The gallery – accessible at www.bridgemaneducation.com – brings together hundreds of pre-selected images across 12 key topic areas including tolerance and intolerance, despair and environmental awareness. For the first time, this provides teachers and lecturers with an easy-to-use tool to open up debate while supporting core curriculum subjects such as English, History and Politics – as well as the newly created citizenship subject in schools.
A free one month trial of the subscription service, including the Conceptual Gallery, is available to teachers and lecturers through the Bridgeman Education website.
John Nutt, Education Consultant on the project, said, “There is a widespread assumption in ICT training that if resources are digital they are invariably good. This isn't always the case. Good teachers are far more important than the means of delivering the curriculum. They educate by putting their values first and their students identify with these values. They do not need spoon feeding by a surfeit of digital resource providers.”
“What they do need is access to mountains of images and stimulating supportive materials to use as they require in support of their own values and enthusiasms. Bridgeman is providing exactly this, carefully structured access to huge amounts of the very best kinds of educational materials drawn from galleries all over the world,” Nutt continued.
Harriet Bridgeman, Bridgeman Education's Chairman, commented, “How does a teacher working with the newly created citizenship curriculum begin talking about ideas such as honesty, deception, authority and power? These are all quite abstract ideas, but can be made real and brought to life through a message drawn from a work of art, or an illustration. A painting or historical image has the ability to convey a tricky message or indeed society's taboo subjects which might be too harsh using mainstream photography with everyday subjects.”
A key factor of the site is the cross-curricular nature of the material – which is easy to browse and is enriched by useful keywords. A picture of suffragettes could, for example, teach a student about discrimination and equality so they could then understand how this relates to other types of discrimination such as slavery or racism. It can also teach about British social history, politics, women's studies, Edwardian costume, the history of photography and journalism and also the history of advertising by studying the way the suffragettes promoted themselves and gained recognition and support.
The launch of the Conceptual Gallery follows the recent launch of Project SILVER, a major