SELECTED PROJECT INTERPRETATION

HERITAGE DISCOVERY TRAILS, 2011-2013

HERITAGE HEBOH PROGRAMME, ARTS-ED PENANG 2006-2013

Heritage Discovery Trails was a programme which involved the design and execution of a series of thematic heritage trails for primary and secondary school children in the heritage site of George Town. The interactive and educational trails were designed and conducted by Arts-ED in collaboration with George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and 12 volunteers. A centralised coordination unit was set up at GTWHI to promote and manage Heritage Discovery Trails for school students.

Taboo & Traditions (9)

Recruitment flier for Volunteers and Guides Training Programme

Recruitment flier for Volunteers and Guides Training Programme

HERITAGE DISCOVERY TRAILS FACTS

1.1 Programme Name

Heritage Heboh Programme, Arts-ED Penang, 2006-2013

1.2 Project Title

Heritage Discovery Trails, 2011-2013

1.3 Context and Objective

The inscription of George Town, Penang as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008, attracted a large volume of adult visitors to the site. In 2009, Arts-ED, an organisation dedicated to arts, culture and heritage education began producing walking tours for school students. In 2011, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), decided to support an expansion of educational programmes which could bring more young people into the site. Arts-ED and GTWHI joined resources to recruit and train public volunteers as community facilitators and educational tour guides. The guide training and trail development aimed to address the need to a scale up the number of walking tours for schools, the need for a wider range of tailor-made walks for different ages, and to provide pedagogical and facilitation skills to guides which would enable them to carry out interactive activities with students.

1.4 Project Description

Heritage Discovery Trails was a programme which involved the design and execution of a series of thematic heritage trails for primary and secondary school children in the heritage site of George Town. The interactive and educational trails were designed and conducted by Arts-ED in collaboration with George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and 12 volunteers. A centralised coordination unit was set up at GTWHI to promote and manage Heritage Discovery Trails for school students.

1.5 Source Material

The heritage site had already been frequently researched and written about by academics, historians and the community, but the materials were scattered. Arts-ED collated and edited material from articles, books, and magazines to produce a comprehensive Resource Kit as a teaching and learning aid for tour guides and facilitators. The Resource Kit provided a summary of the historical development of the site as well as traced migration, settlements, and the lifestyle and legacies of settlers.

As both the site and the community were important sources of information, trainees spent a lot of time exploring and observing the site and interacting with the community to obtain more personal stories.

Supporting Archival Material:

Resource Kit_George Town Heritage Walking Trail

1.6 Producing Organisation

George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) in collaboration with Arts-ED
GTWHI coordinator: Lim Chung Wei
Arts-ED coordinators: Fidel Ho Fai Fong and Chen Yoke Pin

1.7 Project Initiators

Arts-ED

1.8 Project Instructors

Project Instructors:

Trainers: Janet Pillai and Ho Sheau Fung
External Evaluator: Mark Vossen

1.9 Participants

Participants for the heritage tours were primary and secondary students from local schools in Penang; each group of 20 students was led by one tour guide.

SCHOOLS NUMBER OF SCHOOLS (2001)
Primary Schools 16
Secondary Schools 17
TOTAL  No. of  Schools 33
TOTAL No. of Students 1140
TOTAL No. of Teachers 80

1.10 Events and Activities

DATE Type VENUE TOWN/CITY COMMENTS
Guide Training
May – July  2011 Recruitment and audition of adult volunteers GTWHI George Town 40 out of 120 applicants were shortlisted for volunteer training
31 July – 28 August Training Workshop

Phase 1:9 “ Understanding Heritage for specialised volunteers and guides

GTWHI George Town
29 – 30 October 2-day workshop for general heritage volunteers GTWHI George Town
Trail Development
3 September – 29 October 2011 Phase 2: “How to Design and execute heritage trails

3-new thematic trails were researched and designed

George Town 15 volunteer guides
Execution of Tours
4 October – 17 November 2011 Pilot run and assessment George Town 42 pilot trails by 12 guides, held in 3 languages
March 2012 – March 2013 An upgrade and continuation of the 2009 and 2011 trails. George Town

1.11 Promotional Material/Catalogue/Programme

Several channels were utilised to recruit adults for the volunteer training, these included emails, press releases, printed media, and distributing leaflets to arts, culture and heritage organisations, colleges and alumni associations, churches and temples, and housing organisations.

The Promotion of the tours to the student population was by way of fliers and sign up forms to school principals. The form included a write-up detailing each available trail.

Supporting Archival Materials

Flier for Volunteers and Guides Training Programme

Flier and Sign-up Form for Schools

Sample write-up of a Trail – extracted from Page 8 of Heritage Discovery Walk 2011 Report

1.12 Final Script/Final Curriculum

A module was prepared for each of the trails. Each module consisted of a content guide, visual aids for the guides, an introductory slideshow, and worksheets functioning as an interactive and reflective tool for the students. Soft and hard copies of modules for all interactive trails are available in the AEAM repository in Arts-ED.

Supporting Archival Material

Taboos and Traditions Trail – Curriculum

Taboo and Traditions Trail – Introductory Slideshow

Taboo and Traditions – Visual Aid

Taboos and Traditions – Student Worksheets [BROKEN LINK]

1.13 Multimedia Documentation

In 2011, 2 videos were made documenting the project. The first, entitled ‘Friends of George Town Heritage’ highlights the volunteer training and was presented at the project launch. The video is in English and Mandarin.

The second video entitled ‘Taboos and Traditions’ documents students being led on an interactive guided tour on the 16th of November 2011. The video is in Mandarin.

Supporting Archival Material

Friends of George Town Heritage – Video 2011

Taboos and Traditions Trail – Video 2011

1.14 Previews and Reviews

“Friends Mohd Saiful Azhar, Mohd Yusop Samsudin and Mohd Shamirul Alif, all aged 13, found the ‘Stories of Early Settlers’ tour a fun and enlightening experience, and it was their first time visiting the area.”

Journey of discovery – 40 school kids taken on a tour of George Town Heritage Sites
The Star Metro, 1st May 2012

Supporting Archival Materials

Unknown (2012, 1 May). 40 school kids taken on a tour of George Town heritage. The Star Metro, p.4.

1.15 Publications

N/a

1.16 Photographs

Soft copies of the photos are available in the AEAM repository.

1.17 Final Report/Project Evaluation:

The Heritage Discovery Trails Volunteer Training Programme was evaluated and a final report was made available to GTWHI.  At the end of 2011, the walking tours conducted with the student population were also evaluated. Individual guides conducting tours with students were also periodically assessed by experienced observers, who provided feedback and advice on the guide’s delivery.

Supporting Archival Materials

REPORT_FOGTH Training

REPORT- Heritage Discovery Walks 2011

VIDEO/SLIDESHOW OF FINAL OUTPUT

Synopsis of Story:

An example of how the interactive trails were conducted with students can be discerned from this video documentation of the Taboos and TraditionTrail with participants from a Chinese primary school (SRJK [C] Tong San) in November 2011. This trail focused on introducing students to intangible cultural heritage such as the taboos, symbolism, and local knowledge found in community practices and in some tangible items on site. The video is in Mandarin.

Supporting Archival Materials
Taboos and Traditions Trail – Video 2011

ART MAKING PROCESS

Between May and August 2009, Arts-ED collaborated with a few child-friendly professional guides to develop and execute a heritage tour for students entitled ‘Migration Settlements Walk’. This informational and interactive walk was able to accommodate class sizes of 30-40 students within a limited time frame of 3-hours which was allocated by schools. This walk was used as a prototype to develop 3 additional trails, which catered to different ages with different themes.

Guide Training
The Guide Training Curriculum was in-line with the objectives of programme; to increase human resource to scale-up walking tours for schools, to offer a wider range of tailor-made walks for different ages, and to provide pedagogical and facilitation skills to guides.

The guide training was conducted on weekends over a period of 3-months. Guides were required to undergo 2 phases of training:

Phase 1: Understanding of Heritage and the George Town site and community
Phase 2: How to Design and Execute Heritage Trails

Training in Phase 1 focused on understanding the concept of heritage, the principles underlying a World Heritage Site, and the history of the site. In addition, participants also learned simple interviewing and documentation techniques and how to cull information from communities.

Out of the 40 participants who participated in Phase 1, a total of 15 participants were selected to undergo the second phase of the training on devising and conducting trails; this selection was based on their interest and knowledge in heritage, their previous experience as a tour guide, and their language facility as the school tours needed to accommodate 3 languages: Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, and English.

Supporting Archival Materials

Guide Training Curriculum – extracted from Page 6 and 7 of Report for Friends of George Town Heritage Training

Trail Design and Development
Phase 2 of the training focused on interpretation, storytelling techniques, understanding target audiences, and developing suitable thematic trails with relevant activities.

The trails were designed primarily to provide students with information and appreciation of George Town’s multicultural heritage. Accurate information dispensed by guides was considered as important as hands-on activities for experiential learning. Community interaction was also built into the trails, which also encouraged interdisciplinary understanding of history, geography, art and culture.

Each of the trails introduced the intimate relationship between the built and living heritage legacies of the different settler groups. For example, students learnt stories of how and why settlers migrated, how their architecture was determined by crafting skills, geography, and cultural needs, as well as how trees were transplanted from their homeland for symbolic or functional value.

Trails began off-site with a slideshow which introduced students to the concept of heritage, while providing a historical context to the site they will visit. The on-site section of the trail incorporated two components; a guided tour and hands-on activities outlined in a worksheet.

Each volunteer guide provided background information on a building or artefact, after which students were encouraged to explore the site, interview the community to obtain more information, take photos, or enter information into their worksheets. Upon returning to their workstations, facilitators checked students’ worksheets and data collection, and conducted group reflection exercises.