Evaluation of Big Heritage’s Roman Medicine Roadshow (2014)

In 2014, ICC research fellow, Gayle Whelan, was commissioned to evaluate the impact and social value of Big Heritage’s Roman Medicine Roadshow.

Big Heritage is an award-winning social enterprise that engages audiences with the past through community-based programmes designed for schoolchildren and adults. Its Roman Medicine Roadshow, which recently received funding to expand its work to more than 14,000 secondary and primary school pupils, is designed to engage children with the social and cultural history of medicine and health through hands-on opportunities to examine osteoarchaeological evidence and participate in ‘live’ surgery demonstrations based upon procedures documented in Roman medical texts and using reproductions of Roman surgical equipment.

The Roman Medicine Roadshow offers high quality educational workshop to pupils from areas of socio-economic deprivation, with content developed by a multi-disciplinary team of archaeologists, osteologists and pedagogic experts from some of the UK’s leading institutions, and with delivery handled by a team of award-winning educational communicators.

As part of the evaluation that the ICC has been commissioned to undertake, a range of quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to pinpoint the outcomes for children engaging with these educational workshops – including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and observation sessions. The research findings gathered through this process will be presented first in an interim report, to be finalised in the summer of 2015, and later in a final report, to be published in the summer of 2017.

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