The Socratic club began our museum event series, with a tour of the permanent British History collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
As a warm-up we started with an overview of the statues of the ancient world and ideas of 'perspective'. For these tours and our events in general in order to build on the different levels and expertise of our group we have various specialists present so there is a high teacher to student ratio (1:2).
This allowed us to delve into the complex, exciting and dynamic Tudor and Stuart world - and we looked at monarchs from Henry VIII to Charles II - reviewing their leadership and style in the context of Tyrants.
We debated how these Tudor and Stuart kings and queens compare to modern-day leaders? We asked and reviewed how Early-Modern people lived? What mattered to them in terms of ephemeral items; what mattered to them in terms of luxury? We also studies the evolving changes to religion and the revolutionary event(s) of the Reformation.
Throughout questions and debate combined and incorporated scholarship, Common Entrance, and GCSE style questions. The group asked tremendous questions and took part in V&A quiz questions on Jacobean and Renaissance furniture style, to designing their own coats of arms, handling the gauntlet and armour and trying on fashion symbols such as 'the ruff'. We also compared the changing nature of furniture and the influence of expanding trade, including the famous Great Bed of Ware and the Melville State bed.
The session concluded with a debate and discussion in the V&A courtyard gardens - a most impressive set of argumentation on leadership style and the value of themes and concepts from the Early Modern world.
We much look forward to our next tour!