Things aren’t always black and white

Seminar Four of the OxNet North East programme introduced students to the psychology of colour. They began by discussing ‘The Dress’, and whether it was white and gold, black and blue, or something else. Using an article written by David Brainard and Anya Hurlbert, students applied the concept of colour context to this phenomenon, to understand how colour can differ based on its surrounding context.

Students then went back in time to look at Grosseteste’s concept of colour. They briefly explored his treatise ‘De Colore’, and were surprised to find that he explicitly introduced the idea of a three-dimensional colour theory, as opposed to Aristotle’s linear arrangement of colours ranging from white to black. They discussed why studying Grosseteste is not simply the main of historians, but that scientists are also interested in its works due to its focus on ‘experience’ (or what we would now call an ‘experiment’).

The seminar ended with an introduction to collaborative reading of Grosseteste’s treatise on the rainbow. Again, students challenged themselves by taking a cross-curricular look at rainbows, thinking about it not only from a scientific perspective in terms of its formation, but also its role in culture. For example, a rainbow is mentioned in Genesis following the great flood, and Bifrost is the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard and Midgard.

Workshop 2: Medieval Science and the Modern Curriculum: Part 3a PRIMARY

Introductions completed it was down to the second part of the workshop; placing the methods, approaches and material from our medieval and science collaboration at the service of our education partners. Vanessa Kind, with Per Kind and Dorothy Warren, led the days activities. Divided into groups, one focused on primary schooling (roughly 6-10 as the target age-range), one of secondary schooling (GCSE/A Level, 14-18 age range) and one on A-Level specifically (16-18), we worked throughout the day to develop a range of ideas for worksheets, resource packs, possible lesson plans. All of these were discussed in the context of the National Curriculum Key Stages: we are aiming for activities that are stimulating but workable within, and which enhance, current guidelines and frameworks. Continue reading