The HISTORY IN PRACTICE PROJECT (HIPP) is an experimental project on student-community engagement in curriculum design. Through a series of focused discussions and consultation workshops from October 2017 to February 2018, selected second an final year undergraduate History students and community-facing organizations will work together with the History Department's Director of of Student Experience to design a new 30-CAT final year module for the History Department - including working out the structure, learning outcomes, assessments and aims of the module.
The module, which we anticipate will commence in October 2018, will focus on public history and include a significant component of student-community collaboration in the production of public history. THis module will require students to engage with community and community-facing organizations and to put what that have learned in the classroom into practice. As such, designing the module requires serious pedagogical consideration and consultation with both students and different organizations on how such a module might be successful for all participants, and still meet the rigorous academic standards expected from modules in the History Department.
Student engagement in HIPP will help in shaping a module that attends to the needs of the learner, while the involvement in community-facing organizations that produce public history in this project in integral to ensuring a module that works well for these and similar organizations. Working together from the very early stages of development, student and community involvement in the HIPP will also provide a model for other academics interested in integrating student and community input in the curriculum. THis project may also inform current efforts to diversify the curriculum and rethinking of the educational function of arts and humanities degree. Through student-community partnership, HIPP aims to produce a module that is academically engaging, contributes to student personal development and beyond the classroom, and also supports the production of local history and heritage.
Dr Meleisa Onno-George is the Director of Student Experience in the History Department and a senior teaching fellow in Caribbean history. In addition to historical research on race and sexuality in the Caribbean, Dr Ono-George is currently involved in the pedagogical research on student-community engagement and BME student experiences in HE.