THE SOCIAL SCIENCES VIEW OF CROSSCULT PROJECT
In a project that wishes to combine Humanities and Technology, Social Sciences’ role had to be explicit. What would be the role of Social Sciences in CrossCult and how could they help the successful completion of the project?
Since CrossCult primarily focuses on history reflection, one of the main concerns was to understand the concept of reflection. Social Sciences can view reflection as an upper level learning process and as such they can also approach visitors as learners (also in a life long learning process framework). Following widely used and accepted taxonomies of learning objectives, like Bloom’s, the historical phenomena need to be analyzed and evaluated, not simply remembered and understood.
A simple presentation of facts in no longer adequate and visitors need to be able among other things also to compare, relate, predict, and interpret situations.In addition, Social Sciences could provide the knowledge to actively engage the visitors, trigger emotional responses and lead to long lasting experiences. Therefore, looking for ways to combine history knowledge, principles of psychology and educational strategies, an interdisciplinary team of Humanities and Social Scientists developed targeted methodologies to maximize history reflection.
These methodologies include the use of narratives as a strong tool to engage people. The importance of narratives in learning processes is well reviewed and in CrossCult’s case narratives are used to support meaning creation. CrossCult narratives increase emotional arousal and involvement, but also increase empathy. How did it feel to be a woman in ancient Greece? How it is to leave your home and look for a new future elsewhere? What do we have in common with Romans? CrossCult through its pilots includes narratives and empathy as ways to support socio-emotional development, increase tolerance and strengthen community notions.
PROFILE OF THE MONTH
Dr Angeliki Antoniou is currently an Academic Laboratory Teaching Staff at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Peloponnese. She has received a degree in Preschool Education from the University of Athens (Greece), and Bachelor of Science in Social with Clinical Psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK). She has also obtained a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction with Ergonomics (2001) from the University College London (UK) and a PhD in Educational Technologies for Museums from the Department of Computer Science and Technology (University of Peloponnese).
She has a background in Education, Psychology and HCI, and sees her main field of expertise as the interdisciplinary area that connects technology and social sciences. In other words, she works with the human requirements of a technology and transforms them to technology specifications. Particularly, she focuses on visitor needs for cultural heritage and ways to augment the visitor experience.
Being a truly interdisciplinary project focusing of history reflection, she works closely with both Humanities and Technology experts in order to co-create the applications needed. History reflection is not an easy and straightforward task but CrossCult offers various ways to approach the issue worth exploring. For that, she would recommend it to all interested parties that wish to trigger history reflection and achieve significant enhancement of the cultural experience.
WE ARE CURRENTLY READING
Migration is part of the human experience but is far from natural, 2017, Castaneda, H.
“This paper reports on the migration concept as well as on the figures and the possible missconceptions related to the specific concept. It also raises the social and policy implactions that derice from defining the origins and the challenges of migration. People’s views on migration is connected with specific behaviours, that according to the author, can inform social and policy regulations”.
Networks, Crowds and Markets: reasoning about a highly connected world, 2010, Easley, D., Kleinberg, J.
“The concept of connectedness is addressed by the authors in this well written book. The different contexts in which connectedness is found are presented by combining different perspectives. This book aims to provide a better understanding of networks and relevant behaviours”.
We are currently preparing the work plan for the four Pilots taking place in National Gallery (Pilot 1), the Roman healing spas of Lugo and Chaves, the Archaeological site of Aquae Tauri and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus (Pilot 2), Archeological Museum of Tripolis (Pilot 3), and City of Valleta and Luxembourg (Pilot 4). In October 11-13, 2017 we are meeting in Padova to go through the details of the Pilots experiments.
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