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kim biddulph

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Month

January 2017

Teaching outside the classroom

spider-021I just had a random thought this morning that all this talk from archaeologists like me but also ecologists, scientists, artists, business people, teachers themselves and many, many others about the importance of learning outside the classroom may belie an underlying, perhaps subconscious, assumption that school is not the best place to teach kids.

I say perhaps subconscious because most of us are aware of how much work teachers put in to creating engaging experiences for their kids, and I always try to write engaging materials for teachers to use in their constrained environment. But on the other hand we are also aware of just how much more engaging, stimulating, exciting and challenging learning outside the classroom in the school field, the library, a park, a museum, a gallery, a theatre (the list is endless), can be.

rsz_scrapbook-030Kids used to learn outside the classroom all the time, before universal schooling. Did they learn more, or better, then? I guess not, learning to read, write and, to a certain extent, do maths is difficult outside a classroom. I seem to be arguing for a focus on the three Rs in schools and jettisoning the arts, humanities and sciences from the curricula. But that’s not the essence of my argument. I’m arguing for embracing more creative ways to teach the non-core subjects that will also support and apply the core skills.

photoEverything that can be taught outside the classroom, should be taught outside the classroom. Schools could become arbiters of real life experiences rather than child corrals. I guess that’s where many home-edders are coming from. The logistics would be horrendous and state funding would have to be massively increased, but it’s a thought.

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365 Days of Archaeology on the Archaeology Podcast Network

download-365As you may know, I have a podcast on the Archaeology Podcast Network all about stories set in prehistory. The Network has so many podcasts about various different aspects of archaeology to listen to and is just growing and growing. Each episode of my podcast is an hour long, and I know that’s a big commitment to listen to, so why not try out a bitesize podcast, from five to fifteen minutes each, every day for 2017? I bet you’ll be hooked by February.

Listen to every single podcast on this webpage, or subscribe via iTunes.

If you just want to listen to my contributions because you can’t get enough of my voice and archaeological knowledge (it happens…) here are my episodes.

4th January: The Archaeology of Whitehall Palace

15th January: The Origins of the British Museum

18th January: The Red Lady of Paviland

6th February: Trowelblazer Mary Leakey

5th March: A prehistory of the Prehi/stories podcast

18th April: Gertrude Caton Thompson

27th April: The gravel of Abbeville

30th April: John Lubbock

5th May: Children’s books about prehistory

8th May: Tollund Man

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