Monday, 18 March 2013

'Tools of the Trade' event report

Tools of the Trade: Historical Textbooks and other Teaching and Learning Resources
The 2013 Friends of Newsam Library and Archives study day

Just thought I would briefly report on the IOE Friends of the Library and Archives study day that I organised with Becky Webster's help.

On Wednesday 6th of February, our annual study day, sponsored by the Friends of the Newsam Library and Archives took place. The inspiration for the theme of the day was the rich historical textbook collections held by the library and recent and current projects to catalogue the geography, history, science and technology textbooks. The day began with a brief overview of the archive collections by Deputy Archivist Becky Webster, followed by Dr Toby Simpson, the Learning and Engagement Manager from The Wiener Library, who gave an illuminating and shocking talk about how German children were taught Nazi values through propaganda in textbooks from 1933-1945, which had been the subject of a recent exhibition at the Wiener. We are very fortunate here at the Institute of Education to be within walking distance of such a rich collection with a profoundly important history, not to mention a beautiful reading room and expert staff. Next, Nazlin Bhimani and Antony Daws from the IOE Library spoke about the historical textbooks collection and supporting research, and the history of the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and its resources respectively. After lunch, Bernard Barker recounted his experiences as a history teacher in the 1970s, and the controversy surrounding his innovative and inspirational teaching style. Bernard’s latest book (due in January 2014) is 'Education and Social Mobility: Dreams of Success'. The final slot of the day was occupied by two current MPhil/PhD students from the IOE, Alice Kirke and myself, both of us received AHRC funding for our research.  Alice, an education historian, spoke about landscape and the environment in the history of education, looking specifically at the contested understandings and practices of rural education. I spoke about my research with the National Union of Women Teachers (NUWT) collection in the IOE Archives and looked at case studies of how women’s archive collections can be used effectively in outreach and education. The day ended with a showcase of many of the archive and library collections that were mentioned throughout the event. The study day was well attended and generated lots of interesting questions, discussions and debate. A huge thank you to everyone who attended, and special thanks to the speakers. We look forward to embarking on the planning of the 2014 study day!

You can find out more about the Friends group here.

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