning in higher education, demonstrating the value of using collections in this context and considering the relationship between academic discipline and object-based learning as a teaching strategy.


’Although university museums historically have been and still are a major component of the museum field, there has been scarce literature on how university students can benefit from interaction with museum objects. This volume goes a long way towards rectifying this gap. The individual chapters cover a wide range of university-museum collaborations, with the individual descriptions embedded in an understanding of modern educational theory.’ George E. Hein, Lesley University, USA ’How can objects in museums and elsewhere be of value in higher education? This book is an invaluable, much needed extension of our understandings of object-centred learning into the tertiary level. Its thoughtful case studies demonstrate the role of objects - of myriad kinds - and multisensory, experiential engagements with them, in inspiring and enabling university students.’ Sandra Dudley, University of Leicester, UK

About the Authors

Helen J. Chatterjee is a Senior Lecturer in Biology in the School of Life and Medical Sciences and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Public and Cultural Engagement at University College London, UK. Leonie Hannan is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities at Queen’s University, Belfast. For four years, between 2011 and 2015, she was a Teaching Fellow in Object-Based Learning at University College London, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Museum Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General