As the turn over of this new year has lead to unavoidable reflections on the previous one, I have had the time to consider some of the highlights of 2013. One of those highlights was unmistakably the Ordered Universe Workshop this October. I have been lucky enough to be on the sidelines of the Grosseteste project for the past two years and it has been a truly enriching experience. ‘Interdisciplinary’ is a buzz word in academia these days, however, the Grosseteste project takes such intellectual exchange to an exciting extreme. In addition, the levels of detailed consideration that I have witnessed in the early meetings served as a master class in how to be qualitatively uncompromising.
That being said, expanding this project beyond the realm of the university was even more exciting. During the two-day workshop, we were able to see the world of Grosseteste come alive. This applied most blatantly to the sound and video show in which Grosseteste’s own ordered universe was explained to us in 3-D. However, it was also present in the creative and original discussion that was fostered between participants.
In beginning its new chapter as a school curriculum, the Grosseteste project was reinvented, and once again its interdisciplinarity served it well. Towards the end of the conference groups of teachers and other participants presented their ideas for how the project could be brought into the schools. Suggestions for teaching ranged wildly from theatrical to empirical as each field’s representatives proposed the way in which they would excite and inform younger generations.
Since the conference I have had the opportunity to discuss its outcomes with several local educators. It has been a wonderful and rewarding chance to share my excitement at the notion of spreading an interest in medieval history and their passion for childhood education. I thoroughly look forward to seeing the outcomes of this exchange in its lucky students.
Devin O’Leary (2nd year PhD Student, Medieval History)