Sustainable Heritage Education: Multiperspectivity as a Bridge
Paul Janssenswillen, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Wil Meeus, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Our research project 'Many-voiced Heritage. Multiperspectivity in Heritage Education. (2015-2018)' aims to stimulate a sustainable cooperation between formal education and institutions of heritage education. Multiperspectivity as a concept that expresses the willingness to be in someone else's shoes is used as the combining element between history education and heritage education. Cultural heritage as historical source is a powerful instrument for multiperspectivity because different perspectives can play a role. In addition also the perspectives of forgotten social (ethnic-cultural) groups can be discussed and so (super)diversity gets a voice. Heritage education could become many-voiced. In this case multiperspectivity points to a substantively approach. This project also wants to stimulate sustainable cooperation between formal education (secondary schools and secondary teacher education) and institutions of heritage education. This is what is called procedural multiperspectivity.
So far we have designed a theoretical frame for multiperspectivity in heritage education with a focus on ethnic-cultural diversity. We have been searching for existing sets for heritage education both in Flanders as abroad. These sets have been analyzed and valued through the lens of the theoretical framework. Subsequently we have been designing three new sets for heritage education that match the conditions of het theoretical frame (substantive multiperspectivity). Three independent design teams with representatives from different domains (teachers from secondary schools, students and teacher educators from secondary teacher education, heritage educators) are responsible for the lay-out (procedural multiperspectivity). The sets will be designed in different iterations according to the principles of universal design for learning and designed-based research. The sets for heritage education will be tested in several groups, in order to valorization. The results will be joined in a publication and disseminated at a conference. The main concern is that the notions of multiperspecitivity and heritage education that will stem from this project will actually be adopted in the daily practice of institutions of heritage education and formal education.