Things to Make and Do: January 2003 Archives

January 15, 2003

Resolving to Learn is go!

A mailing list has been set up for the study group proposed on January 9th. If you are interested in studying the material in the MIT OpenCourseWare module Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World with others online, please sign up here.

Please note that the material to be studied is anthropological and historical in nature. The group is not about learning how to cast spells and going through the suggested readings is a process likely to slaughter any sacred cows you might have regarding the history of witchcraft. You do not have to be Pagan to join, nor is any experience of university level study required. It is recommended that you do read up on the MIT OpenCourseWare project to get some idea of what it is, and isn't.

January 9, 2003

Resolving to learn.

According to the BBC, the most popular New Year's resolution for 2003 is to learn something new with 44% of us wishing to widen our knowledge over the next 12 months. With this in mind, the MIT Open Courseware project is interesting. It aims to:

  1. Provide free, searchable, coherent access to MIT's course materials for educators in the non-profit sector, students, and individual learners around the world.
  2. Create an efficient, standards-based model that other universities may emulate to publish their own course materials.

It is currently at the pilot stage, and includes materials from representative courses from all five MIT schools. One of those courses is Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World:

This Anthropology course, Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World, focuses on spiritual, magical, and "occult" aspects of human behavior in anthropological and historical perspective. Includes detailed study questions relating to films and thought-provoking discussion topics.

The materials include a lesson calendar and a reading list. Each lesson has detailed discussion questions associated with it. The second half of the course is most interesting, examining the early modern witch hunts and moving onto alien abduction and the ritual abuse myth.

It occurs to me that this material could be used by an online study group, with members reading the texts and getting together via a fourm such as Quicktopic, IRC and/or a mailing list to discuss the questions. Please leave comments!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Things to Make and Do category from January 2003.

Things to Make and Do: November 2002 is the previous archive.

Things to Make and Do: May 2003 is the next archive.

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