Fieldwork in the Humanities

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 60

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 40


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is intended to give aspiring teachers of humanities including geography, history and social studies the necessary skills, knowledge and competences to plan, carry out and assess fieldwork sessions for secondary school students. Throughout the module, participants will be given opportunity to explore theory and practice of fieldwork, together with the benefits, challenges and strategies for designing and implementing such learning experiences. Participants will also learn how to guide students learning during the fieldwork experience and follow-up activities to develop transferable skills and a better understanding of real world experiences.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Organise and plan fieldwork sessions that give students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to real-life contexts;

b. Collaborate with various entities and/or individuals who can provide meaningful fieldwork sessions for students;

c. Guide students’ learning during the fieldwork and follow-up activities so they develop different transferable skills and a better understanding of the complexities of real-life situations;

d. Adapt fieldwork activities to meet the needs of all students they are teaching.


a. Appreciate the value of fieldwork for students’ understanding of their social, historical and geographical environment;

b. Understand different fieldwork approaches;

c. Identify the potential and limitations of different fieldwork approaches;

d. Understand the value of cross-curricular fieldwork investigations for students’ understanding of the inter-relationships present in various environments;

e. Determine the learning outcomes within the humanities syllabi that are most suitable for a fieldwork investigation.


a. Critically evaluate the potential and limitations of different fieldwork approaches for a specific investigation;

b. Identify and carry out the most relevant fieldwork approach to answer the aim of the fieldwork investigation planned;

c. Identify the potential of different sites for fieldwork investigations;

d. Design guidelines to support students in their fieldwork investigation;

e. Choose the most relevant data collection methods and equipment for the fieldwork investigation planned;

f. Design follow-up activities that help students analyse the data collected during the fieldwork, draw conclusions and make brief recommendations/suggestions;

g. Assess the safety of a site for a potential fieldwork investigation.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Hammond, L.(2018), ‘The place of fieldwork in geography education’, in ‘Debates in geography education’, edited by M Jones and D Lambert, 2nd edition, Routledge, pages 171 to 183
  2. Widdowson, J. (2017) ‘Fieldwork’ in Jones, M. (ed) The Handbook of Secondary Geography, Sheffield: Geographical Association, chapter 17 pp. 232-9.
  3. Biddulph, M., Lambert, D. and Balderstone, D. (2021) Learning to Teach Geography in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, 4th edition. London: Routledge, Chapter 7
  4. Teaching and learning through fieldwork Nick Foskett (1997) in Teaching and Learning Geography, edited by Daniella Tilbury, and Michael Williams, Taylor & Francis Group, 1997. 
  5. Kinder, A. What is the contribution of fieldwork to school geography? (2013) Debates in Geography Education, edited by Mark Jones, and David Lambert.
  6. Kitchen, and Maddison, J. (2021) ‘A fieldwork toolkit for early career geography teachers’, Teaching Geography, Volume 46, Issue 1, Spring 2021. 
  7. Puri, S., Castillo, D., (2016) Theorising Fieldwork in the Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan.
  8. Milgo, E., Maseno, L., Dube, Z., (2013) Doing effective Fieldwork. Resource Publications
  9. Olsen, B., Shanks, M., Webmorr, T., Witmore, C., (2012). Archeology. The Discipline of Things. Univeristy of California Press.
  10. Osowiecki, Maria, and Robin Francis. “Triumphs Show: Taking Students outside the Classroom inside the Classroom.” Teaching History (London), no. 156 (2014): 40-41.
  11. Woyshner, C., Reidell, A., Brasoff, M., (2013). The Cultural Fieldwork Initiative: Collaboration for a Better Education. Journal of American History.
  12. Lavan, L., Mulryan, M., (2015). Field Methods and Post-Excavation Techniques in Late Antique Archaeology. Brill Publications.
  13. Fandi, S., & Baildon, M. (2021). Historical fieldwork as reflection on the uses of history. In Sim, T.Y.H., & Sim, H.H. (Eds.), Fieldwork in humanities education in Singapore (pp. 93-111). Singapore : Springer.
  14. Baron, C. (2010). Encouraging historical thinking at historic sites. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Boston University, Boston, MA.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. David Lambert & Michael J Reiss (2014) The place of fieldwork in geography and science qualifications Institute of Education, University of London.
  2. Balderstone, D Teaching Styles and Strategies (2001) In:Kent, A. Reflective Practice in Geography Teaching
  3. Clifford, N.J. and Valentine, G. (Ed) 2003 Key Methods in Geography. Sage
  4. Homes, D. and Farbrother, D. 2002 A-Z Advancing Geography Fieldwork Geographical Association. Sheffield.

  5. Sayers, Judy, and Paul Bracey. “MATHEMATICS INTO HISTORY GO: ENHANCING MATHEMATICS AND HISTORY THROUGH FIELDWORK AT A CASTLE.” Mathematics Teaching, no. 241 (2014): 29.
  6. Roots, David. “AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE USE OF FIELDWORK IN HISTORY TEACHING.” Teaching History (London) 1, no. 4 (1970): 269-71.
  7. Foran, A. 2006. Teaching Outside the School: A Phenomenological Inquiry. Edmonton, Alberta. Unpublished Doctorial Thesis University of Alberta. 
  8. Mooney, L. A., & Edwards, B. (2001). Experiential learning in sociology: Service learning and other community-based learning initiatives. Teaching Sociology, 29(2), 181-194.
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