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Community Archaeology cba logo
The CBA's Community Archaeology Resource
Making contact and establishing a relationship

My doctoral research into community archaeology along with my experience of involvement of community archaeology projects has clearly shown the importance of personal and individual approaches to schools with a formal invitation to attend and participate in a forthcoming community archaeology project. Schools tend to be highly receptive to such an approach, especially if it is supported by an outline of potential activities and learning experiences. Schools receive copious amounts of mail and general circulars and consequently they often fail to reach the individuals who might otherwise have been interested in them. A general circular to local schools or press announcements is unlikely to elicit a wide response from schools. As one head teacher stated, “If we are approached and asked to join in then we will get involved. We won’t usually ask if we can join in.”
Wheal Peevor
Establishing an effective relationship with schools is vital. In order to do this, two important considerations are required. Firstly, discussions must be two-way and secondly, time scales need to be reasonably lengthy. It is important to approach schools with ideas in mind as to the nature of a schools involvement, but it is equally important to instigate dialogue. Teachers are likely to be able to develop your initial ideas and utilise them to fit aspects of their taught curriculum. Working with schools can mean that school activities within the project become a meaningful and valued part of children’s learning. In order for this to happen, however, it is clearly important to allow time for such relations to develop. Invitations to schools that are made close to the intended participation period will mean that the full potential of the learning experience will not be exploited.


CommunityArchaeologyandSchools
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