Utilizing Teamwork in the Classroom to Foster Meaningful Connections

Prof. Hannah Greenwald
History Prof. Hannah Greenwald speaks with students in her office.

“I went to a small liberal arts college as an undergrad, and I loved that experience. That was part of the reason why I wanted to teach at a school like Gettysburg College,” said History Prof. Hannah Greenwald, who today teaches classes in Latin American history, Atlantic history, and borderlands history.

“As a student, I loved how closely I could work with faculty members and how I could build my own knowledge from their expertise. Now, as a faculty member myself, I love that I get to work with all of these curious and engaged students.”

Greenwald believes in the importance of crafting meaningful connections with students. To create these connections and pique her students’ interests, Greenwald emphasizes group work in her classes, and she helps her Gettysburg students to develop and apply enduring skills such as teamwork.

“It gets students talking, even if they may not be comfortable talking in a large group setting. It allows students to explore their own voice in the classroom,” Greenwald explained. “It also develops interpersonal skills, which Gettysburg College helps students to grow by learning to hear different perspectives and how to share their own.”

Prof. Hannah Greenwald on the steps of Weidensall Hall
History Prof. Hannah Greenwald on the steps of Weidensall Hall, where the History Department is located.

In her classes, Greenwald finds there is an intersection between communication and problem solving. She tends to provide her students with a quote or a complicated question that they grapple with alongside one another.

“I think that’s ultimately how learning happens,” Greenwald reflected. “Students hit the end of what they can solve on their own and then they must problem solve with their classmates. That’s the difference between being in a classroom at a liberal arts college versus just reading a textbook by yourself.”

Learn more about the unique history courses offered at Gettysburg College.

By Laken Franchetti ’24
Photos by Sofia Gutierrez ’26
Posted: 12/22/23

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