Heritage Education and Professional Development

About This Group

This interest group focuses on expanding the curricula of heritage education at the primary and secondary levels, in university courses, and in professional training programs to teach a wide range of heritage skills. 

Faculty, students, and heritage professionals are invited to join to discuss and share existing course syllabi and educational materials. Members of this interest group will also participate in the formulation of innovative classroom and online courses, internships, and hands-on training to effectively manage, protect, and promote their nations' cultural resources.

Goals and Activities

The initial agenda for the Heritage Education and Professional Development Issue Group includes the following research topics and initiatives:

  • Survey and recommendations for improving heritage education at the primary and secondary levels.
  • Development of educational materials, textbooks, and course syllabi specifically focused on Caribbean heritage
  • Updating the directory of academic programmes and professional training courses in the region
  • Formulation and delivery of innovative online heritage courses through the UWI Open Campus

The Challenge

The concept of cultural heritage has expanded considerably over the last half century and now encompasses much more than historic monuments and museum objects. Today heritage includes historic and archaeological objects and sites, ethnographic materials, cultural landscapes, whole cities or parts of them.

It also includes intangible elements, defined by UNESCO as “traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.” In short, heritage is everything, tangible and intangible, to which a group or groups in society attribute cultural significance or meaning.

Cultural heritage preservation has become a collaborative effort involving different professionals as well as communities and the general public. Aside from the knowledge and skills traditionally required of heritage professionals, managerial competence is an additional requirement of most heritage jobs.

Moreover, heritage preservation has attracted professionals from other areas such as public relations, fund-raising, information technology, and marketing, among others to cover all the tasks now involved in heritage management. These varied subjects and skills should be integrated into the curricula of existing and future heritage education activities in the Caribbean region to build the capacity of of its heritage professionals.

Networking Tools

Members of this interest group will receive access to online forums to raise and discuss special topics, ask questions, share and view files, and also receive access to event calendars that highlight conferences, workshops, and other events relevant to heritage education and training.