Experiential learning is at the heart of my research interests and ranges from exploring how schools have embedded archaeological exploration into the curriculum to the role of everyday family activities in developing positive heritage practices. I have expertise in anthropological approaches to how people make sense of the past in their experiences of being outdoors. I have led AHRC funded Community History projects around Scotland and worked in interdisciplinary projects with colleagues in Anthropology and Archaeology linked to community heritage.
The Conversation: “Children are doing archaeology – and becoming experts who enrich whole communities”
I have recently completed research for Aberdeen Performing Arts on their year long Music Hall Babies Project with Pauline Black. Read our report below
2011 PhD: Bringing stone circles into being: practices in the long 19th century and their influence on current understandings of stone circles in North-East Scotland
Social Studies, History and Outdoor Learning
PGDE (Primary) and MA Education level 4: Social Studies
MA Education professional Focus level 3: Making History
MA Education Level 1: Body, Mind and Nature: Learning Outdoors
Studies in Mindfulness
MSC Professional Enquiry (Research Methods)
Developing a Theory of Practice: learning in Museums
Work Based Project and Dissertation Supervisor
Post Graduate Research
I currently supervise students in the following areas:
Place Based Research
Heritage and Museum Learning
Education for Sustainability and Citizenship
Co- Investigator AHRC Connected Communities Project: Sustainable Community Heritage in Scotland's North - East: Bennachie and Beyond
Principal Investigator: Gordon Noble, Archaeology
(Working with colleagues in Archaeology, Anthropology, History, King’s Museum and Education)
This project involves capacity building, including stimulating interest, expertise and knowledge of local research methodologies with a view to securing a sustainable model for community -led research. Members of the wider community will be directly involved in a current community-centred project run jointly between the University of Aberdeen and a local community group and conservation society the Bailie's of Bennachie. In 2011 the Bennachie Landscapes Project was set up to answer research questions about this iconic landmark and to contribute to contribute to enhancing skills and knowledge competencies in the practice of landscape research within the wider community.
5 key themes linked to public open days /events
Discovering the archives
Introduction to archaeological research techniques
Using community oral history as a research tool
The Curriculum for Excellence: opportunities for learning outdoors with archaeology*
Exploring heritage with creative arts.
*Curriculum for Excellence: Opportunities for Learning Outdoors with Archaeology (led by Liz Curtis and Do Coyle with community archaeologist Colin Shepherd and ranger Fiona Banks).
Recent Conference and Seminar papers
2014 (forthcoming) CTC Conference University of Edinburgh on Being, Becoming and Beloning (9th - 11th April) Symposium, Children, Consumption and Collecting Experience, paper: Consuming the past, Learning the place of heritage
2013: ISATT Conference on Excellence of Teachers? Practice, Policy & Research, Ghent University, Belgium, (2nd -5th July) Building Community through participatory approaches to local heritage studies in a rural primary school in Scotland
2012: Seminar and Conference on Teaching for a Globalised World, Nicosia Cyprus, 30th - 31st January invitation from TEACH MDGs Project to present on Global Education and Initial Teacher Education.
2011: 2nd International Conference on Visual Methods, Open University, Milton Keynes, (13-15 September) Visualizing the unseen: exploring practice and understanding through images created by contemporary and 19th century visitors to stone circles in north eastern Scotland.
2011: School of Education Lunchtime Seminar, ‘Dancing in the Dark: making sense of time and space in rural Aberdeenshire.’
2010:Cultural History Seminar:Conversations in drawings: Fred Coles, art and archaeological practice at the beginning of the 20th century
2009: Scottish Archaeological Forum, Roots of Nationhood, University of Glasgow, conference paper, “Stone circle, skulls and Sepulchre: identity and Prehistory in mid-late 19th century Scotland.”
2009: IDEAS Network Conference, Stirling Management Centre“Engaging Student Teachers with the Local Community: A Mapping Approach”
Membership of National Groups
School of Education Representative on the STEC Global Learning Project (from 2011)
Member of the SQA Social Studies CARG (from 2011)
Part of the Scottish Studies reference group for STEC (from 2011)