Dr Evan Ward1
1Brigham Young University, Provo, United States
In 2014, scholars Daniel Hoornweg and Kevin Pope published “Socioeconomic Pathways and Regional Distribution of the World’s 101 Largest Cities.” Their study included the extrapolation of the urban areas which would be largest in the world in 2100. Most of those cities are located in Western Asia as well as Southeast Asia. As an undergraduate instructor of introductory World Civilizations courses, it is often difficult to engage students with African and West Asian history. In order to enhance the relevance of these locations (including Dar Es Salaam, Dhaka, Delhi, Nairobi, for example), I created an assignment for students which placed eight students in a research group (thus in a class with 160 students covering the largest 20 cities in the world in 2100) to study and produce reports on the specific challenges and solutions that such cities would face in urban development prior to 2100. This paper will discuss the pedagogical methods and experimental outcomes of the students’ work, with particular emphasis on their ability to engage in higher level research activities at the introductory level. The presentation will also reflect on the potential for such activities to be transferred into higher level research as well as university-wide opportunities for further engagement with West Asia as the twenty-first century unfolds.
Evan Ward is Associate Professor at Brigham Young University . He has written numerous articles about environmental history and the history of travel and tourism. His current interests include the pedagogy and application of experiential learning in undergraduate courses.