Special Collections as a catalyst for flexible pedagogical approaches: three case studies

Maria Kukhareva, Anne Lawrence, Katherine Koulle, Nazlin Bhimani


University Special Collections are increasingly being recognised as a valuable pedagogical resource in higher education teaching and learning. The value of historic artefacts as a cross-disciplinary tool to promote higher order thinking processes such as criticality, questioning and narrative construction is well-established in the museum education literature and is gaining increasing attention in teaching and learning development. In this paper, we present three case studies in which we explore the application of Special Collections in a range of learning development contexts, in order to help students engage with their discipline and discipline-specific higher order skills. Our case studies are explorative in the sense of ‘trialling’ the use of historic artefacts in the classroom, to inform our next steps and development of our method. We conclude with our reflections on the process and outcomes of our explorations, to inform our practice and that of other educators looking to apply this method.


Flexible Pedagogies, Special Collections, Historical Artefacts, Museum Education, Academic Writing, Information Literacy, Narrative Enquiry

Full Text:


ISSN: 1759-667X