Immersive archaeology program encourages hands-on learning - Education Matters Magazine
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Immersive archaeology program encourages hands-on learning

A successful immersive archaeology school program which encourages hands-on learning is being expanded to students in the greater Geelong region. 

Run by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), an independent not-for-profit organisation focused on conserving and protecting Australian heritage for future generations, the program has been developed in collaboration with archaeologist Dr Georgia Stannard from La Trobe University.

The program, Archaeology: Beyond the Written Record, is led by a trained archaeologist – the Dig Director – who guides primary, secondary and VCE school students through a simulated archaeological investigation to excavate and collect evidence exploring the history of Barwon Grange in Newtown, Geelong, and its surrounding landscape.

Barwon Grange. Image: National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

“This unique program introduces students to different ways of thinking about history, exploring the ways that archaeologists use the everyday objects of the past to travel through time and space to reconstruct past peoples and the landscapes in which they lived,” Dr Stannard said.

After successfully launching its first archaeology program at Como House in South Yarra, Melbourne, in 2023, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) saw an opportunity to bring this immersive archaeology experience to the students of the greater Geelong region.

Ms Nicola Dziadkiewicz, education and public programs manager at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), said teachers are looking for innovative ways to enrich learning in hands-on ways.

“Programs such as this support students to engage with history in a way they haven’t before,” she said.

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) was recently awarded funding from the Victorian Department of Education as part of the Strategic Partnerships Program which provides funding to not-for-profit organisations to deliver curriculum enrichment and enhancement programs that improve student achievement.

With this funding, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is excited to expand its reach and will provide learning opportunities in history and archaeology that are not available in mainstream classrooms.

To learn more about the Archaeology: Beyond the Written Record program, visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/education-vic/

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