This year, the Humanities Lab for School Students was the first humanities project to receive an award from the Bundesverband LernortLabor (LeLa). Since 2004, this network has pooled the interests of about 400 out-of-school places of learning in Germany, the vast majority from the so-called STEM subjects. The Humanities Lab for School Students was awarded 2nd place in the category "Student Lab Digital" for the offer "Working from Home with Sophie von La Roche: Invitation into the Literary Interior", which was developed during the lockdown 2020 as an alternative to the classroom format.
Of course, the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected us as well. For the time being, we are deprived of what has always been our central concern: the personal encounter between researchers on the one hand and young people and their teachers on the other, the deeply analogous experimentation with objects and forms of work in the humanities, not least because of its object reference. Even though on-site workshops were theoretically made possible again in autumn, the strict hygiene rules in the premises of the BBAW would only allow a very limited number of participants to be present which is incompatible with average course sizes.
In order to maintain contact with our long-time partners and to support the schools in this difficult situation, for the first time we have developed a completely digital offer which is available since October 28, 2020. It takes this crisis as an opportunity to look at the newly enforced solitary work in front of a desk which is one of the "original scenes" of work in the humanities. The current situation can also provide our young "target audience" with a reason to self-reflect and explore one's own attitudes and abilities.
The project was funded by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and is designed in a way that does not try to overcome the physical distance between the participants (e.g. with Skype conferences or livestreams) but instead actively embraces the unique circumstances. Under the heading "Working from Home with Sophie von La Roche: Invitation into the Literary Interior" the project offers an illustrated podcast that can be followed by each student individually at home via PC or tablet.
The program is designed for German courses of the Sekundarstufe II and builds on topics of the second and third semester of the Berlin and Brandenburg curriculum. It uses a mixture of different media forms (such as audio files, downloadable texts, pictures) and various task types (free writing, internet research, text work with key questions, transcription tasks with tests of learning success, etc.).
The entire project including work phases and breaks should take up about 4 hours and therefore corresponds with the duration of a visit of an analogous Student Lab. Of course, the program can optionally be split in two parts.
The podcasts and the corresponding materials can be found in a password-protected area. To get access, the teacher needs to register their course(s) via schuelerlabor[at]bbaw.de. After registration, we will send a separate document containing the login code.