Monday, June 16, 2008

Medieval Settlement Research Group

An interesting and fun site is Medieval Settlement Research Group. It is a product of Archaeologists, geographers, and historians using their disciplines co-operatively in order to advance knowledge of settlements of all kinds from medieval times.

From the site:

The Medieval Settlement Research Group was established in November 1986 from an amalgamation of the Medieval Village Research Group (founded 1952) and the Moated Sites Research Group (founded 1971). Archaeologists, geographers, historians and others belong to the Group, aiming to use their disciplines co-operatively in order to advance knowledge of settlements of all kinds. The Group’s interest is concentrated on the period between the 5th and 16th centuries, but does not exclude earlier and later periods, study of which is often essential for understanding developments in the middle ages.

Over the last forty years members of the Group have contributed significantly to the transformation of views on the history of settlement. Hundreds of "lost" or deserted villages have been identified, shrunken villages and deserted hamlets or farmsteads have been added to the lists of abandoned sites, and moated sites are recognised as a distinctive type of habitation, whether in villages or dispersed as isolated farmsteads. The organisation of the long-term research project at Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire has been a key achievement whilst archive records, for which there is a computerised index, have been deposited in the National Monuments Record. The Group has for many years also sought to influence the policies of the national heritage bodies and others and has issued a number of policy statements on various topics. The Group’s latest, all embracing, statement can be viewed here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age 14 in 28 Countries: Results from the IEA Civic Education Study

I found today an old but good ERIC Digest relating to teaching citizenship skills to teenagers. It is titled Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age 14 in 28 Countries: Results from the IEA Civic Education Study. It was written by Judith Torney-Purta, Joanne Amadeo, and Rainer Lehmann.

From the site:

The well being of any democratic society largely depends on its ability to instill in youth the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for active, informed citizenship. In many countries educators, researchers, and the public are concerned about engaging children and adolescents in civic life. As political, social, and economic structures change along with technology and access to information, the need to involve young people seems especially pressing.

What do fourteen-year-old students know about democratic institutions and processes? What skills do they possess to understand and interpret political communication? Do they hold concepts of citizenship and democracy similar to those held by adults in their societies? What role do schools and other civic organizations play in the civic development of adolescents? These and other questions were examined by researchers in 28 democracies during Phase 2 of the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study. The findings provide a snapshot of what young adolescents know and think about democratic institutions and processes as well as their attitudes and plans for future civic participation. This Digest discusses the origin and administration of the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study, the research design, and the findings of the study.