sofia photo.jpg

In my field, art history, we divide into very narrow specialized fields by the time we go to grad school. Thus, I study medieval art and architecture. My specific research interests are christian pilgrimage in Western Europe, metalwork techniques (especially bronze casting), and sculpture in late 15th and early 16th century German lands. My field is not a very collaborative one; we present our ideas at conferences but rarely would we co-author a project. Our work involves mostly looking closely at works of art and reading the various interpretations that have been presented, as well as historical and theoretical concepts.

I appreciated that as an observer I was asked to immerse myself in a set of learning goals that were very different from my own in a field that has little in common with mine. It was refreshing to note that while there were plentiful differences, there were also certain challenges that we both face despite the very different curriculum we teach. I was nervous before the observation that after all the thought we'd put in, no new information would come to light. So I was quite pleasantly surprised when it seemed almost obvious the conclusions to be drawn from the observation. I suppose this is due to the amount of planning and preparation we did beforehand; it's as if all the pieces just fell in place when the day arrived. I know for me, it felt satisfying being able to offer some real insight based on observed data that might help my partner improve her students' experience with the course material.

Observation Plans:
Kathryne Brewer's Observation by Sofia Gans

Sofia Gans's observation by Dory Kornfeld