Students learn through lessons from the past

by Erinn Aspinall

HMed 3055 students attend class with Hendrickson.

The resources of the Wangensteen Historical Library for Biology and Medicine shine a light on the future of health.

“Lois’ participation has enlivened my teaching and enriched the learning experience for my students.” – Professor Dominique Tobbell
History of Medicine Professor Dominique Tobbell has learned the value of the Wangensteen collection firsthand. Her course HMed 3055: Women, Health, and History has become a model for faculty wanting to incorporate library and archival materials into their teaching.

Lois Hendrickson, Assistant Curator for the Wangensteen Library, was key to the course’s success, Tobbell said.

“Lois’ participation has enlivened my teaching and enriched the learning experience for my students,” she said.

Hendrickson worked closely with Professor Tobbell, carefully selecting rare library books, manuscripts, and artifact objects to support the course objectives.

Selected resources included Owen Wangensteen’s glass slides on the surgical treatment of breast cancer, Florence Nightingale’s manuscript letters and books, and Clara Barton’s diaries.

Throughout the semester, Hendrickson was invited to become part of the teaching team where she led several short sessions. During the sessions, Hendrickson brought materials that were specifically targeted to that week’s lecture and assignments.

Students were able to handle and examine the rare and historical materials.  This helped the students critically engage with the resources and make connections with their assigned readings and class lectures while learning about their history and the context in which they were used.

Students: Collaboration a success

The success of the collaboration between Professor Tobbell and Hendrickson was shown in the student evaluations, which consistently mentioned the value of working directly with the material culture of medical history.

“We welcome collaboration with faculty members on new and existing courses throughout the Academic Health Center and across the University,” Hendrickson said.


To learn more about this project and how you can work in partnership with the Wangensteen Historical Library contact:

Lois Hendrickson
Assistant Curator, Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine
l-hend@umn.edu
612-626-6881

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here