The CBA and Education: Current Work
The CBA’s work in education fully supports the organisation’s mission of ‘archaeology for all’. We seek to enable as many people as possible to have knowledge of archaeology, and the opportunities to develop their interest through the education system no matter what their age or background.
Our current role has not changed much since the early days of the CBA. We still enable university archaeology departments to meet together and agree common action and mutual support by acting as the secretariat for the Subject Committee for Archaeology. The CBA still supports tutors A level archaeology through advice and input into the work of the AQA awarding body which manages the A level in archaeology. Our publications for teachers are now mainly in the form of information about resources on our website. The CBA still provides advice to teachers, and can put them in touch with archaeologists locally. The archaeology and education conference is a regular event, bringing together everyone interested in archaeology education, and talks and sessions are often organised at other conferences. Support the use of audio-visual materials in education continues through the Committee for Audio-Visual Education (CAVE) and the British Archaeological Awards in broadcast media and ICT. A great deal of the CBA’s work is now the attempting to influence the content and nature of the school curriculum, and helping to shape various national education initiatives. The CBA covers the whole United Kingdom, but education in Scotland is dealt with by Archaeology Scotland, who do a lot to support Scottish teachers, as well as influencing the shape of the 5–14 curriculum.
The CBA is currently being funded by English Heritage for our Engaging with the Historic Environment project. If people of all ages are to have an interest in archaeology, and develop that interest then they need access to archaeological courses, and teachers need more support to include archaeology in their teaching. The project is designed to do three things:
- support Key Stage 3 teachers to include archaeology in their teaching by finding out what they need and developing appropriate resources;
- finding out who studies AS/A level archaeology, and why they study it, in order to develop better marketing and uptake of the qualification;
- research the current position of archaeology in continuing education and the learning needs of the voluntary sector, to develop recommendations on how that sector can better be supported by adult learning in the future.
The CBA has been closely involved in some recent and ongoing initiatives, including the following:
GCSE History Pilot
The CBA mounted a campaign for greater teaching of medieval history at 14+, and a move away from the domination of history by a restricted range of 20th century topics. As a result, we were involved in the creation of framework for a new GCSE in history by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. This has been developed as the OCR GCSE History Pilot, with archaeology as an optional unit, and heritage management units also available.
Initial Teacher Training
Archaeology graduates often have problems in gaining acceptance onto teacher training courses, especially for secondary teacher training. The CBA has produced guidance for teacher training institutions on why they should be accepting archaeology graduates. This was done with funding from the Higher Education Academy and the Teacher Development Agency.
The CBA is fully supportive of out-of-classroom learning and the initiative by DCSF to promote this. We have been represented on the National Advisory Group for Learning Outside the Classroom project, and have worked closely with other partners in the project’s work.
Archaeological evidence is part of the historic built environment. The CBA has been closely involved in the DCMS initiative Engaging Places. This is designed to promote and support better built environment education, both of the contemporary and historic environments. We sat on the old National Advisory Group, and on the new Partnerships and Strategy Board.
Archaeology & Education Conference
The CBA holds a regular conference on the subject of archaeology and education, further details of which can be found here.
For a summary of the CBA’s education strategy in previous years, please visit our education history
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