A couple of weeks ago I was very pleased to find out that my paper had been accepted at the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference in York, 6th-7th January 2012.

Teaching and learning practices are something I’ve become really interested in, after studying for the HEA qualification earlier this year. During this summer’s experimental work I found myself thinking critically about what I was doing, and how I was communicating and being communicated to, within a framework that was drawing heavily on the research I’d done on teaching and learning.

This naturally began to form itself into a discussion in my head, and when the call for papers for the Conference came out, it seemed like a great chance to force myself to finish laying the discussion out explicitly. I was a little surprised that the abstract was excepted as a paper rather than a poster, as I had assumed the organisers would focus more heavily on practical aspects of experimental archaeology. However they’ve constructed a session called “Practicing Experimental Archaeology”, where I’m presenting with another researcher, who is giving a paper entitled “Practitioner, professional and the public. Examining the impact of experimental archaeology on different user groups.”

Whilst being the last paper on the last day of the conference isn’t ideal, I’m pleased not to be entirely out on a limb on my own, and I hope that what I have to say will be of interest. In any case, the programme looks very interesting, though I am disappointed not to see any metallurgists presenting! I can’t believe that with all the smelting and metalworking happening around the UK and Europe that no one has a paper to present.

In that vein, I’m interested in hearing anyone’s opinions on the abstract that I’ve submitted. It contains the basic outline of my ideas for a framework to describe our practices in teaching/learning. If you’ve taught or learned techniques that could be called experimental archaeology – smithing, casting, glass working, ceramics, weaving, dying, the list is endless! – I’d be really interested to hear your reflection on this framework. Be as critical as you like!

I’m also interested in hearing experiences of successful or not successful teaching experiences in experimental archaeology. So go on, have a look at the abstract and let me know what you think. Your help is much appreciated.

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