Thriving in difficult times: The Hull History Partnership
Author: Amanda Capern
Type: Conference Presentation
The paper will explain the vision behind and some of the early initiatives of the Hull History Partnership (HHP) which has received funding in 2010 from the History Subject Centre. The HHP brings together the Hull History Centre, the Department of History at Hull University and some school and college teachers to promote communication between different History educators in Hull and to enhance the learning experience of History students in the region. A major motivation for the formation of the HHP was to provide training opportunities for young people wishing to develop careers in History-teaching, archives and public and community History projects. As school-leaver and undergraduate unemployment has risen, this original idea has been transformed into an imperative to help History students thrive in difficult times. The paper addresses this theme of thriving in difficult times in two ways – while foregrounding the need to place students first to help them to thrive in a difficult world, it will also argue that university History departments need to be self-reflective about and pro-active in their development of their curricula if they are to compete effectively for History students in a world of high fees. The HHP will be presented as just one model of how to thrive in difficult times. The Department of History at Hull University is developing models of progression through the theory and practice of public and applied History for undergraduate students which will simultaneously enhance their employability and render the Hull University History curriculum attractive to future students. Through 2010 a pilot project of six internships has been run under the remit of the HHP and the lessons learnt from this project are going into the development of a Level 6 module called Applied History: Work Skills and Community Engagement that will run from 2011. The paper will outline what has been learnt during that pilot project from working with the undergraduate interns and will also report on the other initiatives that have run and have resulted in knowledge transfers between History educators in Hull. The main strand of the conference that this paper addresses is, obviously, employability, but it also touches on teaching methodologies and the ways in which University researcher-teachers can up-skill to ensure that their research runs directly into the futures of their students and makes an impact on the wider community.