This five-week project was a collaboration between staff, postgraduates and undergraduates at the University of Birmingham and staff and pupils at St Edmund Campion Catholic School, Erdington, Birmingham. The project was an attempt to develop new school and university geographies that were more engaged, challenging and socially inclusive.
It involved bringing together the parallel worlds of the ‘People as consumers: the impact of our decisions’ module of a new ‘pilot’ GCSE geography course, and a ‘Geographies of Material Culture’ final year undergraduate module at the University of Birmingham. Over the five weeks the project encouraged students in both institutions: to develop geographies of material culture rooted in their own experiences, knowledges, and concerns; and to critically express these geographies through group work, creative/academic writing and performance. The St Edmund Campion pupils explored the global interconnections that linked them as mobile phone and banana consumers to various people, places and environments throughout the world. Whilst the university students explored a range of issues connected to production and consumption. The project culminated in a live performance on campus where groups of pupils and undergraduate students performed alongside each other.
Funded by the University’s Widening Participation Unit, it was also part of a longer-term widening participation strategy to engage the School of Geography at Birmingham University with the local school community.
These pages provide an overview of the project as well as online and downloadable material for schools interested in adapting the project for their own use.
If you would like any further information about the project please email Helen Griffiths (email@example.com).
We would like to thank the Centre for Educational Technology and Distance Learning (CETADL) for the use of their AV equipment and the Geographical Association for being supportive of this project.