Blood and guts: an evaluation of medical history education in a museum context

Mountain, Jennifer (2011) Blood and guts: an evaluation of medical history education in a museum context. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Medical history education has been considered by very few academics outside of the realm of day-to-day museum work. The researcher identified this lack of scholarship, and endeavoured to examine and appraise the work being done by education practitioners in medical museums, and the issues surrounding this often controversial subject. The hypothesis proposed was that medical history is invaluable to a child's understanding of social history, and that museums can provide an introduction to medical history in a vital and vibrant manner. The researcher also aimed to assess the uses and ethics of the teaching of medical history in a museum context. In order to fulfil this aim, four objectives were proposed: to examine the ways that medical history is presented in different museums and the forms medical history education takes, to appraise the ways a knowledge of medical history might be useful to a child's understanding of wider social history, to inspect the collaboration between the SHP Medicine Through Time syllabus and museums, and to evaluate the appropriateness of teaching medical history to schoolchildren.

    In order to address the hypothesis, aim and objectives, the researcher used extensive background reading, together with research methods to gain original data, including interviews, questionnaires and site visits. The research led to a number of conclusions – that medical history can be resented in a number of ways, that 'blood and guts' teaching is not the only (or always best) way to engage children in medical history and that whilst medical history is an important subject there are also other areas of history which are useful, such as politics and economics. The research has shown the sheer wealth of medical museums, and the excellent work being done in educating children and young people about health and medicine – ideas which can draw relevant parallels today.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Technology > School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2012 11:54
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:52

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