We care deeply about all participants on our excavations receiving high quality training and support in career development both during the summer season and throughout the year, and this was recognised in 2014 when we received the Archaeology Training Forum’s prestigious Training Award.
Underlying our teaching and training is a project ethos, which shapes what we do and how we work, and which holds three core notions as central:
- Equality in training: We aim to move away from traditional hierarchical structures, in which the level of experience equates to the tasks participants are allowed to undertake. Instead we aim to ensure our participants engage with as much of the archaeological process as possible, in turn meeting as many of the National Occupational Standards as possible. We also ensure that our project staff come from throughout the profession, from academic, commercial and third sector organisations, with the aim of bridging perceived divisions between these areas whilst also broadening the suite of skills in which we can provide training, as well as offering excellent scope for the kind of careers advice we can also provide.
- Experiential learning: To implement equality in training we employ the educational philosophy of learning by doing, or experiential learning. This self-reflexive methodology connects theory and practice, prompting participants to engage in the continuous development of their skill set, and encouraging student members of the team to connect this with classroom learning. In turn this enables excellent training and continuous skills development to emerge through real world participation in the archaeological process. Crucially, we believe this type of learning applies to the project team as a whole, not simply to those who are explicitly “being taught”, and in turn it informs our commitment to the continuing professional development (CPD) of project staff.
- Responsibility: Finally, to meet the above points, we aim to ensure all participants in our project have responsibility for their actions in the archaeological process. Our emphasis on personal responsibility undermines hierarchy with the aim of fostering a culture of empowerment and confidence in all team members.
This ethos has been at the core of our project practice since we began in 2006. It operates not only as an ethos, but has stimulated us to develop research questions regarding our methodology (particularly explored in Members of the ATP 2012). Ultimately, because our ethos and method are intertwined, we are able to deliver excellence and innovation in learning, training and professional development, and are proud that this was recognised in May 2014 through the award of the Archaeology Training Forum’s annual Training Award.
Click here for links to our publications, including publications about our methods, teaching and training.