BVU senior savors third overseas experience

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Ida Rodgers-Ferguson

As a BVU student, Ida Rogers-Ferguson traveled to Poland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Israel, and the Czech Republic. She made her way to Auschwitz, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.

As winner of the Universitys prestigious J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship, she made her way to the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland, over the summer, To learn concepts surrounding place-based learning.

I had classes with people from all over the world, Rogers-Ferguson says. I ended up making friends with other Americans, as well as with students from Denmark, Canada, and Australia.

Place-based learning incorporates the location of the lesson, or the school, or community, into the lesson itself.

Its a way of centering instruction back to where home might be, always asking, Why do we live here? Rogers-Ferguson says. We want to let students know the ways in which were connected the land we live on, for example.

Rogers-Ferguson says some of this occurred for her while growing up, as she was raised on a farm near Heron Lake, Minnesota. She hadnt considered place-based learning in deep teaching contexts until she stepped foot in Scotland and began taking the summer class, an experience funded entirely by BVUs annual J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship. Soon, the future history teacher found herself directing a lesson on Holyrood Park, a dormant volcano in the middle of Edinburgh.

The experience will make me a better teacher, she says.

Rogers-Ferguson took an additional BVU class online while residing in Scotland. In need of a second geography course for her social studies endorsement, she took a course that explored, as fate would have it, Scotland!

Her classroom experiences were augmented by a trip to Loch Ness, a touristy area known for the Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. A Harry Potter fan, Rogers-Ferguson also explored Greyfriars Kirkyard, a cemetery of inspiration for Edinburgh resident J.K. Rowling, author of the popular fiction series. A BVU J-term trip in two months led by Drs. Andrea Frantz and Wind Goodfriend explores the Harry Potter sensation in England and Scotland.

Rogers-Ferguson, who has spent previous J-term sessions in Europe and on Greek islands, will stay close to campus this winter as the history education major begins student-teaching. Shell also dive in to daily workouts for her final softball season for the Beavers.

Im ready to enjoy the softball while experiencing what my next chapter in life will be as a teacher, she says. I know that after I leave BVU, Ill really miss the relationships Ive built with faculty members, friends, and my teammates. That said, Im also very thankful for all the experiences Ive had. BVU has been so much more than I thought it would be.