Elizabeth Gaskell’s House: Summary


Supervised By: Dr Juliette Wilson-Thomas & Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd (House Manager at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House)

In this project, we will create resources and activities to support enhanced educational experiences at one of Manchester’s most significant heritage sites: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. This house is the restored home of Manchester’s most famous Victorian author, best known for writing North and South, Cranford and Mary Barton. She lived at the house from 1850 until her death in 1865 and hosted visits from many of her contemporaries including Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale and Charlotte Bronte. Despite being dismissed in her time as too ‘feminine’ to properly articulate the real issues of the world, Gaskell is also now know as an early influencer in the areas of social justice and feminism. The house is currently funded by Heritage Lottery Funding until July 2018 and within this funding there is an emphasis on working with families and the local community.

Staff at the house would like EdLab students to develop a range of resources that could be used by the house when children visit with their families, or on school trips. They would like the resources to include self-guided activities that will engage children and their families and help them to learn about the house, Elizabeth’s literature and Victorian Manchester. There is also an opportunity to develop online activities to be hosted through the organisation’s website. You will be welcome to visit the house and meet visitors – and as part of your project, you will be expected to pilot your sessions and resources, gathering feedback and making improvements. A budget has been made available for the production of resources, and there is additional expertise amongst the EdLab team to support online development.

The project is based upon the pedagogic value to learning in diverse spaces and places, as well as the immersive and experiential potential for engagement with learning that these provide. Through this project you will explore in  greater depth what it means to learn outside of the classroom, and gain experience in developing educational resources for all ages to engage learners with literacy, history and social issues. Student participants in this project can come from any discipline or area as there is a certain freedom within this context to take the project where you want!

For more information on the house see – www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk


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