The objective of this project is to create and apply an innovative, immersive and participatory teaching program on cultural heritage, particularly on the recording, study and management of historical landscapes understood as a systemic and diachronic product of humanity. The project is also rooted in the European Union’s cultural policies on cultural democracy and participation as it will be carried out in collaboration with local experts, associations, museums and institutions being one of its scopes the promotion of activities which can help economic, social and cultural local development. As the subject is completely new, students from all degrees will be able to participate and share also among them their previous knowledge.
The teaching program – focused on a local territory in all participating programme countries – will comprise:
1. methods and understanding of bibliography and sources published or preserved in archives;
2. new tools able to document the environmental characteristics and historical landscapes, combined with traditional methods, research on the names of the places, the network of infrastructure and settlement, architecture, in function or in ruin. The process will end in not only a diachronic evaluation of the potentiality of territory, but will also become a first reconstruction of the history of the communities that have inhabited it;
3. stratigraphic methods of sequence interpretation;
4. database development and analysis (GIS and recording platforms such as WIKICARE);
5. sociological study of the public perception about their cultural heritage and our work, data recording and statistical analysis of results, as an example of a relationship between the research and the wider public and/or the local communities
6. Adaptation of scientific research into educational resources for schools, digital resources for wider community access to final results (apps, web documentaries); guided tours, seminars and other activities for both the community and visitors.
Results will be mainly a diachronic evaluation of all the information related to the cultural heritage of territory, but also a first reconstruction of the history of the communities that have inhabited it.
For the students, taking part in the project this kind of activity has an important number of benefits linked to the improvement of knowledge and skills that rarely have been incorporated in university classrooms such as the development of soft and transferable skills mainly communication abilities, good and active listeners, flexible and adaptable, efficient record keepers, the capacity of negotiation and solving problems. All these abilities have long benefits for students to improve their job prospects (thanks to the multiple disciplines they will be working with by understanding the functioning of local institutions, organizations, museums, and associations) and offer a route to gain funding by creating new networks and demonstrating wider social impact.
Results will also be potentially useful to foster future experiences on economic (tourism but also agriculture), educational (giving new material on local heritage to elementary schools), and social projects for the local communities.