Black Country Studies Centre encourages Lockdown Learning
For many in self-isolation, it can feel like the coronavirus has put the world on hold. As communities wait for release from temporary imprisonment, increasing numbers of people are using their time to build their skillset, learn on-line and gain knowledge about their community.
As part of the University of Wolverhampton and Black Country Living Museum education partnership, the Black Country Studies Centre has created a new series called Lockdown Learning.
With videos and blogs about life in the Black Country, experts from the University give insights to their subject and research about the Black Country’s past, present and future.
BCSC Coordinator and Fashion Historian, Dr Jenny Gilbert, launched the series to coincide with Fashion Revolution Week recently, an annual global week of action calling for a fairer, safer and more responsible fashion industry.
She said: “I always knew that fashion was an important part of Black Country people’s everyday lives but it is really fascinating to gradually uncover the history of clothing manufacture in the region.
“The clothing manufacturing history of the Black Country is largely overlooked and I was surprised to find that some of my own relatives were involved in the Black Country rag trade, my aunt and uncle met whilst working in a Clifford Williams clothing factory!”
Researchers and experts from across the region share their knowledge and enthusiasm in the episodes that go live every Wednesday lunchtime on the BCSC website.
This week, author and University of Wolverhampton lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing Rob Francis considers the unique and poetic beauty of the Black Country Landscape.
The series has also covered the story of bricks. Historian Elizabeth Thomson discussed her research into the hidden lives of female Black Country brick makers and the work of the forging ahead brickworks
Along with a weekly video, the associated blog gives links for further study and research into the topic as well as University courses.
Dr Mary Mahoney, Head of Lifelong Learning said: “The University’s Regional Learning Centres are working in partnership to demonstrate the multiple and crucial roles that learning plays during a pandemic.
“Innovation in virtual learning across all ages not only combats marginalisation and isolation but it is keeping learning at the heart of the communities we serve.”
Built on University expertise and support from the Black Country Research Network established through the centre, the weekly series forms the basis for adult learning and secondary school learning packages and compliments the Black Country Living Museum History at Home series of history learning materials for primary school children.
Catch up with previous episodes of Lockdown Learning here.
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