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School of Architecture and Planning receives $1.5 million grant from Mellon Foundation

Grant continues support for the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative. 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) a $1.5 million grant in continued support for the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC).

Aimed at expanding the coverage of global history in architecture education, the collaborative includes scholars who are producing classroom materials for those teaching architectural history at the undergraduate or survey level. In 2013, the foundation made an initial grant of $1 million to SA+P toward the creation of the collaborative.

The new grant supplements the original funding, extending the activities of GAHTC for another three years. The goal of the collaborative is not only to promote the development of survey course material in the history of architecture, but also to advance teacher-to-teacher conversations to support pedagogy with a global perspective.

Teaching a survey of architecture’s history featuring material from around the globe requires a great deal of preparation and learning on the part of the teacher. But because there is no specialized preparation for teaching such courses or funding for course development, the survey course is under increasing threat and fewer schools of architecture now offer it.

GAHTC is designed as a rapid-response mechanism to deal with this problem, given that the survey course is an important tool in building global awareness.

The collaborative holds annual teaching conferences and award grants of various types to groups of faculty to create high-quality teaching material that will be made available to teachers and professors worldwide and free of cost through a website, beginning in early 2017.

MIT Professor Mark Jarzombek and Vikramaditya Prakāsh of the University of Washington are co-principal investigators. The board is composed of Jarzombek, Prakāsh, Robert Cowherd of the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Gail Fenske of Roger Williams University, Suzanne Marchand of Louisiana State University, and Adnan Morshed of Catholic University of America.

Originally published November 30, 2016 by MIT School of Architecture and Planning for MIT News.