Departmental Bulletin Paper Enhancing Studentsʼ Generic Skills through Active Learning and Mentoring: A Qualitative Study of the Effectiveness of a Human Library Project

Yamashita, Miki  ,  Miki, Yamashita

This qualitative study explores the effectiveness of an active learning project for a group of two male and four female Japanese students in my seminar course in the economics department of a small liberal arts college in suburban Tokyo, Japan.The students created and implemented a project called the Human Library (HL), designed to improve their generic skills, especially the relational ones essential to collaborative and healthy human relationships.The importance of active learning and mentoring to the project are described, and an account of the main HL event is provided.Relational cultural theory is then used to evaluate the project’s impact on the students’ generic skills.It is concluded that its effects were generally positive, but that improvements to the project and to the data collection about it are possible and desirable.

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