Heritage education resource kit to promote interest in Jordan’s rich heritage launched
In partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Jordan, the UNESCO-developed Educational Resource Kit aimed at providing extracurricular pedagogical support for teachers leading visits in the historical site in Jerash was launched on the 12 February 2013 in Amman under the patronage of her Royal Highness Princess Sumayya Bint Al-Hassan.
The resource kit was prepared between May and October 2012 within the framework of the UNESCO project Engaging Young People in their own Heritage. The kit was prepared based on extensive research of existing teaching practices and needs in the field of heritage education and is targeting teachers and students of grades 5 and 6 and is complementary to the national curriculum.
Jordan is home to four World Heritage Sites: Petra, Quseir Amra, Um er-Rasas, Wadi Rum Protected Area, as well as the Cultural Space of the Bedu in Petra and Wadi Rum, inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Education plays a major role in teaching young people about the significance of national and world heritage at all levels of the educational systems. A part of a country’s identity is the preservation of its heritage by its people. Teaching young people to appreciate and care of a country’s heritage is the basis for its preservation and conservation and developing effective approaches and suitable materials for teaching tangible and intangible heritage for students is vital for its achievement. UNESCO and the Ministry of Education have identified that greater guidance is needed to encourage the involvement of young people in their heritage and has mapped all references to national cultural heritage (tangible, intangible and cultural diversity) in the national primary and secondary curriculum, as well as of the visits made by government schools to national heritage sites in Jordan.
The Educational Resource Kit on the Archaeological site of Jerash was produced for the historical site which is most visited by school children in Jordan and is in line with the History and Citizenship Curriculum on Jerash of the Ministry of Education. It includes interactive elements, presentations, visuals and a short film about the history of the site and provides teachers with practical examples for in-class as well as on-site activities. It is worth noting that the materials produced by UNESCO will be accessible to all teachers through the pedagogical resources portal of the Ministry of Education and therefore easy to use and to upscale in a cost-effective manner. The short film is available on YouTube. www.youtube.com/user/unescoamman