Farming in the past: A multimedia learning programme for schools

  • Hillis, Peter (Principal Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


The multimedia CD ROM is based on research into life in rural society largely based on a Journal kept between 1879 and 1892, important decades between the period of high farming and agricultural depression, by James Wilson, a farmer in Deskford, Banffshire. This Journal is a highly unusual and original account of life at the time due to the detail provided, from accidents through to the weather, his poetry and in the lectures given to Deskford Mutual Improvement Society. The Journal is to be published by the Scottish History Society in 2008 as a book edited by the Principal Investigator. The Journal provides the basis for a learning programme contained within a multi-media CD ROM which will allow teachers and pupils to study life in rural Scotland. The CD ROM will move beyond this area to examine issues surrounding food production, past and present The program will contain a plethora of primary sources including, for example, film, photographs, music, extracts from newspapers, advertisements, maps, a database for the 1881 Banffshire census, and associated learning tasks. These support an investigative approach to learning as advocated in the current curriculum framework, A Curriculum for Excellence. For example, pupils can use the census database to investigate people living in a particular locality-their families, occupations, places of birth etc; archive film in the CD ROM allows pupils to compile their own presentations of life in the past and the concluding authentic activity asks pupils to prepare a guide for tourists who wish to learn about life in the past-the guide should be produced in English and any other 'foreign' language. In this and in other ways, for example, through suggested art and drama activities, the programme will support wide areas of the curriculum. The multimedia CD ROM will be trialled and evaluated in two Primary Schools, one of which was attended by James Wilson. A DVD will be produced showing pupils and teachers working with the resource. This DVD forms one part of a strategy to exchange the results of the evaluation and the CD ROM itself more widely in schools and museums. This exchange is further developed by distributing the CD ROM to schools and relevant museums, for example, the Museum of Rural Life; providing training for students and practicing teachers in the CD ROM and associated learning tasks and publicising the results of the evaluation in journals, professional publications and other relevant media. The Scottish Farmer, for example, has published and article on the Journal. In addition to enhancing our understanding of the past, the multimedia CD ROM will provide practical and workable support for using ICT in Primary and Secondary Schools which is a current educational objective throughout the United Kingdom. This enhancement comes, for example, in teachers and pupils using a multimedia resource: interrogating databases; working with media such as film and photographs; using programs such as iMovie, iPhoto and PowerPoint to create presentations, documentaries, displays and the like; searching the internet from hyperlinks in the CD ROM and using word processing and graphic programs in the production of documents such as reports.This proposal, therefore, uses original research in history and education to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in many areas largely within the context of schools where knowledge exchange is a central rationale with a large multiplier effect.
Effective start/end date1/07/0828/02/10


  • AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council): £42,960.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.