An oral history of the early years of Christ Church College, Canterbury

Antonini, F. (2012) An oral history of the early years of Christ Church College, Canterbury. M.A. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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Student experiences of Higher Education are playing an increasingly important role in both educational and historical research. In particular, the adoption of an ‘oral history’ methodology in writing commemorative histories of colleges and universities offers unique insights into their life and culture. For the Golden Jubilee Year of Canterbury Christ Church University, a series of narrative interviews has been conducted with the first members of the institution, which began life as a teacher training college fifty years ago.

This is a study of the foundation of Christ Church College, Canterbury, in 1962, built around the documented planning of its administrators and the oral testimonies of its first students and staff. Its establishment was a project characterised by innovation. As well as being the first Anglican training college to be founded in sixty-three years, its designers experimented with having a small first year of students taught in a family house, and with a new interdisciplinary training module to replace the traditional model of training. Both of these policies were designed to create an early sense of college community and benefit the professional development of its students. The extent to which these related to student perceptions of their college experience is the focus of this study.

As well as the unique insights into the life and work of the early college provided by the oral history source, there are demonstrable connections between the college community, its training curriculum and the wider lives and careers of those who attended it. In particular, a common professional identity of the teacher in training, yet varied perspectives of what this involved, coloured both the design and the experience of the early college. Although several of Christ Church’s early designs and innovations may have been limited and ultimately short lived, their enduring success and legacy is evident in these relationships between the institution and its constituent members.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe) > LF0014 Great Britain > LF0015 England
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History and American Studies
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2013 09:55
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 23:43

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00