Department of Archaeology, University of Reading2 Silchester Roman town: The Insula IX Town Life project: 1997 - ? Research Training Research UNIVERSITY TRAINING EXCAVATIONS
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading3 Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks (and some new ones…) Quality Assurance Agency Archaeological Benchmarking Statement Fieldwork constitutes an essential aspect of the engagement with professional practice
4 2001 The Silchester Field School module Teaching Core archaeological skills : Collecting & recording archaeological data Teaching more generic skills: Skills awareness Reflection Employability: skills, knowledge and personal attributes
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading5 Aim: To provide the student with a basic knowledge of archaeological field techniques Employability
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading The Silchester Field School module 5 years on…. Reflection… 2006 – Oxford Archaeology 2 nd biggest employer of all University of Reading graduates Education versus Training; HE versus Employers embed employability into curriculum – skills, knowledge & personal attributes teach skills awareness – self- assessment/reflection/PDP transform work experience into learning – ongoing reflection and assessment work experience must be credit- bearing
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading10 The IfA - Skills & Knowledge Skills that are learning technical skills initiative team-working working under pressure communication skills adaptability attention to detail taking responsibility and decisions Knowledge not necessarily learning commercial context of archaeological practice roles and responsibilities of differing sectors of archaeological practice in the UK Wessex Archaeology
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading 10 years on…..Archaeology Now and in the Future sectoral recession Wessex Archaeology
12 The Silchester Field School module 10 years on…. Reflection… Exactly what skills are we teaching? How effective are we? Do our students recognise the skills they are learning – and their value? Can skills recognition/awareness/self-reflection lead to better employability? What if we did not have Archaeological Field Schools?
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading13 Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology Progression Beyond the Classroom: Actively Teaching and Learning This project will evaluate methods used to teach fieldwork skills, with a view to increasing student self- reflection, improving assessment, and developing student understanding of the importance of personal development plans (PDP). This will help students maximise opportunities on other departmental research projects, and enhance their employability within the archaeological profession.
ATLAS: 3 University Field Schools Heslington East, University of York Silchester, University of Reading 15 Dorchester-on-Thames, University of Oxford
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS Methodology Questionnaires Focus Groups - students Interviews - Site Directors and Supervisors
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading17 Students: What will Fieldwork do for you? Staff: What has Fieldwork done for you? What are the best methods for teaching archaeological fieldwork? What aspects of fieldwork training should be assessed? What are the best methods for assessing performance? How can assessment be linked to your future employability? ATLAS – THEMES Careers, expectations, teaching methods, the experience, assessment, PDP, employability
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS Results Site Director interviews x 5 Supervisor interviews x 26 Student Focus Groups x 22 Supervisor questionnaires x 19 Student questionnaires x 78
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS: some results READINGYORKOXFORD Length of Field School 2 or 4 weeks3 weeks2 weeks Residential? YesNoYes Assessed? Yes No 1 st year preparation? Yes No 2 nd year follow-up? Yes No Careers lectures YesNo Type of Archaeology Complicated, urban, lots of finds, difficult Less complicated, rural settlement and fewer finds, but intercutting features make interpretation difficult Fairly complicated, urban, many finds, can be difficult Type of Supervisor %Commercial – 67% PG – 25% UG – 0% Other – 8% Commercial – 83% PG – 17% UG – 0% Other – 0% Commercial – 0% PG – 60% UG – 20% Other – 20% 19
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS: some results READINGYORKOXFORD Students: Has fieldwork training lived up to your expectations? % Yes 90.5%86%33% Students: Effective Field Skills teaching? % Yes 90.5%83%60% Students: Importance of assessment. % Yes 100%59.5%21% Students: Career in archaeology? % Yes 62%45%28% Staff: how well you think that the ways in which you teach field skills has been effective? % Yes 82%80%66% 20
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS - The Student Experience: expect the unexpected.. Physical work Few finds Methodical process Detail & complexity versus using a mattock
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS The Student Experience: the expected…. Team working Experience of real-life work Problem solving etc, etc..but what does it mean?
ATLAS Teaching methods Importance of the Supervisor/sectoral knowledge Importance of explanation We spent over two hours trowelling down an area and then they just come along and tell us to mattock it. I dont see the point, what a total waste of time and effort. Importance of small group teaching/peer group teaching etc Importance of real-world scenarios & putting transferable skills in context
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading ATLAS Assessment Incentive: If we werent assessed on this the trench wouldnt be half so deep. Proof of achievement Difficult to judge individuals on something as dynamic and flexible as archaeological fieldwork How to assess individuals for group effort?
ATLAS Personal Development Plans People know what their skills are and there is no need to write them down. Oxford student Problems of student engagement
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading Lessons of ATLAS Skills awareness is high amongst students…..but real life applicability of these skills is still elusive Generally employability skills awareness is good amongst universities & this is reflected in the on-site teaching methods Assessment of employability skills is crucial We still have a long way to go with PDP Employability skills need to be embedded throughout the university years
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading To Sum Up….. EMPLOYABILITY – who cares? The right fit for employment Students Universities Employers IfA
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading28 What Students Want to be employable
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading29 What Universities Want GGAT to demonstrate that they are delivering employability
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading30 What Employers Want they dont necessarily want the finished item they want someone who shows they can learn who can fit into a team York Archaeological Trust
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading31 What IfA Wants sectoral commitment to standards individuals demonstrating their technical and ethical competence archaeologists better at working in archaeology, archaeology better for archaeologists to work in MoLA
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading32 Training Deliverers: issues? who delivers the training how to demonstrate competence learning standards? learning about the sector life-long learning Wessex Archaeology
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading33 IfA Accreditation of Field Schools? common model for accrediting learning experiences industrial endorsement IfA doesnt want to QA teaching quality IfA might want to QA learning content Wessex Archaeology
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading Lessons for Silchester : the most valuable skills Communication: within team and outside team Learning to work together towards a common objective Jigsaw skills: seeing the whole picture. 34
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading Lessons for Silchester: ASSESSMENT Interactive database quiz – 5% Daily practical assessment - 40% Self evaluation report – 30% An on-site test– 25% Tension between the acquisition of specific archaeological skills and the acquisition of generic skills How to assess generic skills
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading Lessons for Silchester Access to learning resources: Undergraduate Research Opportunities & Traineeships Student support
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading Silchester Placements PART 2 STUDENTS SILCHESTER 2011 Assessed Employability PLACEMENTS Building on excavation and post excavation skills Team work and organisational skills Skills and Knowledge about running a large, long-running excavation project Professional Development and Employability Skills Progression towards a Traineeship PART 3 STUDENTS SILCHESTER 2011 Assessed ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRAINEESHIPS Excavation and post excavation skills Management Skills Professional Development and Employability Skills
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading What next? Group assessments Training Supervisors Atlas offspring…following the ATLAS students into their 2 nd year and beyond
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading What Employers Want Attention to Detail High boredom threshold Common sense Forward planning Ability to ask questions Work within a team Understanding of the post excavation process and how it relates to the site Writing field reports Ability to produce good site plans & sections Good knowledge of and flair for studio photography and lighting for artefacts Driving licence H&S, Manual Handling Variety of experience Ability to pick up the phone and COMMUNICATE CSCS card EXPERIENCE COUNTS…… 39
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading the consummate archaeologist: an impossible dream?
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