‘Cooler than a trip to Alton Towers’: assessing the Impact of the Higher Education Field Academy, 2005–13

Lewis, Carenza (2014) ‘Cooler than a trip to Alton Towers’: assessing the Impact of the Higher Education Field Academy, 2005–13. Public Archaeology, 13 (4). pp. 295-322. ISSN 1465-5187

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The Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) is a University of Cambridge ‘Widening Participation’ programme designed to raise educational aspirations, enthusiasm, and attainment amongst teenagers through participation in archaeological excavation. Setting up, running, recording, and writing up a 1 m2 excavation which contributes to university research is structured into a varied and challenging scheme of assessed work in which learners develop and refine a range of skills — cognitive, technical, social, and personal — vital to success in education and the workplace. A total of 3496 young people took part in HEFA between 2005 and 2013, and central to its success are characteristics unique to archaeology: an interdisciplinary subject in which novices can make discoveries for themselves which are genuinely both new and important. At a time of financial retrenchment when funding for heritage is being severely cut, HEFA demonstrates the capacity of archaeology to build social capital by broadening access to higher education and helping young people gain the qualifications they need to contribute most to society in the future. This paper assesses the origins, aims, structure, and impact of the HEFA programme 2005–13, focusing in particular on the ‘Aimhigher years’ from 2005–11.

Keywords:Archaeology, Education, NotOAChecked
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:18910
Deposited On:02 Oct 2015 13:43

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