Unit 3: Resources from the Larger Community

Introduction and My Experience

This week, I created an activity about Buddhist iconography and mudras for my mathayom 3 (grade 9) Thai Buddhism class. I used AntrhoArcheArt.org as the resource for students to use to find different examples of mudras/postures in Thailand and greater Southeast Asia. Identifying the specific iconography in both the geographical and historical context of Thailand allows for more connections to form with past knowledge and experiences. The goal of this activity is for the student to be able to identify and recall the meaning for each mudra and posture. The resource I chose gives extensive examples and also has a great search tool that easily allows you to bypass hunting for each individual pose in each of the sections. Historical and archeological resources are the most applicable to my educational context; using pictures as opposed to raw accounts is great for English language learners, as well. 

Here is my learning activity:

Buddhism M3 project

Key Issues

         The tools used to share and disseminate information from this unit differs from the previous unit in that it is globally available (as opposed to information within a professional or social network) and that it comes from professionally-curated, primary data (as opposed to second or third-hand information). This kind of “raw” data can be used for active learning tasks, where learners have to analyze and infer meaning. Global data sets span from the sciences to the humanities, making a variety of activities available in different subjects, even allowing for the integration of more than one subject in a single learning activity. Basically, global resources are encyclopedias available for everyone with an internet connection.

Observations and Conclusions

            That being said, it seems that information from these types of resources is more credible than information from social and professional networks in that it is usually primary data or uses primary historical sources. A possible problem with credibility could come from the insertion of subjective views into the interpretation of the data instead of keeping an objective un-bias. First of all, one should determine where the data is coming from. I’ve found that U.S. government sites have a higher credibility than other government sites (for example, Thai government sites) because of the lower chance of blatantly subjective views that speak to a fictional, national memory. Like analyzing data resources from the previous unit, one must determine the level of ethos presented as well as any kind of corroborative evidence from other sources. I found some pretty wacky religious theories when I was doing research as an undergraduate, and could always determine their level of legitimacy from the source and other sources citing the same data. While I think that global resources still can be illegitimate, the fact that they are global in nature somewhat protects them from promoting obviously skewed facts.

 

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