Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Heritage in action: Participatory methods and digital learning sources for inclusion of youth in heritage practices and education

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.06.00  Humanities  Culturology   

Code Science Field
H003  Humanities  History and Arts 

Code Science Field
6.04  Humanities  Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music) 
cultural heritage, digital technologies, education, national identity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  54172  MSc Tina Črnigoj Marc  Civil engineering  Researcher  2020 - 2021 
2.  24302  PhD Jasna Fakin Bajec  Ethnology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  276 
3.  35599  Tristan Pahor  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2021 
4.  27738  PhD Tanja Petrović  Anthropology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  549 
5.  29978  PhD Martin Pogačar  Culturology  Head  2019 - 2021  190 
6.  29462  PhD Hrvoje Ratkajec  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2021  27 
7.  52833  Matevž Straus  Political science  Researcher  2019 - 2021 
8.  52824  Dejan Šuc    Technical associate  2020 - 2021 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,962 
2.  2367  ARCTUR računalniški inženiring d.o.o. (Slovene)  Nova Gorica  5562325  82 
1. Project relevance The main goal of the Heritage in action project is to develop and analyse participatory methods and ICT tools, in order to bring cultural heritage to the elementary and secondary school pupils in an interesting, creative and modern way, and at the same time actively engage them in various heritage actions carried out within local or national communities. The challenge that the project aims to address is how to motivate the young to find greater interest in heritage. They tend to relate heritage with tourism and in fail to see in heritage practices the opportunities for the development of new products and services that could help to strengthen a creative society, create new jobs, reduce poverty and promote the innovation and competitiveness of the local economy, through the use of local tradition and modern technological innovations (see European Agenda for Culture; Slovenian National Culture Program 2018-2025). The time marked by shifting trends in the development of experiential and lifelong learning, by transfer of knowledge through digital technologies, and by integrating participatory approaches in the management of cultural monuments and cultural practices, is in need also of new educational methods and ICT tools in the area of learning about the past. Recent research devotes a lot of attention to digital technology, e.g. augmented reality, which has not yet been sufficiently implemented in Slovenian museums and other heritage institutions. But young people are skilled in using digital devices and communication in social networks, which means that the solutions to encourage and integrate young people into heritage practices should be sought in active participation of young people in the design, development and promotion of digital learning sources and tools.   2. Objectives and originality of the project The main goal of the research project is to develop a model and to test the digital learning source prototype that will bring closer to the young various approaches to heritage practices and digital heritage content. The members of the interdisciplinary project team, consisting of researchers and researchers from different disciplines (cultural scientist, anthropologist and professor of history, sociologist, computer scientists, graphic designers, etc.) will be a team bridging the public (ZRC SAZU) and the private sector (Arctur doo, computer engineering). Special focus will be placed on how to actively motivate various stakeholders, especially the young, to participate as content developers and learning source testers. In addition to the type of results (a scientific article on the review of successful digital heritage practices in the development of ICT didactic applications and findings from a qualitative study of new interactive methods, guidelines for the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education, Science and Sport , a round table), the project team will produce two main practical results: 1. A manual that will include a detailed presentation of participatory methods and methods for designing ICT tools (video, 3D animation, augmented reality, mobile games) to help teachers, professors, experts from heritage institutions, youth workers, etc. facilitate experiential education focused on cultural heritage and raising awareness about the local and national heritage. 2. The digital learning source prototype will be designed and developed by primary and secondary school students from the Municipality of Ajdovščina (the location of the pilot study) for the purpose of better promotion and education about cultural monuments in Ajdovščina (to be used by the Municipality of Ajdovščina, a local, Regional museum Nova Gorica or the Lavrič Library Ajdovščina).   In addition to the participatory approach and methods, a critical view of the use and interpretation of historical e-resources will be taken into account in the preparation of the manual and the digital learning source prototype to thus educate the
Significance for science
The proposed project and planned results will open up new approaches to exploring, preserving and interpreting heritage practices and the use of heritage (and culture) in promoting creativity and innovation among young people. It specifically aims to intensively involve young people in heritage practices and thus to contribute to Slovenian heritage studies engaging in critical reflection as well as to inscribe itself into the developmental and social discourses of the contemporary world. The project will contribute to the development of digital humanities, which is still not well established in Slovenian public and the economy. In the project, we will also draw attention to the ethics of using e-resources in light of interpretation and abuse of the past for political and economic purposes. We will establish a discourse on cultural rights, which has not yet begun to be applied in Slovenia.  A major contribution to the project will be the implementation of an interdisciplinary approach, in particular in linking the social sciences and humanities with the economy. Since the applicability of social science and humanities is mostly reflected in the development of social and cultural capital, the concrete ways of cooperation between social scientists and humanists with economic sector will show the possibilities to detect and make use of interdisciplinary synergies. At the same time, the research will have a significant impact on the development of sustainable development policy, which is pursued by Slovenian and European development and research organisations and strategies. The research will open up the debate on the role of culture and heritage practices in addressing current development problems, particularly how to encourage greater activity and critical reading of cultural and economic products among young people. The case study will significantly contribute to the reflection on how to connect heritage with the creative industry and other contemporary professions.  At the same time, within the framework of the proposed project new methods of participatory approach and networking of knowledge between different stakeholders and professions will be tested in the field. More efficient ways of communication between development actors will also be established: the academia/local population/civil society/especially the young/the local politics and the economy (the quadruple helix approach).  The research will further define the role of humanities and social sciences in the development of experiential tourism and education and open the links between science and business. By presenting the results of the research at international conferences, symposia and lectures within the framework of study visits (Erasmus+), the project will influence the visibility of Slovenian science abroad and increase its presence in international scientific public.
Significance for the country
Project results will help improve the business of Arctur d.o.o., especially in their activities in the field of 3D computer applications design, advertising campaigns, video recording and development of other web technologies. At present, the company’s research centre is involved in the development of Tourism 4.0 (reference to Industry 4.0), which means the processing of various data, which are collected from travellers’ sets of information, thus to create personalised travel experiences. The approach is based on various modern high-tech computer technologies, a priority for a company that invests in the development of an augmented reality, which is still underdeveloped in Slovenian museums and tourist destinations. Experience from abroad suggests that augmented reality can attract more visitors to museums by presenting  content in an attractive manner suitable for broader groups of people. This can also improve the economic performance of museums and hence contribute to the past becoming more interesting for youth. Research among teachers shows that children are more interested in the use of ICT in museums (interactive walls, virtual museums, etc.) and better enjoy such museum collections. Children are reluctant to read a lot of information, a staple in classical collections. The new digital tools increase the interest in the past periods by clearly showing differences between the world in the past and today. Thus, technological development makes the past more lively, accessible and more comprehensible.  However, since such practices are an exercise in the interpretation of the past, so it must be made sure the past is not romanticised, abused, simplified. It is, then, crucial that programmers and designers work together with humanities researchers in joint efforts to produce quality tools and relevant interventions into the interpretations of our ancestors’ achievements.  New didactic and interactive tools will also increase the competitiveness of the museums, especially small museums that are more dependent on various donations and admission fees. The relevance and importance of the proposed project is also reflected in the local tourism and cultural development of the Upper Vipava Valley (especially the Ajdovščina Municipality), since research and the digital learning source prototype will provide content for the development of experiential and cultural tourism suitable for families with children and adolescents. Using and testing the prototype, the Regional Museum and the Library Ajdovščina will be able to improve their competitiveness and presentation on the cultural and economic market. Examples of good practices can be transferred to other environments in Slovenia and abroad. By establishing knowledge transfer methods between the academy and local economy, local populations and local politics, and creating ways of new experiential education, the value of the project is also in the area of sustainable development. It should be noted that sustainable development is far from a mere protection of natural values, the strengthening of social cohesion and the development of a green or circular economy; it is also a fundamental basis for any kind of tourism, cultural industry and marketing, which must be aware of the importance of culture and cultural heritage. As long as the development is not formed with people but rather for the people, no strategy and incentives will bear desired fruits. Therefore, the project will take recourse to participatory methods and approaches to networking of people and it will, crucially, involve young people in all activities. The project will thus demonstrate that heritage practices can be an important medium for intergenerational, interdisciplinary and public-private integration, but also for empowering the local population and an incentive for more successful development for the future.
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