Ancient world, modern teaching

Posted by | October 18, 2019 | Humanities | No Comments
Megan Daniels poses casually in a rocky landscape

UNE classics lecturer Dr Megan Daniels has a fascination for the ancient world and bringing it to life for her students.

“I try to experiment with one new [teaching] approach each trimester … I’m especially excited to start digitising some of the collections at UNE’s Museum of Antiquities and seeing how these transform student learning experiences online.

I’m an archaeologist by training, but my PhD is in Classics. I hail from Ontario, Canada (near Toronto), but spent a lot of the last 10 years living up and down the west coast of North America.

At UNE I currently teach units in Old, Middle, and New Kingdom Egypt, the history of Egypt and the Near East, and ancient Greek language. I’ve also co-developed a new major in the Ancient Near East with Prof Lloyd Weeks.

The unique combination of units I teach reflects my broad and ever-growing interests in the ancient world. I’ve always had trouble putting boundaries in place in terms of what I’m interested in studying, whether temporal, geographical, or material boundaries. So this position suits me well. I also have wonderful and supportive colleagues and am building up my network across Australia, which is very exciting.

Learning to deliver often dense and challenging content through online platforms has certainly been a challenge. I’m always on the look-out for ways to make my teaching more effective in a traditional classroom, but the online world has presented both new challenges and opportunities for teaching and engaging students.

I try to experiment with one new approach each trimester, whether it’s a technical approach or a more conceptual/pedagogical approach to learning. I’m especially excited to start digitising some of the collections at UNE’s Museum of Antiquities and seeing how these transform student learning experiences online.

I am currently focused on expanding my technical/digital humanities skills thanks to some generous funding from the Faculty of HASSE. I’m very interested in integrating questions about religion and human development with new ways of curating and visualising data, and hope to become more adept at integrating data sciences with humanistic pursuits.

My other main interest is human migration and mobility in history, and I aim to develop this avenue as well through collaborations.

My one piece of career advice is to build connections, ask for help, and stop listening to your inner critic.”

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