Student Teachers learn the ropes at the Museum

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

The Museum has hosted students on placement from York St. Johns studying for a degree in Primary Education.  This gives them the chance to experience learning in a different environment and the impact that learning outside the classroom can have.

This blog was written by Jacob Hesletine a second year student.

Reflections from 21st -25th May

During this week long placement, I have had the privilege of working in numerous scenarios, observing the fantastic workshops and learning opportunities that the National Coal Mining Museum has to offer. Having previously visited the Museum as a young boy myself (over ten years ago), I had a rough idea of the activities the Museum would have to offer. What I did not comprehend, however, was the depth of activities and things to do on site.

Each day that I have spent on site offered something different to observe and learn from. Day one consisted of a tour of the site and the infamous tour of the Caphouse Pit. The miner's passion and appreciation for the Museum goes unparalleled and is a real attraction to the public - as is their sense of humour.

The science workshop that I observed a few times over the week was a wonderful example of how to engage children in practical learning. The children were always on task and busy and I was most impressed with their retention of learning - this shows the standard of the Learning Team's input and for that they should be commended.

I also gained an entirely new perspective on how to use drama within the classroom. The infamous 'Sally Fletcher' and 'Aunty Brenda' workshops offered the children first-hand interaction with how the mining industry has shaped the past. The team's use of artefacts was also of great interest to me and reiterated just how well resourced the museum is.

I feel I must thank the staff for the warmth of their reception and for keeping us busy - myself and Katrina remarked that the week has been non-stop, yet this has shaped why we have both had such an exciting time. Particular thanks must go to Sharon Healy for being our mentor and being so organised and friendly, this has made our time here so easy. I would hope that you continue to spread the word to aspiring teachers like ourselves that learning outside the classroom is a wonderful way to learn!




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