6.2.7 Through education

Educational engagement offers a strong context to communicate the research perspectives and learning potential of carved stones. As the HES Education: Case Study 27 shows this resource possesses significant educational value. It offers multi-disciplinary, place-based learning suitable for both formal, curriculum-based and informal activities that fit well with cross-sector priorities such as health and well-being, place-making, social inclusion and skills development. However, different educational audiences are likely to be captivated by different questions about carved stones and may well have differing levels of prior knowledge. The Picts learning resource: Case Study 38 illustrates how telling stories familiar to the youngest school children such as 'Little Red Riding Hood' using the Pictish symbols can provide an effective hook for deeper engagement with the subject. Research can identify these varying needs (e.g. a lack of familiarity with Christianity and its iconography) but also establish the nature, extent and impact of current educational engagement on audiences and communicators. We need to know, for example, whether teachers are not using existing resources (such as digital materials and CPD opportunities) because they do not know they exist, are not made relevant or because of a skills deficit. To what degree does teaching focus on the history and 'original' meaning of carved stones and to what extent does it explore their values to contemporary society? How they are being (or how might they be used) as case studies to support elements of the existing curriculum?