Sicily, as you all know, is an island that has a staggering heritage with monuments dating back to 8000 BCE. When I saw what an amazing job we did with the RSA Heritage Index I couldn’t resist bringing it to the attention of one of my collaborators over there.
Prof Agata Lo Tauro lives in Catania, in the shadows of Mt Etna. She teaches History of Art in the Galileo Galilei Liceo Linguistico e Scientifico (which is a secondary school specialising in languages, science and technology). We started working together some years ago in the context of European Education and we have kept in touch since, touching base on a number of other projects with geographical context especially, partly fuelled by my own background in that discipline.
The RSA Heritage Index was introduced to students in both schools. This included pupils coming from other countries, thanks to the various cultural exchanges that are quite frequent in mainland Europe. The students spent some time visiting the RSA website and the page on the Heritage Index, as well as watching the introductory video. At the end of the research they reflected on the wider implications of heritage in terms of both tangible and intangible assets and on how the RSA project could potentially be replicated elsewhere.
Students were enthusiastic about the index and the RSA work was presented also in the more specific context of their own field of studies, which for the term in question focussed on places of religious pilgrimage and the use of online resources like cultural portals.
Prof Lo Tauro thinks that the use of indices has immense potential, especially in an island so rich in heritage like Sicily and not just for pedagogical purposes, but also practical ones. She has direct experience of these matters having collaborated with Italian academic institutions in the creation of cultural portals.
There are clearly opportunities to engage with the RSA to expand the reach of this project beyond the UK, maybe initially at very low scale. This might have even greater positive outcomes, demonstrating our commitment to enrich society beyond our Isles by engaging more widely with communities across the entire globe - an aim which must surely be at the heart of successful 21st century enlightenment.
To discuss more, contact The RSA's Global team.