1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 3 (September 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Visiting The Past: A Case Study of Experiential Learning with Young People at Historic Sites

Published Online: 11 Oct 2021
Page range: 345 - 358
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Learning about the past is becoming a complex issue due to the increasing need to ensure the approaches consider not only the facts, but also the implications for increasingly diverse future societies. This paper studies how experiential visits to memorial sites contribute to young people’s understanding of history from a wider and more inclusive perspective. The article presents a case study of two educational activities carried out at two memory sites related to the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) involving various qualitative techniques such as participant- and non-participant observation, expert interviews and focus groups with young people. The results show that an experiential approach to the past that works with emotions, empathy and dialogue with secondary students (17 years old) and older young people (15–25 years old) is a very effective means of offering a touching interpretation of the past and learning opportunity for youth, regardless of level of previous knowledge. Other findings show that the content needs to be reconsidered so new generations can interact with it. Young people’s worlds are shaped by cultural diversity, globalisation and the need to connect knowledge with the social environment, which enables them to engage in a critical re-appropriation of the past. This may be a new perspective that could be incorporated into the school curricula, and these types of visits could prove very useful for teachers and historical institutions such as museums or memorial sites interested in including young people’s experiences when planning their activities.

Keywords

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