Cultivating A Living Classroom
What does a farm have to do with sociology? Religion? World history? For some Stonehill faculty, the answer is: more than you might think. They’re finding innovative ways to tie a 1.5-acre parcel of land on Stonehill’s campus to lessons they’re teaching in the classroom.
The Farm serves as a living classroom to enrich Stonehill students’ academic and service endeavors—providing them with a unique opportunity to actively engage in social justice issues pertaining to food in neighboring communities, particularly our neighboring town of Brockton, MA.
Each semester, an average of 10 faculty bring classes ranging from Religion to History to Environmental Science to The Farm for discussions, tours, and work sessions. Since its establishment in 2011, many Stonehill students have been inspired by their work at The Farm and have gone on to pursue careers in food justice, social justice and sustainable agriculture domestically and internationally. Faculty are encouraged to promote the experience of volunteering at the farm. We request that students are required to volunteer a certain number of times rather than a precise number of hours to allow them to focus on the experience.
Bring Your Class to The Farm
Faculty are welcome to use The Farm as a classroom. Visits can range from a self-guided tour to a structured discussion with a guided tour. Faculty may also choose to ask their students to engage the farm for community based learning. The Farm is an on-campus resource that will help you and your students connect by offering engaging experiential learning opportunities (ex. “feeding” the garlic compost, weeding the carrots, pulling up tomato stakes). Please contact us if you would like more information about incorporating The Farm into your courses.
As a way of continuing to build strong relationships with faculty, The Farm has partnered with the Center for Teaching & Learning to offer the Farmhouse Writing Fellows program. Farmhouse Writing Fellows are given dedicated space on the second floor of the farmhouse to work on scholarly or pedagogical projects of their choice. More information can be found at www.stonehill.edu/farmhousefellows.