Examining the Importance of Cross-Curricula Formal Learning in a Country House Setting
Applications are invited for a White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities Collaborative Doctoral Award based within a project between the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds and Harewood House.*
Harewood House has recently committed to greater investment in learning and engagement as a key strand of its operation and vision. By its very nature, Harewood is an interdisciplinary resource for learning with potential benefit to a range of learners. This project would support the development of the secondary learning offer; underpinning the programme with high quality research and a clear rationale.
The project will benefit from an embedded research and teaching partnership between Harewood and Professor Abigail Harrison Moore at the University of Leeds, in order to develop cross-disciplinary educational resources, embed and evaluate them, to help us understand the role of the country house as a setting for cross curricula learning, and as a space that aims to inspire the next generation of cultural and creative professionals.
Current educational policy has very much limited access to subjects outside of the EBaCC in state secondary schools in the UK. Young people are being forced to focus in from the age of 14 onwards, and this is limiting a young person’s potential post 16 choices. The Sutton Trust has, for example, produced research that compares the disciplinary and extra-curricula offer of independent schools to the state sector, and children in the state sector have been found to be losing out greatly in comparison. The impact on the creative subjects has been most keenly felt, meaning that there are major concerns about the future options for children from state schools to have the opportunity to enter the cultural and creative sectors. This is at a time when this sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK, contributing over 10% of our GDP.
The country house offers the opportunity to create formal learning opportunities that do not divide subjects by discipline. This project therefore seeks to understand the potential of such cross-disciplinary learning and to develop appropriate educational resources, which will appeal to teachers, despite the acute challenges on the school timetable. Using current educational theory and policy, the resources will be pitched in a way that enhances the curriculum and then evaluated in terms of both educational outcomes and aspiration.
The key research questions are:
• How can a country house setting provide an interdisciplinary education for KS3/4?
• What are the benefits of interdisciplinary learning on attainment at KS3 and on career progression/engagement with creative subjects at KS5?
• Can interdisciplinary learning in a country house setting demonstrate the benefits of interdisciplinary learning generally and how does this impact on secondary education?
• Can this type of learning provide a broad and balanced curriculum in a way that enables pupils to access creative subjects and creative approaches to teaching, thus enabling them to access creative subjects if they wish later on?
• Could it provide a model for other country house settings to learn from in meeting the needs of KS3/4 students and the Secondary curriculum?
The research process will begin with understanding the broad curriculum context, mapping of KS3/4 and 5 learning across various country houses, providing an analysis of outcomes and the extent to which they are inter-disciplinary; exploring the available secondary and primary literature and policy, developing quantative and qualitative methods to assess the impact of other country house learning resources.
Building on this context, the project will develop pilot interdisciplinary learning sessions and resources, which will then be trialed with a group of pupils, developing an assessment of impact through attainment tracking with schools data or other criteria and through developing the pupils own research skills to help them articulate impact.
Both the scope and methods of the project can be developed by the student selected to undertake the project, in consultation with their supervisors.
Strong applicants will have a good first degree in an appropriate subject, as well as a Master’s degree and professional experience relevant to the scope of the project (or experience of belonging to a collaborative team). Please note that all applicants should meet the AHRC’s academic criteria and residency requirements.
The deadline for applications has now been extended. Applicants must apply directly to the University of Leeds in the first instance for a place of study by 3 January 2019 (stage 1), clearly stating the name of the project to which they are applying. Candidates selected after Stage 1 then liaise with the project supervisory team to submit a WRoCAH studentship application via the WRoCAH online application form by the 5pm on Wednesday 23 January 2019.
*Please note that if you are selected by the project team to be put forward to WRoCAH, your application will be considered competitively within the main WRoCAH competition. Being put forward for consideration is not a guarantee of funding.
Full-time AHRC Competition Studentships for doctoral research are three years in duration (or five years part time). Awards are subject to satisfactory academic progress. Awards must be taken up in October 2019 and no deferrals are possible. The award will comprise UK/EU fees at Research Council rates and, for eligible students, a maintenance grant (£14,777 in 2018/9).
Please direct any informal enquiries about this studentship to Professor Abigail Harrison Moore.
This studentship is one of a number of collaborative doctoral awards funded by the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH), including further opportunities within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. More details can be found here.