Jeff Stanzler is the director of the Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) group, which creates and facilitates Web-based simulations and writing projects for a worldwide network of upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. Stanzler teaches several courses each year in which university students serve as mentors for ICS activities that explore, for example, contemporary North Africa or the Arab-Israeli conflict, and in which these university students immerse themselves in the subject of the activities, while simultaneously exploring the pedagogical issues involved in supporting the work of the younger students.
These projects involve cross-campus collaborations with the School of Information, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the Michigan Community Scholars Program, and the Program on Intergroup Relations, as well as partnerships with colleagues at the UM-Flint campus and at several partner universities. Stanzler has also been on the faculty of the Secondary MAC program for several years, and he currently teaches the MAC “Teaching with Technology” course.
Stanzler works in the design of Web-based curricular activities and mentorship, with a special focus on the educational uses of simulation. He is also very interested in the nature of Web-based communication and in exploring its affordances and constraints. He has a particular interest in the intellectual and social development of college students, and in how they draw upon their college experience to craft, and then enact their understandings of effective teaching and mentorship.
Web-Based Mentorship: Place Out of Time (MENAS 462)
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Students serve as teaching mentors for a web-based character-playing simulation involving high school and middle school students on a worldwide network, and they themselves also research and portray historical figures. The Place Out Of Time simulated trial is different every term, but mentors and students are always presented with a contemporary problem that they must think through in the role of their characters, one that frames an array of social, political, cultural and moral questions. Mentors are active participants in a dynamic, writing-intensive enterprise that is aimed at enlivening the study of history through juxtaposing historical perspectives and sensibilities. The course employs purposeful "play" to frame a hands-on teaching experience that is supported by extensive in-class and written reflective work. (Meets together with MENAS 591-002)
Web-Based Mentorship: Earth Odysseys (MENAS 461)
Students serve as mentors to a worldwide network of middle school and high school student participants in a cultural issues forum linked to vicarious travel. As the forum participants respond to reports from various global settings, mentors seek to deepen, challenge and honor student thinking, and to help forum participants make connections to their own lives. Mentors learn about the country being explored, develop curriculum for use by network teachers, and participate in ongoing reflection on the teaching and learning dimensions of their mentoring work.
2334 School of Education Bldg
Michigan Student Caucus
This course is designed to support Wolverine Pathways (WP), a university-sponsored, out of school time program for eligible middle school and high school students. In addition to reading relevant scholarly literature, the course fosters insights and skills through involvement in curriculum development and evaluation activities with and for students, their families and various program stakeholders.
Web-Based Mentorship: Arab-Israeli Conflict Simulation (MENAS 463)
This course is linked to a web-based simulation that engages high school students worldwide in exploring the Arab-Israeli conflict through portraying current political leaders and representing stakeholder nations. Course participants facilitate this diplomatic simulation, working closely with the simulation participants to offer a window into the diplomatic process. Course participants learn about the contemporary politics of the region, and work in teams as gatekeepers and facilitators, helping their student mentees to thoughtfully assume a character, and to think and write purposefully and persuasively. The course is a hands-on teaching experience that is supported by extensive in-class and written reflective work. (Meets together with MENAS 591-001)
Web-Based Mentorship: ImagineNation Matters
Students assume character roles in virtual, online storybooks focused on our nation's history and cultural life as they mentor elementary school students. They explore questions of the intelligent use of information resources and engage in reflection on the nature of teaching and learning; students also carry out web-based project design work and interact with classroom teachers across the state in their mentorship activity. The class includes site visits to some participating schools.
Teaching with Technology
Prepares secondary education students to critically examine the teaching and learning applications of a variety of technology tools and resources, situating this examination in the context of contemporary and historical issues related to technology use, access, and the broader purposes of schooling. Explores notions of what it means for both a teacher and learner to have a digital presence by developing an understanding of oneself as a professional, and offers hands-on experience and opportunities for engaged reflection.