This project is led by students Matt Hitchcock, Stephanie McCulloch and Liya Walsh, along with lecturer Dr. Hannah Cobb, from the University of Manchester. We aim to capture the views of UK archaeology students surrounding their experiences of fieldwork. We want to find out whether students feel like they are valued in the field or whether they just feel like a ‘number’ or a ‘cog in the machine’. While a certain amount of direction is necessary, we aim to ascertain whether student are merely told about the theoretical direction of the excavation as it progresses, or whether they are given the theoretical tools necessary to make and contribute their own interpretations. This feedback will be used to highlight some of the current issues within archaeological pedagogy and offer some potential solutions.

We will be presenting the results of this research at the CIfA 2015 conference in Cardiff on March 15th. Our abstract is as follows:-

Visible diggers? Engagement and communication: a student perspective.

Matthew Hitchcock, Stephanie McCulloch, Liya Walsh (University of Manchester)

This is a session that is about the future of engagement, and we are the future of engagement! We are a team of students undertaking a piece of research to understand whether students feel valued, and indeed whether they are valued, in the interpretive process. In this paper we will present the findings of our study and we will think about the implications of them for how engagement occurs – can the experiences of students help us think about how we communicate in the field with other audiences who do archaeology?


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