Beyond the classroom: developing student teachers' work with museums and historic sites


By Ian Davies, published 1st December 2001

Working visits to historical sites for the purposes of developing pupils’ historical understanding can be extremely useful. As part of their training, student teachers need to acquire understanding and skills in the planning and management of worthwhile ‘fieldwork’. This work can be very powerful indeed if it emerges from co-operation between a variety of individuals and organisations. In this article, Ian Davies and the York History Group describe the work that has taken place with initial teacher education history students at one University department of education in collaboration with colleagues who work in schools, museums and heritage sites.1 Readers wishing to develop work on museums with pupils might also look at Andrew Wrenn’s article in the last edition ( Teaching History, 104, Teaching the Holocaust edition) on using a museum as an ‘interpretation’, by showing pupils how to analyse the tensions and balances between a museum’s aim to attract, preserve, commemorate and educate.

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