Humanistic contextual education (HCE) involves seeing the interconnectedness of the issues covered in various humanities subjects. Integrating knowledge from these subjects while working on a specific problem allows for easier assimilation of content and a greater ability to use the skills learned in practice.
An example of educational activities with the use of HCE can be classes, during which students work on the implementation of a project – a language cafe – and in doing so use knowledge from history, Polish, foreign languages and art in parallel. Only by integrating knowledge from different subjects is it possible to complete this project. Another example of the use of humanistic contextual education can be lesson plans created on the basis of a specific topic or social problem, the solution of which will be helped by the combination of skills, knowledge and competencies learned in different classes.
Humanistic contextual education is a very good way to motivate students to acquire knowledge in various subjects. This is because young audiences perceive that the knowledge turns out to be very useful in practice, which encourages them to learn and further explore the issues they learn (cf. research on motivation to learn by Nancy Reid (Reid 2000). Referring to everyday life and situations that students may encounter in their lives and, in the future, in their careers, allows for a better and more complete understanding of concepts and more effective teaching.
The point of reference for the introduction of HCE in classes can become a specific cultural text, such as a work of fine art, a literary text or a multi-coded cultural text such as a film. On the basis of a joint analysis of the selected text and its intertextual references, it is possible for students to grasp the network of connections and dependencies in which the work is entangled. The juxtaposition of different texts makes it possible to trace universal motifs and provides an opportunity to grasp the connections between the past and present experience (Bobinski 2004).
This way of humanistic contextual education is presented in our repository, where you can find inspiration for your own teaching activities referring to the idea of HCE. We invite you to explore our educational resources.
W. Bobinski (2004): Cultural contexts in the didactics of literature. In Janus-Sitarz A. (ed.): Polonist at school. Fundamentals of the education of a teacher of the Polish language. Kraków.
N. Reid (2000): The Presentation of Chemistry Logically Driven or Applications-Led? Chemistry Education Research And Practice, 381-392.