‘Tracks’ of the Past: How Can a Place-responsive Pedagogy Support New Understandings of Industrial Heritage and Major Economic Change Using a Curriculum for Excellence?

Henderson, S. and Gibbs, E. (2018) ‘Tracks’ of the Past: How Can a Place-responsive Pedagogy Support New Understandings of Industrial Heritage and Major Economic Change Using a Curriculum for Excellence? 20th Children’s Identity and Citizenship European Association Conference in Warsaw : Citizenship & Identity in a ‘Post-Truth’ World, Warsaw, Poland, 10-12 May 2018.

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Since the 2008-9 financial crisis, informal employment has grown across Europe. In the UK alone, there are near a million workers in the UK on ‘zero hour’ or contracts of the ‘precariat’ (Standing, 2011): their conditions are a ‘live’ political issue, with many school pupils directly experiencing the economic and social effects of their families’employment conditions (Monaghan, 2017). Moreover, educators and researchers frequently report the problem of learners’ inability to understand contemporary economic issues, particularly in terms of human rights and citizenship, and their relationship to the past (Biesta, 2009). Yet according to Gruenewald, Koppelman and Elam (2007), a place responsive approach to theorising pedagogy can help teachers, their students and the local community relate past experiences of multinational enterprises during phases of major economic instability to our contemporary circumstances (see also Beames, Atencio & Ross,2009). This paper will report on the indicative findings of an ethnographic pilot study which aimed to identify how a place-responsive pedagogy can be developed to support a particular strand of citizenship education: industrial heritage and trade union activism as a form of global citizenship. It will report on the first phase of research engaging school pupils with the 103-day worker occupation against the closure of Caterpillar’s tractor factory in Uddingston, Scotland, during 1987 (Woolfson and Foster, 1987). The project aims to identify how a place-responsive approach to pedagogy can be theorised to create a citizenship curriculum that engages pupils in knowledge-making practices about present and past employment experiences. In the paper a unique sociomaterial analysis (Henderson & Dombrowski, 2017) is deployed to critique how Scotland’s A Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)(Scottish Executive, 2004) can provide an educational framework for teaching global citizenship rights and responsibilities in the context of Scotland’s industrial history and engagement with multinational enterprises. The paper will conclude by proposing a ‘learning journey’ framework that allows pupils to apply enquiry-based learning to examine how past industries have shaped present-day communities and relate these stories to the present-day land-use of their local environment.Given that data collection is ongoing, the paper will seek to support this ‘learning journey framework’ with emerging results from focus group interviews with pupils, teachers and parents to assess their prior knowledge of local historical issues and the impact of the project on their understanding of broader social justice issues.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibbs, Dr Ewan
Authors: Henderson, S., and Gibbs, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History

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