Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

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Gerefasen
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Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

Postby Gerefasen » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:15 pm

There is a lot of academic discourse out there on the use of 'living history interpretation' at heritage and historic sites, festivals and special events but, what are the educational benefits of having 'live historical interpreters in schools or are they better suited to the above?



40/- freeholder
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Re: Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

Postby 40/- freeholder » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:51 pm

I and many others have been doing Living History school visits for 20+ years now. The in school day has value for preparation before a visit to a historic. It can also act as a substitute where there is no appropriate historic site within easy travelling distance of a particular school. With no travelling time for the children, an in school day has more time for hands on activities and repro object handling/drawing etc. If a school has a limited budget hiring one person for a session is less hassle than arranging a coach and parent consent forms for an outing. I could go on but you get the idea of cost benefit to the school.



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madjon
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Re: Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

Postby madjon » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:43 pm

Heritage sites are boring, buildings and old stuff that you don't know wot it is and don't care because you are with your mates or been dragged along by the rents to get culture, possibly through a theoretical osmosis.
People doing stuff is interesting enough to watch and you can ask questions, like what's that, why are you doing that and is it real?
The value is partly in making boring sterile unlived in places peopled, partly in giving an interpretation beyond the guidebook you didn't get because dads stingy and lastly historical context as well as someone who actually understands old stuff makes a better person to look after a site, such as stig roar Olsen in Stavanger living in a 19th century house and looking after it rather than it being yet another dead stasis chamber.

School visits can be the cheap version of field trips, but also seeing someone with a load of old stuff in person, you can engage with the sights, sounds and smells of history, beyond a boring highly edited school approved book.



Gerefasen
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Re: Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

Postby Gerefasen » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:59 pm

Although I agree with the fact that schools do benefit regarding budgets and that living history interpreters do bring to life sterile dusty heritage places and museums, open or otherwise, what I was asking and I was trying to ascertain was what are the 'educational benefits' of having living history interpreters in schools? So what can a child gain educationally? Granted, they can learn about a historic period from an everyday, ordinary person representative of that time dressed in period accurate clothing but, can living history interpreters have any 'educational benefit' to children within the history curriculum?



40/- freeholder
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Re: Are living history interpreters more suited to historic sites?

Postby 40/- freeholder » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:49 am

It might help to answer your question if you would define "educational benefit" in the context that you are using it.
Transferable skills is one "benefit", which is why teachers like plenty of hands-on activities for younger children, to improve motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills.
Stimulating the imagination for creative writing is another. One local school actually had the teachers dress up as spacemen for the moon landing anniversary, to give the children subject matter for creative writing as the little things had no ideas of their own.




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