Saha Incorporates Research into Classroom Teaching
October 11, 2010
Dr. Santosh Saha, professor of history at the University of Mount Union, understands the importance of research and cultural experiences. He incorporates both into classroom teaching and feels that is beneficial and enlightening for students, no matter what course of study they are majoring in.
“This is a university, a school of higher learning,” Saha said. “Classes are mostly about interpretation and learning from books, and sometimes you get stuck. That’s where I think research comes into play. New knowledge is a resource tool and very helpful.”
Saha believes that a person is not fully informed, unless he or she has done his or her own research.
“New knowledge comes from reading books and conducting research,” he said. “I like teaching, but research has always been a passion of mine.”
As a historian, Saha is continuously conducting his own research and most recently spent this past summer in England doing archival research in the field of history at the libraries of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London and London School of Economics and Politics. This research-focused trip was partially funded by Mount Union’s Montgomery Award. While also abroad this summer, he presented a paper, “Economic Globalization in India: The Role of Old and New Traditions in the Development of Socio-economic Values for Positive Globalization” at the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, held at Cambridge University. His paper argued that the leftist universal construct could not be economically neutral. Saha concluded that globalization in India, engineered by traditions and cultural norms, gave the traditional society both economic and social empowerment.
After teaching a course in the problems of developing nations this summer, Saha visited Cambridge University in England. According to Saha, the renowned institution has a different teaching style than most colleges and universities and is more student-intensive. “Each student is assigned a professor who teaches and takes full care of the student with absolute medieval purity, sublimity and integrity,” he said. “It is not good or bad, just different.”
His research interests include African ethnicity and social and religious problems in the emerging nations. “I find pleasure in learning new methodologies and ideas,” Saha said. “I use research as a learning process in the classroom and the students really enjoy any reference to a new experience.”
Although Saha conducts his own research in the United States, he also spends most of his summers researching abroad. “Cultural experiences bring new ideas to students,” he said.
Saha earned bachelor’s degrees in history from Calcutta University in India and The University of London. He earned an LL.B degree from Calcutta University Law College, a master’s degree from Calcutta University and a doctoral degree from Kent State University.
Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, he taught history in India, Ethiopia, Zambia and Liberia. At the University he teaches courses in western civilization, Asian civilization and problems of developing nations, among others.
Saha has published 14 books, 10 of them relating to the disciplines of history, religion and culture. Some of these books include The Politics of Ethnicity and the National Politics and Religious Fundamentalism in the Contemporary World: Critical Social and Political Issues. His most recent research article on human development and Marxist ideology has been published in the Oxford Journal. Saha also serves on various editorial boards of international journals.