Accessibility statement

Heritage Education in Practice - ARC00078M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Harald Fredheim
  • Credit value: 5 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

Heritage education services are now an important part of heritage organisations, especially in museums but also more widely. This module will look at the theoretical and practical basis for the work heritage education or learning officers and will provide a basis for how to create good learning experiences in heritage settings. The module will draw on the experiences of Don Henson as a former museum educator and current specialist advisor to the National Trust and Historic Houses Association.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

Education is an important part of heritage management and interpretation. Many museums and other heritage organisations offer programmes for schools. A lot of work has been to done over the last 20 years to ensure that programmes are of good quality and deliver meaningful learning outcomes. The module will give students:

  • familiarity with the theories underlying good education in a heritage context;

  • an understanding of how to assess the quality of heritage education;

  • the principles underlying the creation of educational resources for schools.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should understand:

  • the key elements of education theory;

  • the school curriculum in England;

  • methods of assessing education quality at heritage settings;

  • problems and issues involved in creating heritage education programmes;

  • the range of classroom and site-based educational resources online and in print;

  • where education sits within heritage management.

 and be able to:

  •  critique academic writing about heritage education;

  • critique education materials produced by heritage sites;

  • assess heritage education in action or assess the worth of educational resources;

  • develop appropriate educational materials for a heritage site;

  • work as part of a team and yet meet differing aims and objectives.

Module content

We will begin with a look at education theory and how this can inform the work of heritage sites. We will also look at the nature of the school curriculum in England as an example of how this governs what can and cannot be offered. Museum education practice will be described in order to show how we might assess the quality of our work. We will look at examples of the range of classroom and site-based educational resources online and in print and critique these for their content and effectiveness. The key skill will be to work in a team to develop actual resources for a heritage site in York.


Task Length % of module mark
Create 1500 word educational resource
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
1500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be available within 4 weeks


Indicative reading

Clark, J G D (1943) Education and the study of man. Antiquity 17 (67), 113-121. Available at:

Corbishley, M (2012) Pinning down the past: archaeology, heritage, and education today. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.

Gardner, H (1999) Intelligence reframed. Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books. Available at:

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.