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Field Schools


Types of field schools

  • Core AAHM Field Schools
  • Affiliated field schools

Core AAHM Field Schools are co-organized and co-hosted by local institutional members, UNESCO and ICCROM. They are held at heritage sites in different countries through the Asia and the Pacific on a rotational basis. The AAHM Field Schools will focus on issues directly related to integrated management.

The Core AAHM Field Schools are organized on an annual basis. The timing varies due to the different academic schedules and the range of climatic conditions in the region. The average duration of the Field Schools is two weeks maximum to facilitate participation by professionals. Through local host funding, participant fees, and additional support from UNESCO and ICCROM, the Field Schools are self-financing on a break-even basis.

In choosing a Field School site, sites under pressure are given priority. It is expected that the studies and recommendations developed during the course of the Field Schools will have a policy impact in improving the management of the site.

In terms of participants, those with the highest potential for further transmitting the knowledge are selected. Local parties must be given priority as well, including local host university students and faculty as well as local site managers at the Field School site.

Affiliated field schools are organized by institution members without the direct support of UNESCO and ICCROM. The affiliated field schools will focus on training about a specific topic. Affiliated field schools will be eligible to receive substantive guidance from UNESCO and ICCROM, display the AAHM logo, and benefit from the promotional assistance of the network.

Affiliated field schools include the architecture preservation and urban inventory workshops conducted by the modern Asian Academy Network (mAAN).

Learning objectives for Field Schools

The main learning objectives of the AAHM field schools will be:

  • to help participants articulate the relationship between integrated conservation and sustainable development;
  • to help understand the role of management systems in achieving conservation objectives;
  • to help apply relevant tools and methods in order to be effective heritage managers and team members.

Core AAHM Field Schools, which will be organized with substantial input from ICCROM and UNESCO, are expected to address all the learning objectives, within the specific framework of each site and theme.

Affiliated AAHM Field Schools, which will have access to the AAHM for curriculum advisory input, promotion and dissemination of results, are expected to address at least one aspect of the learning objectives.

Core learning units

Core learning units (teaching modules) have been identified, which reflect the learning objectives. By structuring the curricula of the field schools on the basis of the core learning units, field schools will develop teaching/learning resources on the themes identified below:

  • Introduction to integrated conservation
  • Management systems, especially using participatory models
  • Defining, assessing, and interpreting values/significance
  • Research methodology, incorporating local knowledge systems

In addition to the core learning units, additional learning units will be developed within the specific framework of each site and theme, on such topics such as interpretation or local contextual issues.

All resources will be archived online, on the AAHM website. Over time, future AAHM's training activities will be able to draw upon the teaching/learning materials developed in previous training activities. Since these resources will be open to all members, they can also be used by AAHM teachers and students in regular teaching programmes. Vice versa, teaching/learning materials generated by the regular teaching programmes in the network will also be encouraged to contribute to the online archives.

Criteria for Field Schools

In organizing a core field school, all of the following criteria should be applied. Affiliated field schools are encouraged to adapt a number of the criteria as guidelines.

  • The Field School should be organized on-site at a World Heritage inscribed or tentative list site, within the region (not a single monument/building site) and should focus on how this site can be protected.
  • The Field School should teach the process of conservation management, with an emphasis on core or selective components of a management plan.
  • The Field school should take place in an actual professional working environment with a real client, real problems and a real outcome (i.e. not a mock-up for purely instruction purposes)
  • The Field school should be hosted by one or more of the AAHM’s participating institution, which will take primary responsibility for organizing the teaching programmme, in coordination with other members of the AAHM.
  • Preparation should begin as soon as possible or immediately after the major parameters are set, to finish on time for an annual workshop.
  • Three types of tangible result should come from the Field School:
    - credits for participating students;
    - report for the client agency and course report to facilitate future Field Schools;
    - echo in the local community.
  • Field school should seek co-funding from World Heritage Fund, ICCROM, local/national government, host institution. Students may be charged a participation fee which will cover their local costs. However scholarship must be made available for participants unable to cover these costs.
  • The length of the field school may vary, depending on the scope of the curriculum. Possible variations of the course schedule include: starting with somewhat longer period with undergraduate students; continuing with a shorter workshop period with young professionals, include local officials, and feed the results into both the site management plan and the academic curriculum; incorporating online components as a way to prepare participants before the actual Field School.
  • Resource persons for Field School should come from a variety of sources including the host institution, local stakeholders, and AAHM members.
  • For a Field School to be successful, strong linkages with local government agencies will be required.