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20,00
Lifelong Learning in Museums
A European Handbook
Edited by Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani, Jane Thompson
CONTRIBUTORS
David Anderson, Judi Caton, Cristina Da Milano, Martina De Luca, Juliette Fritsch,
Kirsten Gibbs, Rinske Jurgens, Kaija Kaitavuori, Hanneke Kempen,
Andrea Kieskamp, Massimo Negri, Margaret OBrien, Helen ODonoghue,
Carla Padr, Margarida Ruas, Margherita Sani, Dineke Stam, Jane Thompson,
Ineke van Klink, Annemarie Vels Heijn, Amber Walls, Sue Wilkinson

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Valeria Cicala
Margriet de Jong
Valentina Galloni
Alex Hitchins
Els Hoogstraat
Judikje Kiers
Silvia Mascheroni
Shriti Patel
Anna Pironti
Carlo Tovoli

DESIGN
Oliver Newbery (www.ne-interactive.co.uk)

(over page) From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico
(Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
Photo: Tano dAmico
Contents

Foreword 7 4 Working with Diverse Adult 58


David Anderson Audiences: Case studies
and good practice
Introduction 8 4.1 Family learning 59
Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani, Jane Thompson 4.2 Young people 63
4.3 Older learners 69
1 Adults and Learning 12 4.4 Corporate groups 74
1.1 Lifelong learning 13 4.5 Intercultural learning 77
1.2 Adult learners 13 4.6 Inclusive learning 84
1.3 Barriers to learning 16 4.7 A case study: Adult learning 88
1.4 Attitudes and motivations 16 at the British Museum
that lead to learning
1.5 Equality and access 17 5 The Museum Environment 92
5.1 Why is the environment important? 93
2 Learning in Museums 18 5.2 Some elements to be considered 93
2.1 Setting the scene 19 5.3 Creating a learning friendly environment 98
2.2 Approaches to learning in museums 20 5.4 A case study: Museu da gua Lisbon 99
2.3 Learning theories: 22
understanding how adults learn 6 Training Implications 102
2.4 Identifying learning outcomes 33 7 Bibliography and Web sites 106
8 Biographical notes 112
3 Methodological Frameworks 36
3.1 Visitor research 37
3.2 Evaluation 39
3.3 Teamwork 44
3.4 Partnership 46
3.5 Outreach 54
6
Foreword 7

Anyone who has worked on a trans- enquiry in learning from professional


national museum project which aims practice in other countries.
to create something practical and
useful, knows how difcult this can It is tempting to think that the many
be. Differences of language, culture examples of innovative work in this
and intellectual traditions become publication are the norm in European
more evident, the deeper one goes museums, the standard that should
into the project. The dominance be expected of all public institutions in
of a limited number of European a democracy. If it were the case, this
languages and, in particular, English book would not be necessary. But
often creates an unequal basis for Lifelong Learning in Museums is also
communication. Even the denition of a statement of hope. Good practice is
a museum differs from country widespread, and it is growing.
to country.
David Anderson
Director of Learning and Interpretation
This handbook is a persuasive Victoria and Albert Museum
London
statement of the great value of
internationalism despite such
difculties. If we are to develop our
professional practice, we need a
greater diversity of models than our
own country alone can supply. By
working together, face to face over
an extended period of time, we can
go beyond supercial perceptions
and develop a more profound
understanding of the value of both
commonality and difference.

Through research and publication,


perceptions can be challenged and
Self test developed. So this handbook is also a
Photo: Het Dolhuys Museum, Haarlem statement of the importance of critical
8
Introduction

Lifelong Museum within their own country, where they Language and
Learning have more detailed knowledge. terminology
This handbook grows out of Lifelong Lifelong Museum Learning developed When working in a European
Museum Learning (LLML), a two and ran training addressed to context, one of the rst difculties to
year project funded by the European museum educators and cultural be encountered has to do with the
Commission between October 2004 mediators working with adults. During language, as the same words have
and December 2006 within the its lifespan four training courses were different connotations in different
framework of the Socrates Grundtvig organised by partner institutions contexts. As some expressions recur
programme. European projects are in the project: two test ones, held frequently in this handbook, which
collective enterprises which, while in Italy in October 2005 and two might mean different things to different
aiming at common goals, take into more, open to wider participation readers, it might be useful to state
account and mediate between through the Comenius Grundtvig here the meaning we attach to them.
different viewpoints and perspectives catalogue, in Portugal (May 2006)
arising from the history, background and in the Netherlands (November Lifelong learning: learning in which
and working practices of the 2006). The subject addressed by we engage throughout
individuals and the countries involved, LLML aroused great interest among our lives
as well as the learning process which museum professionals throughout Formal learning: learning that
takes place during the project. As a Europe, especially at a time when takes place in a formal education or
consequence, the outcomes of such the museums role is widening and training setting, normally leading to
projects reect these diversities, and stretching to embrace and support a qualication
at the same time try to harmonise lifelong learning, social change, Non-formal learning: learning that
them into one coherent whole. This intercultural dialogue, often involving is structured and organised but
handbook is conceived in a way that, new audiences. does not lead to a qualication
while drawing from the richness and Informal learning: learning that
variety of experiences that Europe Our intention was that the project occurs through family, social or civic
can offer, tries to speak to the reader should not only benet those who life, not necessarily intentionally
with one voice. were able to take part in the training
events, but that it should reach as As for the meaning of the word
It must be said, however, that, many people as possible, hence the learning, our group adopted the
although all contributors work idea of a handbook as part of the denition used by the UK Campaign
internationally, the handbook draws projects dissemination strategy. for Learning, which reads: Learning
mainly on the experiences of partners is a process of active engagement
9

with experience. It is what people do sections will be more relevant than ones own country and internationally,
when they want to make sense of others, depending on individual through continuing professional
the world. It may involve an increase situations and needs. In the same way, development and informal networking.
in skills, knowledge, understanding, some suggestions for good practice
values, feelings, attitudes and capacity will be easier to implement than others. We welcome readers views on this
to reect. Effective learning leads to handbook, as well as on future sector
change, development and the desire This publication assumes that readers training needs. Contacts can be made
to learn more. would like to see equal opportunities to the leading partner or to any of the
placed at the heart of museum projects partners.
Finally, when we use the expression provision, to open up access and to
Kirsten Gibbs
museums, we mean all types of invite wider participation, and offers Margherita Sani
museums, including art galleries. some suggestions and examples for Jane Thompson
how to achieve this. These include a
more pro-active approach to visitor
Who is this research and outreach initiatives,
handbook for? a commitment to understanding
how adults learn and what they
This handbook is designed to support wish to achieve from learning within
museum and gallery staff, especially the museum environment, and a
those who have responsibility for willingness to identify and remove
education, interpretation or access, institutional barriers that may hinder
ensuring that learning opportunities, non-traditional visitors from making
exhibitions, and resources are use of the learning opportunities and
genuinely open to all. It is also for resources a museum can offer.
those educators who are more familiar
with methodologies and practice We hope this handbook will be used
relating to schoolchildren and would as a tool to help programme planning
like to expand education activities and delivery as well as longer-term
to include adults. The publication is strategic planning. We also envisage
aimed at a broad European audience, its use within training contexts, as we
(over page) From the catalogue of the
with a variety of specialist training, acknowledge the value of targeted, exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna,
expertise, experience, and status relevant training and also of sharing IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
within their organisations. Some practice with colleagues, both in Photo: Tano dAmico
12

Section 1
Adults and learning 13

A would-be civilised 1.1 Lifelong learning What characterises lifelong learning

democracy will not Lifelong Learning is a familiar term


is that it happens everywhere, not
simply in schools, colleges, or
abuse culture for throughout Europe but, as with universities. When it happens in public

immediate political other concepts that exist in a range


of different cultural traditions and
and cultural spaces like museums
or art galleries it happens through
ends, nor impose its contexts, it can mean different things choice rather than compulsion. It

own pre-determined to different people. This handbook


denes lifelong learning in two ways.
often happens informally, without the
need for accreditation, qualication,
denition of culture or measurement. Museums can be

on its people. It will The rst is to highlight the importance


and signicance of learning throughout
ideal places for promoting informal
learning. Visitors may leave a museum
be open, democratic, life, as distinct from the kind of knowing more than when they arrived:
not bullying nor education directed at school-age and
college students. In this handbook we
knowledge, understanding, insight
or inspiration that helps to make a
endlessly all-things-to- are focusing on the learning that adult positive difference to their lives.
all-men-or-women. It visitors (i.e. those over 16 years of age)
can experience in museums.
will offer perspectives 1.2 Adult learners
on the better and the The second usage has to do with what
is meant by learning. Formal implies Lifelong learning within a museum can
best; its citizens will an exchange between teachers and be informal, casual, or even accidental
be free to be both students, in which the students are as far as the learner is concerned,
instructed by the teachers. Lifelong however educators and other museum
inside and outside learning puts the emphasis on the staff must still adopt a formal and
their own cultural activity of the recipients. It may occur rigorous approach to devising learning
in response to formal instruction but opportunities, taking into consideration
overcoats. it also takes place in a variety of other some of the characteristics of
Richard Hoggart ways and settings, including everyday adult learners.
lives, interactions with other people
and cultural opportunities. Methodologies working with school
groups are well-established and
Photo: Leicester Arts and Museum Service museums have a wealth of experience
14

in this area from making contact about memorising facts and pre- Adults are goal-oriented. When they
with teachers, devising programmes digested information and more about start a formal learning activity, they
to support and enhance the formal exploring new ideas and experiences, usually know what they want to achieve
curriculum, and employing a variety weighing up the evidence and coming and where they want to get to. In formal
of learning styles. Much of this good to some tentative conclusions. learning situations adults generally
practice translates to adult learners in It involves developing practical skills appreciate an education programme that
the museum. For example, both adults and discovering hidden talents. Some is well organised and has clearly dened
and children: of the main characteristics that make elements. In informal learning situations,
adults different from children when it adults learn best when the signposts
Would like to be treated with courtesy comes to learning are as follows. are clear, the purpose is relevant and
and respect All of these are relevant to learning interesting and when their emotions
in museums. (such as curiosity, anger, wonder,
Enjoy contributing their own knowledge, pleasure) are engaged.
experience and opinions to the Adult learners are autonomous and self-
learning process directed. They need to be able to direct Adults are relevancy-oriented. For most
themselves and be actively involved adults, learning has to be relevant to
Appreciate having an element of choice in the learning process. They have to their interests, their lives, their work or
in the learning process choose what they want to learn and to other responsibilities. Again, learning
work on projects and subject-matter should start where people are. Once
Do not want to be talked down to that reect their interests. they are stimulated and eager to learn
or patronised. more, then there is every chance that
Adults have accumulated life experiences what they regard as interesting and
There is one great difference between and knowledge including work-related relevant will be greatly expanded.
children and adult learners: children activities, family responsibilities, life-
and young people go to school and changing challenges, personal passions Adult learners often start out by being
college because they have to. Adults and previous education. New learning practical, and want to focus on those
are more likely to get involved in is most effective and successful when it things that are most useful to them in
learning because they want to know starts from, and is connected to, adults their work or lives. At rst they may not
about something that interests them, existing knowledge and experience. be interested in knowledge for its own
or because they need to learn about The starting place for new learning sake but once they get the learning bug
something for their jobs or in relation should build upon existing strengths they often want to learn about all kinds
to their families and communities. and experience but not, of course, be of things that were previously outside
Learning is for a purpose. It is less restricted to what they already know. their experience.
History of Psychiatry
15
Photo: Het Dolhuys Museum, Haarlem
16

Like all learners, adults need to be 1.4 Attitudes and Educational progression: to get a
shown respect: they should be treated motivations that lead qualication or to move on to a more
as equals in experience and knowledge to learning demanding course.
and encouraged to voice their opinions
freely in every learning situation. What makes the difference? Why do To settle and contribute to communities
some adults decide to get involved in to take a more active role in their
learning? Knowing the answer to this communities. This is especially true for
question can help museum educators newly arrived immigrants, refugees,
1.3 Barriers to learning think about how they approach adult asylum seekers, and migrant workers.
visitors. Research into adult learning
The reasons most frequently given generally agrees about what motivates The example and encouragement of
by potential learners for not getting adults to be interested in learning. other people: family, friends, workmates
involved in learning and this applies Attitudes are strongly inuenced by or education professionals, community
also to museum and gallery settings family and cultural background, social or guidance workers, and employers.
- are practical ones that arise from their class, gender, school experiences
individual and immediate circumstances: and social networks. Though not all of Involvement in community action or
nancial costs, time constraints related the reasons apply strictly to learning in voluntary and community groups
to employment or family, ill-health in museums, they are useful to keep and organizations: involving the
or disability, transport or childcare in mind when designing learning development and practice of skills and
difculties, lack of local opportunities. programmes and situations for adults the celebration of identity and culture.
in museum and galleries.
Research evidence shows that the Work: to get a better job and to improve
major obstacles can also be cultural, Family: to help children and to performance at work.
social or psychological. These include understand better what their children
a dislike of school as a child, or a social are learning at school. Joining family Personal development reasons to
class or gender belief which does learning programmes often motivates improve their knowledge and skills, to
not see learning as an appropriate parents to learn for their own benet. pursue an interest or hobby.
activity for adults in a particular group.
These are harder barriers to overcome Social: to make new friends, to meet the A life change or crisis: migration,
because they involve feelings and need for social association and friendship. bereavement, illness, redundancy, house
assumptions and are based on deeply move, divorce, retirement.
held values and attitudes.
17

Compulsion or requirement: by an discriminated against in society do not Developing an accessible and learning
employer or the state, such as changes in easily recognise museums as public friendly environment, which encourages
work practices, welfare benet regulations places which they are entitled to visit. visitors and supports learning.
and naturalisation requirements. They may believe that museums are
for other people and not for them. Too Taking a multi-layered approach to
often museums are not as welcoming display and interpretation, so that
and accessible to their non-traditional everyone from the rst-time visitor to the
1.5 Equality and access visitors as they might be. academic feels welcome.

Museums in Europe are popular At European level, it can also be said Ensuring that museum staff are
places, visited each year by millions of that museums, when developing as informed and rigorous in their
people. Visitors come because they educational programmes or activities, knowledge about visitors, as they are
are interested in history, art or culture, generally focus on school groups, about collections and exhibitions.
searching for signicance and identity, rather than the adult population.
looking for inspiration, or to learn Given the acknowledged educational Considering display so that exhibits
something about the objects on display. role of museums, and the provide access, in all senses, to
Some come because museums are the understanding of governments at both diverse audiences.
places to visit when you are exploring national and European level of the
a new city or have some free time. importance of lifelong learning, this Making the existing educational levels
They are places of pleasure, leisure, needs to be addressed. and learning styles of potential visitors
entertainment and learning. the starting point for targeted education
The expectation that museums should work within the museum.
But for the many people who visit play a part in public education, in
museums, there are others a widening participation and access, and Reviewing and modifying some of the
majority of the population who rarely in somehow ameliorating the human conventions of museums in order to be
or never do so. In general, museum condition through the pleasure or welcoming to new visitors.
visitors are likely to have higher social, insight to be derived from what they
economic and educational status have to offer, remains contentious in Ensuring that the diversity of staff
than non-visitors. Those who are some quarters. reects the diversity of the audience the
poor, those who have been less well museum wishes to attract.
served by formal education, those Choosing to make education
who are members of minority groups and equality a high priority in
that are already disadvantaged or museums means:
18

Section 2
Learning in 19

Museums
2.1 Setting the scene example the UK and the Netherlands,
Everyone has the demand for arts and cultural

the right freely to The gap between museums and their


potential audiences was probably
learning in museums has assumed
greater prominence on the cultural
participate in the smaller in the 19th century. At that and political agenda, especially in

cultural life of the time, museums across Europe had a


specic role in society which included
relation to non-traditional audiences. In
other European countries, museums
community, to the representation of power, the open up to new audiences on their
enjoy the arts and creation of national identity, and the
educational and moral improvement of
own initiative or as a response
to community requests, despite
to share in scientic the masses. But in Britain, for example, the absence of a political agenda
advancement and its although cultural organisations
set their sights on the respectable
promoting this.

benets poor, they drew the line at criminals, Whether for political, cultural or
vagrants and those residents in the institutional reasons, museums take
Article 27, Universal Declaration of
Human Rights poor house. Library rules enforcing on many roles: including being
clean hands and faces were often agents of social change, with
rigorously applied to counteract fears responsibilities for social inclusion and
about the transmission of disease community development, as well as
and contagion through books. And supporting scientic development and
although they were originally intended lifelong learning.
to improve and educate the masses,
museums soon assumed more middle The quality and provision of education
class connotations which continue programmes for adults in European
to inuence contemporary cultures museums varies enormously. In
and audiences. By the end of the some institutions programmes are
nineteenth century the educators well-developed and often include
and improvers had been effectively accredited courses, practical
marginalised and aesthetes and workshops, guided visits, discussions,
academics were in the ascendancy. lectures or family events. In others,
Participants in adult programme Charcoal education is still seen as an add-on,
and Chocolate 2004 This shift in focus largely remains, with token attempts to attract non-
Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin although in some countries, for traditional learners pursued as one-off
20

projects, operating on the margins of inspiration to learn more. Quite often THE INSTRUCTIVE OR
the museums main concerns. learners use their visits to museums to DIDACTIC APPROACH
reinforce the knowledge they already In this approach the museum regards
Learning in museums is different from have and to share this with other itself as the teacher and visitors
the learning which takes place in people, for example, with their as a largely passive and receptive
formal education establishments since children. Learners who nd a audience. The institutional culture
most learners are informal ones. On connection at the museum with their tends to be hierarchical with great
the whole, museums are unaware of interests, experience or sense of respect given to expert knowledge, at
the learning objectives of their users: themselves in the world are more likely the expense of informal or everyday
whether it is for pleasure, in relation to re-visit than learners who do not knowledge. Mediators or guides may
to a special interest, or in pursuit of make that connection. act as the messengers of specialists
identity and cultural meaning. Visitors in the transmission of pre-decided
may not view their visit to a museum information to learners. This approach
as a learning experience, as such, 2.2 Approaches to underpins, for example, the traditional
even though they may be learning learning in museums guided tour.
whilst enjoying themselves. Regular
visitors are attracted by the informality The provision of learning opportunities The advantage of the didactic
of the visit and the fact that taking in museums should be based on approach is that it focuses on delivery
part does not require too great a the application of learning theories of content which can be quickly
commitment of time or money. For and successful methodologies and assimilated or memorised the facts
those who nd museums alien places, practice with adult learners. It is also about a work of art or an object. The
however, the atmosphere can seem quite often predicated on strongly disadvantage of this approach is that
immensely formal and daunting, and held cultural, institutional or personal knowledge is selected by experts and
the commitment needed to make assumptions by museum staff towards assumes that visitors will learn what
such a visit may well be both costly visitors. Broadly speaking there are has been selected, with little room
and considerable. four main approaches to learning in for discussion: learning is seen as
museums, any combination of which xed and cumulative, and knowledge
The outcomes of museum learning may be in use at the same time: regarded as neutral, objective and
experiences are equally diverse. universal. The didactic approach
Among the most positive outcomes Instructive or didactic does not allow for different learning
are increased knowledge and Active or discovery learning styles, since content is transmitted as
understanding, the development Constructivist though everyone learns in the same
of new skills and abilities, and the Social constructionist way. Some museums have modied
Participants in workshop for older people in association with the National Theatre
21
Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
22

their guided visits to ask questions of THE CONSTRUCTIVIST are seen as interpreters who have
the audience, both to determine prior APPROACH the right to negotiate this knowledge
levels of knowledge and to involve the When museums adopt a constructivist according to their own identity and
audience more actively in the approach, the institution becomes position in society. In this context the
learning process. a forum in which there can be many learners class, gender, race, ethnicity,
different kinds of learning experiences sexuality, religion, and so on become
THE ACTIVE OR DISCOVERY for different visitors. The focus is on of vital importance to what they bring
LEARNING APPROACH the learner rather than the exhibit or to bear on their interpretation of
Active learning became popular in the the subject content. Museum staff knowledge. The context is assumed
science museums of the 1970s, and work in teams and visitor knowledge to be more important than the exhibit
has since become common in other is integrated through evaluation and or the content. Knowledge is regarded
types of museum. Adopting a discovery the activity of audience advocates. as uid in the post-modern sense
learning standpoint suggests that the Learning is regarded as an active in that it is created out of struggle
museum believes that learning will process, as well as a social activity and conict and is subject to constant
happen best in a relaxed, informal within a specic context. Since change and re-negotiation. It is
atmosphere, where the distinctions learners bring their own perspectives, this approach to learning that has
between education and entertainment values and experiences, museum inuenced attempts to include
are blurred or merged. Museum staff educators seek to provide different learners voices and personal
are frequently organised into teams kinds of learning opportunities through narratives directly in the creation of
of complementary professionals who different exhibition styles, learning multi-cultural exhibitions.
develop both exhibits and education styles and levels of engagement. It
content. Learning is regarded as a is this approach to learning that
process of inquiry that involves role- underpins the application of Kolbs 2.3 Learning theories:
playing and activity-based, direct theories to learning in some Dutch understanding how
participation by learners, who are seen museums, described below.
adults learn
as participants rather than a passive
audience. Great use is made of hands- THE SOCIAL Given these different approaches
on and interactive learning experiences. CONSTRUCTIONIST to museum education, some
It is this approach to learning that APPROACH understanding of how adults learn is
underpins interactive exhibits in many This approach assumes that museums an important starting point for museum
contemporary museums. are sites in which social, cultural, educators. A familiarity with and
historical and political knowledge is application of learning theories within
constructed and negotiated. Visitors exhibitions, programmes and activities
23

enables a museum to become more n Concrete operations: abstract reasoning,


responsive than was traditionally the based on personal experiences
case, with a greater appeal to people See for a survey www. 7 to 11 years
with different backgrounds, learning funderstanding.com/theories.cfm
styles and intelligences. Formal operations: hypotheses and
Most of these theories associated analysis of abstract notions 11 to 15
Adults tend to learn in different with Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, years and above.
ways, bringing different amounts of Benjamin Bloom David Ausubel and
knowledge or experiences with them Howard Gardener, for example - have Piagets ideas were further elaborated
to the learning situation, therefore been developed further over the years by Jerome Bruner who also
museums that want to stimulate and are still used to a greater or lesser described the three different ways of
learning need to focus on learners extent in formal and informal education, learning which adults use alternatively
and nd ways of putting them at the coaching and training. Though to learn something new:
heart of what is to be experienced. most of them deal with learning at
During the last ten years or so, much schools and universities and in adult The performing mode: to do things
work has been done in museums education, some have found their way
and higher education institutions into museum education, especially The expressive mode: to make a mental
developing successful methodologies, in connection with the instruction of image; to make connections
learning from good practice, and children and young people.
sharing success with colleagues. The The symbolic mode: where learning is
best museums have paid increased One of the theories that became separated from the concrete (Whether a
attention to visitor research and popular in museums in the 1970s person uses this last mode depends on
preferences, developing successful was Jean Piagets theory of the four age and intellectual capacities).
ways of working with their audiences stages of development:
by the application of learning theories Another learning theory that became
and learning styles. Sensimotor stage of learning birth to prominent in education and was also
2 years old used in museum education in the
LEARNING THEORIES APPLIED 1970s and 1980s (and is still in use in
TO MUSEUMS Pre-operational stage: language and some areas) was Benjamin Blooms
Most learning theories are products of symbolic representations 2 to 7 years theory of the three learning domains:
the 1970s and 1980s, when interests
in social psychology and learning led Cognitive learning: the acquisition and
to a multitude of learning theories. organisation of knowledge
24

Affective learning: the instinctive Spatial The resulting combinations can


incorporation of knowledge and Bodily Kinesthetic indicate 16 personality types.
attitudes Interpersonal
Intrapersonal
Psychomotor stage learning: the Naturalistic n
acquisition of skills.
Everyone possesses all of these See:
Some educators at the time became intelligences but some qualities are www.personalitypathways.com
interested in theory that people more prominent than others. What
(children) learn better if beforehand intelligences a person develops Paulo Freire, on the other hand, is
advanced organisers are offered. This depends on genetics and also on more concerned with the kinds of
became the basis of the methodology cultural background. Some museums knowledge that can assist people
which combines an introduction to employ Gardners multiple intelligences to change their lives and change
the subject in the classroom, followed theory, both in education programmes their world through liberatory
by more information and experiential and in the display and interpretation learning. He is probably the most
learning in the museum. of objects. inuential and radical thinker about
informal and popular education in
At the moment one of the most A theory especially prominent in the twentieth century. His work in
popular learning theories is that of professional development and Brazil, until he died in 1997, gained
Howard Gardner, the rst version of management, is the Myer Briggs him an international reputation that
which was rst presented in the 1980s, Type Indicator (MBTI). It is, strictly has inspired and informed countless
but which is still being developed and speaking, a personality theory, but others across the world to make
expanded. since learning has a lot to do with use of his ideas and methods. Freire
peoples personality, it is relevant made observations about banking
Gardners theory is based on the to museum education. In the MBTI, education, in which learners are
conviction that learning and teaching Isabel Myers dened personality types, passive and have ready-made
should focus on the particular based on four dimensions: knowledge deposited in their minds,
intelligences of each person. He thereby maintaining a culture of silence,
discerns eight intelligences: Extroversion versus introversion in which dominated individuals lose
Sensing versus intuition the means to respond to the culture
Verbal Linguistic Thinking versus feeling forced on them by more dominant
Logical Mathematical Judging versus perceptive members of their society.
Musical
From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
25
Photo: Isabella Balena
26

Freires dialogical method is based Experiential Learning. The impact of is related to what individuals bring
on a cooperative, two-way approach his ideas has been signicant in the with them to the learning situation
to learning, which emphasises the context of liberal adult education, but from their own lived experiences
interchangeability of teachers and remains less well known in museum and their ways of responding to new
learners. Once learners become education. His relatively simple information and new situations. In
increasingly aware of the roots of their proposition is that not everyone learns the context of museums this means
oppression within the culture of silence, in the same way. He suggests that that what matters is not simply the
they develop the kind of critical everyone has a preferred learning knowledge which learners acquire as
consciousness that enables them to style, or sometimes a combination of a consequence of their visit, but also
become empowered and to take part more than one learning style, out of a the ways in which they experience and
in collective action, leading to personal possible total of four. An individuals learn during their visit.
and social change. In the process preferred learning style determines
the world becomes less oppressive how he or she goes about the learning The learning process has two
and more fully humanised, which is process. Kolbs ideas seem to relate dimensions: apprehension /
the historical task of any movement well to what happens in museums, comprehension and extension /
concerned with liberation. in that visitors demonstrate different intention. The rst dimension denes
ways of approaching exhibitions the way in which a person grasps
KOLBS LEARNING THEORY because they have different preferred an experience; the second the way
AND ITS APPLICATION TO learning styles. Very often they do not in which a person internalises the
MUSEUMS approach the exhibition in the way in experience. Together these two
In this book we are exploring Kolbs which it was conceived or designed. dimensions result in a learning process
theory in greater depth than the Therefore, in order to create the best that is characterised by four different
others, because it has recently possible opportunity for learning to ways of learning. These are: concrete
been applied in several museums, take place, it would seem important experience, reective observation,
especially in the Netherlands. It that the staging of exhibitions and abstract conceptualisation and
is therefore possible to see the presentations in museums should offer active experimentation.
implications and consequences of ingredients that connect to each kind
its employment in the planning and of learning style.
staging of exhibitions, interpretation
materials and education programmes. According to Kolb, learning is a
social process. It is not simply a
David Kolbs theory of different matter of digesting information
learning styles is outlined in his book through the receipt of instruction, but
Dreamer: What is the use of this mouse? The visitor is asked to answer this question by using
his own imagination. To make an exhibition attractive for a Dreamer, think about the following 27
key words: feeling, personal, creativity, different points of view, poetical, imagination, colour and
texture, subjectivity.
Photo: Ivar Pel, University Museum,Utrecht
Deliberator: Here the objects are related to the historical context of the University and the
28 development of Science. This stimulates the visitor to analyze the (chrono)logical relationships of
the objects. A Deliberator must be intellectually challenged. Think about the following key words:
facts and notions, theory, logical relationship, the expert is talking, conceptual, background
information and beauty, logic and precision.
Photo: Ivar Pel, University Museum, Utrecht
29

The four ways of learning are related to perform best in situations that call for In this learning style, knowledge is
four different preferred learning styles: the generation of ideas and multiple applied to solving specic problems.
possibilities, such as brainstorming Deciders tend to be less emotional
Concrete experience in combination sessions. Dreamers tend to be as learners. They prefer dealing with
with reective observation results in the interested in people and to be technical tasks and problems rather
divergent learning style of people who imaginative and in touch with than social and interpersonal issues.
are dreamers. their feelings.
Doers tend to make use of concrete
Reective observation in combination Deliberators tend to make use experience and active experimentation.
with abstract conceptualisation results in of abstract conceptualisation Their greatest strength lies in doing
the assimilative learning style of people and reective observation. Their things, in carrying out plans and
who are deliberators. greatest strength lies in their ability tasks and getting involved in new
to assimilate lots of information, to experiences. Doers often perform
Abstract conceptualisation in subject the information to reason and best when there are interesting
combination with active experimentation analysis, and to arrive at coherent opportunities, risks and some kind of
results in the convergent learning style understandings. Deliberators are action to be had. This learning style is
of people who are deciders. less focused on people and more best suited for those situations where
concerned with ideas and abstract it is necessary to adapt quickly to
Active experimentation in combination concepts. Ideas are judged less by changing circumstances. If the theory
with concrete experience results in the their practical value and more by doesnt t the plan, doers nd it easy
accommodative learning style of people whether they are logically sound to change tack. Problem solving
who are doers. and precise. becomes more of an intuitive, trial-
and-error process, and relies heavily
Dreamers tend to make use of Deciders tend to make use of on other people for information, rather
concrete experience and reective abstract conceptualisation and active than on their own analytic ability. Doers
observation. Their greatest strength experimentation. Their greatest are usually quite at ease with other
lies in their imaginative ability and strength lies in their ability to get people but can be seen as impatient
their awareness of meaning and involved in problem solving, decision- and pushy in a learning situation.
values. They are able to view concrete making and the practical application
situations from many perspectives. of ideas. Deciders often do best
The emphasis is on deriving in contexts where there is a single
understanding through observation correct answer to be found or a
rather than action. Dreamers often solution to a question or problem.
Decider: Put the embryo slides in the right order. The visitor is able to try out theory in practice.
30 For a Decider the exhibition must be: functional, efcient, valid and applicable, using schemes and
models, trying out theories, having accompanying materials, rational and practical, technical and
problem solving.
Photo: Ivar Pel, University Museum, Utrecht
Doer: Jump on this pneumatic pump to nd out the force of air. The visitor is actively involved in
a way that you can experience by doing. For the Doer an exhibition is about: new experiences, 31
involvement, excitement and variety, competition and risk taking; it must be short and to the
point, spectacular, presenting real-life cases and intuitive.
Photo: Ivar Pel, University Museum, Utrecht
32

KOLBS LEARNING STYLES IN Developing a more rounded approach, Include someone in the team who is
ACTION IN THE NETHERLANDS one that takes into account the charged with representing the interest
The Kolb project promoted in the learning diversity of potential visitors, of learners, as an audience advocate.
Netherlands by the Netherlands needs time and commitment from The advocates role is to represent the
Museums Association began by the staff involved. But the creation of opinions and voice of the audience and
asking what would make an exhibition imaginative approaches to interesting also to make sure that the learning style
attractive to those with different exhibitions, based on the recognition theory is implemented throughout the
learning styles and then translating of different learning styles, does project. An audience advocate should
the characteristics of each style into go some way to persuading more be well informed about learning theories
a checklist that could be used in a sceptical colleagues about the value in general, the learning style theory in
museum situation. Each checklist of the approach. If you think there is particular, and also with visitor research
focused on the three key aspects merit in staging exhibitions that offer evidence, both in museums
of every exhibition or presentation: learning opportunities for different and elsewhere.
content and information, attitude and kinds of learners, the application of
atmosphere, and design. Kolbs theories to the organisation of Make sure that provision for each of the
learning may well be worth developing. four preferred learning styles is built
The pilot projects led to creative and into the design and ground plan of the
interesting exhibitions and much Guidelines for applying Kolbs learning exhibition. However be aware that an
discussion about the nature and theory to exhibition planning: exhibition based on Kolbs learning
purpose of learning. But they did theory may require additional resources.
meet with some reluctance from Introduce the theory to the full project
members of the project teams. Most team, giving case study examples of its
educators welcomed the theoretical success and providing further sources of n
strengthening of their position and information. Decide to use it from the
enjoyed inventing approaches and very beginning of the new project. To check out the checklist go
writing texts geared to the different to www.museumvereniging.nl,
learning styles of visitors. Some Encourage all members of the project International relations,
designers experienced the learning team to take the Learning Style Test. Life Long Museum Learning
style theory as a limitation on their Use the outcome to decide whether the
For more information about
creativity. Curators on the whole composition of the team is sufciently Kolbs learning Style Test and
preferred to stick to their own balanced in terms of preferred learning to complete the test online go
learning style mostly that of styles. You may need to add others with to www.hayresourcesdirect.
dreamers or deliberators. different learning styles into the team. haygroup.com
33

2.4 Identifying learning changes in attitudes, values, emotions In an attempt to describe and then
outcomes and beliefs. For those who want hard record the impact of all the different
evidence of demonstrable skills and types of learning experiences that take
Learning outcomes can be dened as increased levels of knowledge and place in a museum, the UK Museums
the results of a learning experience. understanding, evaluation needs Libraries and Archives Council has
They can apply both to individuals and to be carried out or assessment developed a set of learning outcomes,
groups, and may be short-term or long- criteria applied. which should cover all the learning
term. They are generally regarded (in that happens during museum visits.
the more formal education sector, at Compared with formal educational According to this research, what people
least) as the result of a programme of institutions, museums have more learn in museums can be categorised
specic study, and involve judgements difculties in making judgements within one of ve headings:
being made about individual learners about how much their visitors have
progress. But learning is a dynamic learned, or how much progress Knowledge and Understanding
experience and can be hard to pin they have made. Useful guidelines Skills
down. Some of the most interesting and frameworks have been devised Attitudes and Values
learning outcomes are often those for assessing learning, including Enjoyment, Inspiration and
which were not planned or anticipated Partnerships for Learning: a guide Creativity
but which arise in the process of to evaluating arts education projects, Activity, Behaviour and
learning and social interaction. by Felicity Woolf (1999 Arts Council Progression
England) and the Inspiring Learning
Just as it is quite difcult to apply for All framework, described below. These are called generic learning
learning style tests to visitors, so too is We should not forget, however, that outcomes (GLOs), and can be used
it difcult for museums to set specic learners themselves are perfectly both to identify the expected learning
learning outcomes for learners to capable of making judgements about outcomes of an educational activity,
achieve. And, given the informality of their own learning. Collecting evidence therefore establishing the ensuing
museum education and the diversity of learning outcomes in museums, research questions, and to provide
of learning styles, it is not surprising therefore, should be concerned with the evaluation framework for analysing
that it is often difcult to measure asking learners about their experience visitors responses.
what has actually been learned. In and about what they have learned. We
most cases museums have very little shall look at some ways of doing this But GLOs only capture peoples
information about the prior knowledge in section 3. perceptions of learning. They do
of their visitors. Learning outcomes not prove that that learning has
may often be those described as soft taken place. To do this would mean
34

testing people to see if they really A change in attitudes or values


have acquired the knowledge or
skills they say they have acquired Evidence of enjoyment,
and museums are never going to be inspiration and creativity
in the business of setting exams to
see what their visitors have learnt, Evidence of activity, behaviour,
therefore the information available is progression
always going to be highly subjective.
However, what people think they have Social interaction and
learnt from a museum visit, and what communication
their teachers or parents or group
leaders observe about the changes Increased self-condence
which have taken place as a result
of that visit, when collected carefully, Personal development
analysed systematically, and reported
accurately, do enable us to make Community empowerment
important observations about the
power museums have to inspire and The development of identity
support learning.
Improved health and well-being
Here are some of the most common
indicators to aim for when assessing
the impact of learning in museum n
and galleries:
www.inspiringlearningforall.
Increased knowledge of gov.uk
specic subjects

Enhanced understanding of
specic ideas and concepts

Improved technical and (over page) Isolation Cell


other skills Photo: Het Dolhuys Museum, Haarlem
Jean Brady mediating Come to the edge
35
Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
36

Section 3
Methodological 37

Frameworks
3.1 Visitor Research deployed more effectively. Research staff wanting to know about their
can also be used to determine who visitors, and potential visitors, and
Visitor research is a way of monitoring, does not visit the museum and to questioning some of their own
understanding and improving all suggest ways of attracting them perceptions and assumptions about
aspects of learners and visitors to come. how people experience museums
experiences in museums, from and how they learn. It acknowledges
motivations and impressions, to the Visitor research or visitor studies that professionals do not know or
way they learn from exhibits, and even can also be referred to as evaluation. understand everything about what
about snack breaks or use of other We call it front-end evaluation, visitors want. It also assumes that
facilities. Visitor research can help to when done at the initial stage of a the concept developed is about
identify the intellectual and physical project, formative evaluation, when communicating with an audience and
aspects of meeting learners needs. conducted at the testing or pilot stage, that this communication should be a
Interpretation managers and gallery and summative evaluation, when the two-way process. Its an assumption
educators use research to become project is completed. that can be challenging to people
more informed about their audience, working in museums. Instead of
and to recognise the dynamics Greater understanding about who believing that the museum experience
involved in how visitors learn best, visits museums and why provides is a formal, didactic educational
so they can devise well-balanced, useful knowledge which museum model, based on the transmission of
relevant programmes. curators, interpreters and educators knowledge from expert to non-expert,
need to acquire when they are conducting visitor research indicates
Visitor research and programme planning and developing exhibitions. that the museum and its staff engage
evaluation are closely connected. The study of visitor research also in dialogue with their visitors, and
Both assist museum staff to know as makes clear which groups in the develop new projects in co-operation
much about their visitors and learners population are not represented in the with them.
as they do about exhibits and objects. research ndings, and who therefore
Visitor research is not a marketing needs to be the subject of specic Visitor research is a useful tool for
tool, although it sometimes uses outreach activities. internal or external advocacy, or for
methodologies that are quite similar fundraising for a future project. It
to market research. Its purpose is to Visitor research establishes a can draw from previous work and
learn more about the characteristics commitment to consultation and demonstrate how the museum has
and needs of those who choose to dialogue with visitors, in order assessed and learned from mistakes
visit museums, so that the resources to respond to their needs and and refocused according to ndings.
represented by museums can be preferences. It involves museum This can give condence that museum
38

The Visitor Research Cycle


(Diagram by Juliette Fritsch, Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

This cycle has been developed from the social sciences, It is always a good idea to revisit the questions, review the
predominantly by science museums. It applies scientic ndings, and start the process all over again. Within the
methodologies to understanding projects within the museum Victoria and Albert Museum the cycle is used for gallery
environment. The visitor research process is iterative. development projects, however it can be widely applied.






39

resources will be spent on successful, challenge colleagues assumptions audience advocates. Each device in
well thought out projects. As with the about the way we always do things. the development of the exhibition is
ndings derived from evaluation studies, If the research and evaluation throws developed with a particular audience
conducting visitor research means you up problems, or aspects of the and learning style in mind. The whole
should be much more knowledgeable museums work that are not really very strategy is informed by visitor
and convincing about your intended effective, then it implies change and research into learning theories and
audience and better able to justify the reorganisation in ways that require audience segmentation.
proposals you are making. commitment.

Visitor research makes it possible to The Victoria and Albert Museum 3.2 Evaluation
segment museum audiences into a (V&A), one of the largest and most
number of different groups. At the visited national museums in London, WHAT IS EVALUATION AND
Victoria and Albert Museum in London, conducted detailed visitor research to WHY DOES IT MATTER?
for example, visitors are divided into good effect in the development of the Evaluation is about gathering evidence to
the following categories: families, British Galleries, and is now using it in measure the value and quality of the work
students, schools, professionals in the the development of all new exhibitions. you are doing, so that you can show:
creative industries, individual adults
and groups, with corresponding needs, The visitor research used to develop What worked and why
likes and dislikes. the British Galleries at the V&A What didnt work and why
involved gallery educators, working What happened in the project
Detailed knowledge gained from with the concept team, to explore What was provided for those
accurate research also helps to different schools of learning theory, taking part
inform decision making, not simply in in relation to museum visiting. They What difference did it made to
relation to specic projects, but also were able to make good use of several individuals, groups, the museum,
to support evidence-based policy learning style theories to ensure that the wider community
making and strategic planning within different kinds of learners could nd What has been learned by
the wider museum. something relevant for themselves in participants, staff, volunteers,
the design and creation of the galleries. partners and the institution
However, visitor research is costly, How the money and other
both in money and staff time. When it At the V&A each new exhibition resources have been put to
is conducted as formative evaluation, involves a detailed process of concept good use
it adds to the time needed for development, involving gallery What you would do differently
project development. Findings can curators, interpreters, educators and next time
40

Evaluation involves more than just about the value of lifelong learning in Impact how your project has made
describing what happened. Its a way museums and galleries. a difference
of collecting evidence and analysing it
so that you can demonstrate to others Unexpected outcomes: positive
whether your project met or exceeded WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED? things which happened that hadnt
your expectations. Evaluation should relate closely to been expected
the aims and needs of the project
Evaluation prompts the educator and in question, and to its various Benets to individuals, groups, museums
the museum to reect on what has stakeholders participants, project and communities
or has not been achieved. It helps to staff, partners, managers, funders and
ensure that: the institution itself. In practice this Evidence of value for money.
means information and evidence about:
The project is behaving responsibly Evaluation requires the collection of
towards participants The number of people involved in the both quantitative and qualitative data.
project as participants
Resources are being used effectively Quantitative data is statistical: it
The work of the project team roles, involves the collecting of gures to
Learning is taking place in ways which meetings held, activities delivered show what did or didnt happen. A
improve, develop and sustain the project. typical method of quantitative enquiry
Participants views: what they have is a questionnaire with tick box or
The evidence gathered during learned or liked about the project; how multiple-choice answers. These
evaluation can be used for advocacy, the project has helped them individually, are structured and closed-choice
both inside and outside the museum, within their families or community and responses where the researcher, often
for example: the wider society the educator or project manager, has
already identied the potential data to
To convince your organisation to sustain The views of partners and other agencies be covered in answers and structured
and build on the work who had a special interest in the project it before collecting responses.
Quantitative work needs to involve a
To support new funding applications for Good practice: what has worked well signicant percentage of respondents,
similar work in order to ensure that the sample size
Constraints: areas where the project has is adequate to support the ndings.
To help change and challenge faced obstacles or barriers; problems
professional and public attitudes encountered and solutions found
In winter
41
Photo: Terho Aalto, Hameenlinna Art Museum, Hameenlinna
42

Qualitative data is about capturing What specic things do you want to Are there any changes that would
and understanding attitudes and ideas. achieve? improve how the project is working?
It asks semi-structured and open-
ended questions. Qualitative data is How will you identify success? How will you do things differently in
gathered in an open way: questions are the future?
asked with no prompting for possible
answers, and the respondent answers Collecting evidence Reporting and sharing
with no guidance from the researcher.
How will you collect the evidence Who will you tell about the project
Qualitative work can help to identify you need? and why?
potential intellectual barriers and
ways of overcoming them. It can also What methods of collecting evidence will How will you tell them?
provide the educator with quotable best suit the way you work?
quotes from satised participants. What will you tell them?
Qualitative data may involve a smaller When in the lifetime of the project
number of respondents than is will you use these methods?
needed for quantitative data, although WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
the larger the sample size the more Who will be involved in giving and Projects often get into difculty when
representative it will be. collecting the evidence? it comes to self-evaluation. Here are
some ideas on how to overcome it:
GETTING STARTED
You need to plan and budget for Analysing and interpreting the Planning the evaluation strategy in the
evaluation from the outset. You need evidence initial stages of the project, rather than
to know how you intend to evaluate thinking about it at the last minute
and what sorts of outcomes you will What does the evidence tell you?
look for. Its a good idea to have an Dening clear and achievable objectives
evaluation plan in place at the very Are there any changes you could make in to be evaluated
beginning of your project, using the how you are collecting evidence?
ve areas below as guidance: Agreeing who has responsibility for
specic areas of data collection
Planning Reecting and moving forward and reporting

Why are you doing this project? What can you learn from the evidence?
43

Agreeing reporting procedures and circumstances and needs. Tracking boards, music making, creative writing
developing effective methods of participants through the project and art work. They rely on activities
communication provides insight into their development, that are both enjoyable and substantial
progression and what happens when it comes to self-expression
Operating in an inclusive and when they leave. Simple internal and learning new skills, but they also
participatory way monitoring systems to record contact, provide the vehicle for individuals and
participation and individual outcomes; groups to express personal, emotional
Collecting accurate data and all provide evidence about different and thoughtful responses to their
interpreting it patterns of engagement over time. experiences of the project and to the
issues that concern them.
Ensuring that the nal report is produced The usual methods for collecting
and shared. evidence about different peoples GATHERING THE EVIDENCE
experiences of the project such as Try to build up as full a picture as
feedback forms, questionnaires and possible by gathering different kinds of
CHOOSING METHODS THAT surveys, focus groups, face-to-face evidence. For example:
ARE RIGHT FOR YOU and telephone interviews all provide
The best record of what your project is opportunities for those involved to Written and Spoken Evidence
achieving comes from a mixture of: talk about their experiences in their
own words. This means creating and Check out with participants how they
Ongoing (formative) evaluation and end analysing questionnaires, facilitating are feeling and what they are learning at
of project (summative) evaluation focus groups and conducting regular intervals throughout the project
interviews. It also means keeping a - keep a detailed record or recording of
Quantitative (facts and gures) and record of what people have said. what they say.
qualitative (feelings, experiences,
happenings) evidence If you are working with young people, Ask them to write a few things down
and others who might feel easily (anonymously if necessary) which they
Realistic and appropriate methods daunted by feedback forms, interviews think you ought to know including
that suit the values and size of your and questionnaires, there are various suggestions for changes or improvements.
organisation. other ways of collecting evidence that
help to capture hopes, experiences Encourage them to do the talking when
Facts and gures are essential: and feelings about projects: for it comes to making presentations or
for example, how many people example, the use of photo and video- attending meetings with partners and
are involved, age, gender, origins, diaries, blogs, grafti walls and story
44

funders so that a real sense of joint 3.3 Teamwork At the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam
endeavour is obvious. the creation of exhibitions is no longer
N.B. In Dutch the word presentation managed by curators but by a member
Include the words and voices of as applied to museums refers to of the presentation department, which
participants in all communications with exhibition planning with an educational brings together educators and project
the press and in all reports to funders or input or element managers (specialists in displays
other agencies. and exhibitions). Although the role
Exhibitions in museums have of project manager has been fairly
Ask partners and providers to give traditionally reected the viewpoint of common in the Netherlands for some
you written feedback from time to the curator, translated into a public time, this has added an important
time, detailing their perceptions of any friendly exhibition by the designer. In dimension by combining project
strengths and weaknesses. many cases the inuence of those management with interpretation.
who are knowledgeable in learning
Visual Evidence and learning styles (educators, The process at the Maritime Museum
presentation staff, cultural mediators starts with an idea. Anyone, inside
Keep a photographic record of activities and interpretation staff) is peripheral, or outside the museum, can submit
and achievements. Photos can show as their role is to write explanatory text a proposal for an exhibition. The
people doing things and relating to each or devise education programmes once management team (in which all heads
other, as well as providing a record of the overall concept and content have of departments are represented)
events and special occasions. Make sure been decided, without being able to makes an initial selection of ideas
that any photos are on display to reinforce inuence it from the beginning. for projects and sends them to the
group solidarity and a sense of belonging. presentation advice committee, which
To ensure that an exhibition is able has members from various disciplines:
The use of video and DVD cameras to to reach as many people as possible presentation, education, research and
record activities not only helps develop whether as an aesthetic, scientic, marketing and communications. The
technical and creative skills, the results historical or other experience it is of committee members assess proposals
can be useful for presentation purposes. vital importance to give those in the on the basis of their own professional
museum who are specialists in the expertise before making a joint
If words get in the way, ask participants to eld of learning a position of inuence recommendation. On the basis of their
paint their feelings on large sheets of paper in the project team, as an audience advice, the management team then
at various stages of the project. It can advocate or as the manager of the decides which ideas shall be realised
be fun and is a way of also getting them project team. This is what happens at as exhibitions.
talking about what they have experienced. the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam.
45

Once the programming has been lm, audio, evocative exhibits practices have evolved which make a
established, the management team etc. and work out the respective vital contribution to the educationally
appoints a project manager. He/she is details. The head of the technical rich, well thought out and attractive
directly responsible to the management services department is brought into nal result. By thinking carefully
team, which means that exhibition the picture when the rst design is about target groups and interpretive
projects are set up outside the usual presented. The project secretary techniques and by involving all the
line-management hierarchies. Project keeps a record of all meetings and necessary people at an early stage in
managers are able to act decisively and loans from external organisations. the process, the museum is able to
to work efciently but everything they The marketing and communications achieve a well-balanced exhibition, in
do is dependent on good teamwork. assistant is responsible for ensuring which education and the transfer of
that the intended target groups are information are integral components of
Project groups are made up of contacted as effectively as possible. the whole presentation.
colleagues with different professional The marketing and communications
disciplines. The project manager has department is responsible for selling NOTES FROM THE DIARY OF
two important tasks: the interpretation the exhibition and is assigned its own THE PROJECT MANAGER
of the content of an exhibition (how budget for this purpose. Dozens of round-bosomed women
to tell a story and for whom) and staring out at us (over page), gilded
leading the project group. The curator During the entire process, which mast tops reaching into the sky,
carries out research, recommends takes about a year on average, the man-sized gureheads and fearsome
museum objects and writes the texts project group meets at least ve lions... I am standing with a curator in
used in the exhibition. The project times to make decisions and share the stores of the Maritime Museum
manager and the curator, together information. The day-to-day work is Rotterdam and I am about to
with the exhibition designer, work carried out by members of the team embark on an assignment that the
intensively together from the start working together on the interpretation management team has given us:
of a project on the development methods, the educational programme, prepare an exhibition about ship
and detailing of the exhibition. The layout and lighting plans, promotion, decorations that should not only
involvement of the educator ensures loaned objects, a text plan, an event be about individual objects, but
that educational criteria inform the programme and the opening. The also the historical stories and with
exhibitions design. Educator and project is closed with an evaluation. plenty of room for anecdotes. After
project manager together devise the brainstorming and talking together
interpretive techniques for example, The Maritime Museum Rotterdam has at length, we have come up with an
hands-on exhibits, interactive built up years of experience of working interesting perspective for our story:
exhibits, computer programmes, in this way. In the process, working why do people decorate their ships?
46

There are four possible answers to organisation well informed about the 3.4 Partnership
this question: progress of the project
Successful organisations tend to be
to show who you are Have a plan and a schedule. Dont let those which are outward-looking with
to protect yourself from evil important deadlines slip a positive approach to partnership
to show how rich and powerful working. This is because partnerships,
you are Good communication within the project if developed effectively, can bring
to show how beautiful you are team is vital. Make it a priority enormous benets. They allow
organisations to:
We have found a basis for our story Lead with a positive attitude and
and can develop four themes for continue to inspire and motivate project Access skills and experience which they
the exhibition: identity, superstition/ team members do not have in house
belief, power and beauty. The themes
are also a fairly accurate reection Designers all have their own style. Explore different ways of
of modern society. Objects with a Change the designer if you want delivering services
decorative or ornamental function variation
are, after all, timeless - even though Pool resources and maximise investment
young people today prefer to say Plan project group meetings to coincide
blings and glams. But it does not with important steps in the exhibition Develop the skills base of their staff
matter if you are decorating a ship process
or wearing designer clothes - its all Find new outlets for their goods
about showing who you are! This Take stock of how you are doing as you and services
principle will also be used as a basis go along. Make any adjustments and
for the communication plan, which will changes before it is too late Make savings through joint procurement
start with an evocative title: STEM TO and delivery
STERN ships decoration from bow Make meetings efcient and short. Make
to stern. Weve made a start.! sure the necessary people are present. Share expertise and ideas
Communicate any decisions to the wider
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR project team Punch above their weight by acting
PROJECT MANAGERS in concert
Evaluate the process as well as the
Make sure you have the support of product. What have you learned? What Develop a more attractive offer to
museum managers and keep the whole will you do differently next time? potential users.
Dozens of round-bosomed women staring at us.
47
Photo: Fred Ernst, Maritime Museum, Rotterdam
What special exhibits should be used and for what purpose? A model ship is created with
48 decorations and built-in lights that visitors can switch on and off. This allows them to discover the
location of different types of ship decoration
Photo: Fred Ernst, Maritime Museum, Rotterdam
The special of a ships bow, inspired by well-known images from the lm Titanic, is designed
to make visitors think about their own identity: what kind of gurehead would I choose to be? 49
Visitors can choose a gurehead on the touch screen and see their own face appear in the picture.
They can take a photo of themselves as a gurehead, which they can also e-mail to a friend.
Photo: Fred Ernst, Maritime Museum, Rotterdam
Creating the exhibition shows how important it is to involve an educator from the very beginning.
50 Because decoration as a topic links up well with youth culture and various vocational educational
targets, it is decided to develop a workshop as part of the programme where visitors can see how
ship decorations are made.
Photo: Fred Ernst, Maritime Museum, Rotterdam
The designers are briefed about the proposed atmosphere of the exhibition and come up with an
idea: water is the element which binds the themes together, and also acts as a necessary barrier to 51
protect valuable gureheads and ornaments. Pieces of glass illuminated with blue light appear to
shine and sparkle like water. For safety reasons, the glass will have to be covered over. A solution
is found by using perforated metal sheets that can be laid over the glass.
Photo: Fred Ernst, Maritime Museum, Rotterdam
52

Museums which are keen to work the range and type of programmes all Establishing the outcomes which the
with a broad range of audiences, and these different groups need. partnership will deliver
in particular with hard to reach and
excluded groups, should build up This is where partnership comes Establishing clear guidance for how you
effective partnerships with youth and into its own, by offering specialist will work together
other social services, faith groups, knowledge and contact with
voluntary organisations, health care potential audiences. Good practice Agreeing roles and responsibilities
organisations, arts practitioners always involves developing working
and local businesses, to name relationships with representatives and Making sure you have adequate
but a few examples. Evaluation users themselves from non-traditional resources to support the work
reports of museum services should groups to help inform and shape the
demonstrate the range and breadth work which is being developed. Training staff to work together and to
of the partnerships the museum has share and develop their skills
formed, and how these add value to The UK Museums Libraries and
the museum offer. Archives Councils (MLA) best practice Allowing for regular sharing of
framework, Inspiring Learning for All information and ideas, progress reports,
Partnership is critical to all aspects of (ILFA), sees partnership as critical to and evaluation.
a museums work and is especially developing and delivering high quality
important for museum educators trying learning experiences for users and Not all partnerships should go on
to make contact with a wide cross provides a checklist and guidance forever. Some will, and should be,
section of people. In any one year a on developing and maintaining time limited designed to deliver a
museum education service might effective partnerships. certain set of outcomes and capable
be working with formal and informal of moving on to a different phase once
education providers, adult learners, The framework starts from the premise these have been accomplished.
refugees and asylum seekers, cultural that partnerships can only succeed
minorities, teachers, community where time is invested in: The ILFA framework provides a check
groups, pensioners, children with list for organisations to use in order
special educational needs, teenagers, Researching and investigating to understand both where they are in
single mothers, librarians, archivists, potential partners terms of partnership based working
people with disabilities or mental and guidance on how to make
health difculties. No single education Understanding their perspectives and partnerships more effective. The
department can employ enough needs and seeing how far these align guidance is based on the best practice
experienced staff to develop and run with your own which emerged from initial piloting.
53

Key questions for organisations to Identied how the work of partner Staff have participated in information
consider as they review their services, organisations will add value to your own and skills exchanges to widen
or start to think about developing new work? understanding and share good practice?
ones, include:
Reviewed, recorded and re-enforced the Partners are satised with working
Do you identify suitable partners and benets of working with partners and arrangements and your contribution to
evaluate the benets of working in the lessons learned? projects?
partnership to support learning?
Strategies in place for partners to give Partners can say what they have gained
Do you work with partners to plan and their views on the relevance and impact from working with you?
develop learning opportunities? of services
Users have beneted from your
Do you invite contributions from outside Acted on decisions to withdraw from partnership programmes?
the museum to broaden the range and unproductive partnerships?
appeal of learning opportunities? ILFA is based on the premise that
Secured additional funding for organisations need to be more
In relation to each of these areas ILFA partnership working reective about what they do; that
then asks a further series of questions they should be learning organisations
designed to encourage museums Identied ways of pooling resources, themselves as well as organisations
to explore in more detail whether skills and experiences which stimulate and support other
they are following best practice in peoples learning. Working in
terms of developing and maintaining Used your skills, resources and partnership with others is part of this
partnerships, how they know they collections to add value to others process, opening doors for staff to
are doing this and how they might learning initiatives? challenge and consider their own ways
demonstrate it to others. of working and to share knowledge,
Do you know whether skills and experience with others.
Some examples of relevant
questions are: Staff can describe the benets of
Have you partnership working in developing their n
own skills?
Identied a range of partners with ILFA:
whom you might work effectively? www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk
54

3.5 Outreach Widening participation and access Peripatetic delivering museum


to museums and museum learning activities in various organisational
Outreach is the term most often by engaging groups identied settings such as hostels, day centres,
used to describe making contact as economically, socially and/or homes for the elderly, hospitals, prisons.
with groups that do not routinely visit educationally disadvantaged.
museums and galleries, because of Detached outreach contacting
economic status, social exclusion, Working in informal and participative people outside of organisational settings
lack of condence, educational ways with people outside the museum. e.g. in streets, shopping centres, bars, at
and institutional barriers or general the school gates.
alienation from museums as relevant Mounting exhibitions and learning
cultural institutions. The implication opportunities in community locations. Domiciliary outreach visiting
of making cultural rights a central people in their own homes.
part of how you think about what Developing new exhibitions and
you do, is that provision should be learning programmes in response to the Distance learning providing on-line
made available to a much wider and identied need. services for people in rural and isolated
more diverse audience of visitors than locations or who are house-bound
currently participate in what museums Assisting community groups in because of physical impairments or
and galleries have to offer. developing their own exhibitions. disabilities.

In practice the concept outreach has a Providing community-based learning All of these are best used in partnership
number of related meanings and uses. activities as a stepping stone to museum- with educational outreach workers and
It can mean: based mainstream programmes. exiting organisations that have strong
roots in community settings.
Liaising and making contact with Training local people as volunteers,
community-based organisations guides, interpreters, audience advocates. In order to conduct outreach work
and groups. effectively, three essential ingredients
Museum outreach can be based on are necessary:
Raising awareness of existing museum different models. For example:
services and learning opportunities.
Satellite establishing exhibitions and
learning activities in xed community
locations.
Photo: Sue Parkins, NIACE
55
56

Organisational support and At the initial stage, outreach staff may Locate and negotiate the use of
commitment. The full commitment need to: detached premises for museum purposes.
and support of board and senior
management is essential for the Conduct local research and analyse the At the exhibition or programme
museum to position itself as a social resulting data delivery stage, outreach staff may
institution with outreach as one of its need to:
vital roles. Identify local networks and individuals
Work with museum colleagues to
Adequate resources. Outreach should Contact and negotiate with a range organise activities in response to
be supported by both short-term and of different agencies, groups and identied needs
more permanent funding the rst to individuals at both ofcial and
permit experimentation and innovation; grassroots levels Facilitate activities
the second to allow museums to build
established and sustained relationships Develop partnerships with local agencies Find resources to provide necessary
in communities where their presence can and other organisations support for participants such as
have a long term impact. transport costs, child-care, support for
Organise and administer meetings with people with disabilities
The right staff with the right disparate groups and organisations
skills: Outreach workers have to Evaluate progress and outcomes
accomplish a number of complex tasks Engage people, as individuals or in
which require a range of practical groups, in dialogue about their interests Monitor and evaluate the work and
and interpersonal skills. These may and priorities produce written reports.
be less to do with qualications than
with personal characteristics such as Offer information, advice and guidance Outreach workers need to have
good communication and listening on available opportunities and resources sensitivity; respect for others and
skills. The effectiveness of any outreach held at the museum the host communities; the ability to
endeavour ultimately depends on the listen and to convert what they hear
web of relationships which workers Identify learning interests and needs into constructive activity; the ability to
are able to establish in the community. and devise appropriate ways of adapt to different groups and different
Those involved in outreach are more meeting them situations and to react to widely differing
likely to be accepted when they have wants and needs. They also need to be
backgrounds and characteristics similar Broker activities between groups and able to work autonomously, sometimes
to those of the target groups. the museum in isolation, and to handle conict.
57

Staff development and training is the history of the location (based on between the museum and the local
essential to support outreach staff research done by the inhabitants) community are still strong, three
in their work, but also to enable years after the start of the project.
museum-based staff to benet from the ora and fauna in the park (with The close partnership has resulted in
the knowledge and expertise of loans from the museum). cultural objects associated with the
outreach staff when they are asked to newcomers becoming acquisitions for
respond to non-traditional audiences All of the outreach projects in the the museum, where they have formed
in museum and other settings. exhibition were held on location in the the basis for a new kind of exhibition.
central hall of the community centre One of these, My Veil (2006), was
CASE STUDY: EMPOWERING of Waspik. The exhibition resulted about the different ways in which
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY in a greater involvement by the local veils are worn by Muslim women. The
The Nature Museum (Natuurmuseum) community in the planning of the new exhibition attracted much attention
in Tilburg, the Netherlands, has as its city park, which also got its new name both from both old and new
aim to advance the knowledge and from the exhibition: Park Waspik. Amsterdammers.
the appreciation of nature, especially
in regard to the human being and his CASE STUDY: A VIRTUAL
or her natural and cultural habitat. In OUTREACH PROJECT n
this context the museum supports The website The memory of Oost (a
the development of exhibitions in quarter in Amsterdam where many Amsterdam Historical Museum:
local communities, organised by the immigrants live), is the initiative of www.geheugenvanoost.nl.
residents themselves. the Amsterdam Historical Museum.
The website has been created with
The museum offers organisational the support of many organisations
support, and lends showcases and and individuals living and working in
objects from the collection. The local Oost. The idea of the website is to
community itself chooses the subject combine all kinds of photographs and
of the exhibition. stories relating to Oost. Many of the
stories were set up as interviews in
One such exhibition was A Park in which locals interviewed each other.
Waspik, about the reconstruction of Hundreds of stories were the result.
a city park in Waspik, a community The people involved were invited
of the city of Waalwijk. The exhibition to special visits to the museum in
consisted of two elements: the centre of Amsterdam. The links (over page) Photo: Sue Parkins, NIACE
58

Section 4
Working with Diverse Adult 59

Audiences: Case studies and


good practice
Developing educational activities please see the resources section at behave quite differently from those
addressed to adults in museums the back of this publication, especially visiting with children.
means changing perspectives, the Collect & Share website, which
carrying out audience research, contains case studies searchable by HOW IMPORTANT ARE FAMILY
consulting with the participants, and a number of criteria including type of LEARNERS TO MUSEUMS?
addressing new visitors. Throughout group and country A survey among the museums of the
this process staff and the museum Dutch province of Gelderland (2002)
must be open to change and willing showed that 25% of the visitors came
to be challenged by innovative n with children under the age of 12. This
projects. In some new contexts, was an average in some museums
museum educators working with www.collectandshare.eu.com. it was even 30%, 50% and, in one
adult audiences say they often feel natural history museum, even 74%.
like learners themselves because of One-third of these visitors came from
the signicance attached to involving the neighbourhood.
participants, and the high degree of 4.1 Family Learning
creative thinking and innovation that A recent Italian survey provides
such initiatives entail. WHAT IS MEANT BY some useful data. The Fondazione
FAMILY LEARNING? Fitzcarraldo surveyed museum visitors
In this section, we present examples Family learning in museums denes in Lombardy in March 2004 and found
of projects developed by museums the family as any group of people that 24.2% of their sample visited
and addressed to adults, which of different generations who arrive with their own children or with nieces
demonstrate aspects of good practice together in the museum accompanied and nephews, and a further 11.6%
in a variety of settings. While by no by at least one child. The denition visited with relatives. They estimated
means exhaustive, they offer some is not conned to parents and their that overall, 25 - 30 % of the museum
insight into the work which can children, or to groups related by audience in the region of Lombardy
be done with adults in museums, bloodline, or even marriage, but to consisted of family groups. In some
drawing on the expertise of museum any multi-generational group. The contexts the percentage was even
practitioners across Europe. We have denition excludes school groups, higher. At the Museo della Storia
not been able to include all types of because they come to engage in a Naturale in Milan, for example, some
adult learning programmes here, and more formal type of learning. It also 40% of visitors arrived in family groups.
you may nd that a particular interest excludes couples and other all-adult
of yours has not been included. But family groups because they tend At roughly the same time as the
for further case studies and examples, to behave as groups of adults, and Lombardy survey, the Museums
60

Libraries and Archives Council in Britain and Galleries, is based on qualitative, for childrens learning, whether they
asked MORI to do a survey based in-depth focus group discussion with used them themselves or not.
on a sample of the whole of the UK children and their carers.
population, not just museum visitors, Family groups go to museums to
looking at among other things their They found that families usually went nd things out together, as a way of
museum visiting habits. Of this sample out together on holidays and at spending time with each other and
32% said they visited museums in weekends: sometimes children were doing something educational. This type
families. Those less afuent groups, motivated by following up school of learning is often described as social,
who do not usually visit museums, visits, but both adults and children or collaborative, learning. It cements
were far more likely to visit if they had were drawn to big themes or links with family relationships and relies on
children or grandchildren, and 45% television programmes. interaction among members. The family
of those with children said they were members spend time in conversation,
interested in science and technology. To attract families to museums the sharing what they know and what they
expectation that the visit will be fun nd out. They talk about what they
These few examples do not of course tell is crucial. The main success factor already know. The adults have a strong
the whole story but they do show that seems to be the provision of things to tendency to reinforce past experiences
inter-generational groups form around a do. Tactile experiences, drawing and and family history to develop a shared
quarter to a third of museum visitors, in making things, historical enactment understanding among family members.
the Netherlands, Italy and the UK. This and dramatic performance, computer- Their discussion tends to be close and
represents a very important proportion based activities, effective interactives personal, in that they talk about the
of museum visitors indeed, and is even and experiments are all cited as exhibits and use the labels, even reading
more signicant for museums of science important motivating factors that them together, sometimes out loud.
and natural science. encourage families to visit. Amazing
buildings and fascinating objects Sometimes conversation is less
WHAT ARE THE PARTICULAR are great draws and taking home a important than observing each other,
NEEDS OF FAMILY GROUPS? souvenir is usually part of the pleasure. and modelling each others behaviour,
In the mid 1990s Harris Qualitative on the use of an interactive device,
was commissioned to investigate the HOW DO FAMILY for example. Some intergenerational
needs and attitudes of children and GROUPS LEARN? groups, especially those with older
their accompanying parents when Surveys such as the MORI in the children, rely on modelling, splitting up
visiting museums and other places of UK indicate that all parents, from all for periods and only coming together
interest. Their work, published in 1997, academic or socio-economic groups, to talk occasionally. This demonstrates
Children as an audience for Museums regard museums as important places more independent forms of learning.
From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
61
Photo: Paolo Righi
62

What emerges from research is that Knowing what families would like to Providing intelligent and entertaining
the adults in the group facilitate the learn and taking this into account in the things to do. Wherever possible,
childrens learning. Families have a design of exhibitions. Museums cant interactive devices should be designed
culture of shared knowledge and the afford to ignore the requirements of so so that people can share the experience,
museum visit enriches their store of many of their visitors. and adults can guide children.
knowledge. Their conversations and Computers are always in demand but
discussion begin with prior knowledge Providing special activities and events activities need to provide enough space
and continue after their visit. The for family groups, particularly on for several people to gather round and
museum becomes an important part the weekends and during the school look together. It is unlikely that family
of the family learning experience. holidays. Family learning in museums is groups will be attracted by rows of
adult-led but child-oriented. Adults must glass cases.
It makes sense therefore that when feel able to make use of the available
adults feel at home in a museum, and resources to guide and stimulate the Investing in learning materials for adults
interested in its exhibits, they are more interest of their children. No other to use with children. Kits and packs
likely to transmit these feelings to the groups learn in this way and the offer families independence to learn
children and the family will learn more numbers involved merit special attention together by suggesting activities, games
as a result. Adults like to be offered and investment. and trails, and often doubling as things
activity kits or interactive exhibits and to take home. Even a simple list of
to feel condent in using them. When Offering families attractive prices for follow up questions to take home could
they do, they appear to facilitate entrance costs, education packs or deepen a familys learning experience by
deeper levels of learning. activity kits, and special events and stimulating further discussion about an
workshops. Is the restaurant or caf exhibition or a series of objects.
These emerging ndings are important family friendly? Does it offer a selection
as many museums are now investing of reasonably-priced food which children Providing knowledgeable and
in the provision of learning materials, will want to eat? friendly front-line staff and special
aimed at giving adults visiting with demonstrators to interact with families
children the means to facilitate Becoming more welcoming. Museums if they choose to take part. But some
group learning. should encourage social interaction, be care is needed here. It may not suit all
relaxed about noise and provide space families to have too many professionals
WHAT CAN MUSEUMS DO to move freely, sit down, and even to eat getting in the way of their own social
TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN a packed lunch or feed the baby. interaction with their children. There
VISITORS IN FAMILY GROUPS? are some excellent examples of manned
Good practice involves: object trolleys, storytelling, and roleplay
63

sessions, whereby skilled museum particularly addressed to their needs. people outside of the formal education
workers engage young visitors with their They often feel that museums are system, in particular beneting those
carers, but this usually takes the place not for them; they think of museums young people who are believed to be
of parental facilitation. More research is as places for younger or older disadvantaged, experiencing or at risk
needed to identify the particular needs visitors; and they often feel socially or of social exclusion.
of families in these types of interactions. intellectually intimidated by exhibits or
works of art, or even from entering the Among the questions which the
Providing high quality labelling, with building in the rst place. project has addressed are:
different levels and complexities of
information: from the simple to the GOOD PRACTICE IN WORKING How can museums engage young people
more in-depth. Label trails, whereby WITH YOUNG PEOPLE BASED ages 14-21 particularly those outside
children answer questions or nd items ON THE ENVISION RESEARCH of formal education?
or objects by reading the label help PROJECT
families and everyone else to enjoy the The Envision research project, What are the challenges and the
visit and appreciate the work more as co-ordinated by Engage (UK 2002 benets to the educator and the
well as learning together. Labels should - present), came about as a result cultural institution of involving young
be written avoiding the use of museum of signicant research reports people including those from so-called
jargon which only people who work in highlighting young peoples lack of disadvantaged backgrounds?
museums understand or need to know. involvement in cultural activity, the lack
of meaningful opportunities for young Envision aims to do more than simply
people in art museums, the value of run one-off projects or attract new
such activities in personal, social and audiences: working with a wide
4.2 Young People educational terms to young people range of young people outside of
where they did exist (in particular to formal education, the rst phase
Younger children enjoy visiting young people experiencing or at risk of envision promoted an action-
museums, both as part of a school of social exclusion because of a lack research approach which required
group and with families or other adults. of access to education, training or project leaders and partners to set
However young adults or young employment), and the lack of skills, out questions which they wished
people (aged between 14 and 25) expertise and understanding of young to investigate, and encouraged
show a sharp decline in museum- people within the arts, cultural and risk-taking in how they did this.
going: they are likely to be the least heritage sector. Envision was set up to Envision seeks to nd sustainable
represented age group in the museum, support the gallery sector to develop a ways of involving young people in
except where there are programmes culture of participation amongst young organisational review, consultation
From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
64
Photo: Tano dAmico
65

and decision-making to embed a A quick overview of three of the n


youth-friendly ethos at the heart of projects will give an idea of the
the institution. A distinctive feature of scope of envision: Visit the site at
envision is that it sets out to do more www.subcultures.org.
than involve young people in creative Connect 4 at the Royal Pump Rooms,
opportunities, but also to support Leamington Spa, sought to nd out Sample Arts at Ikon, Birmingham,
young people to inuence and shape how galleries can overcome barriers to wanted to nd out how they could work
cultural provision, creating genuine participation by young people and build with a partner youth organisation to
benets and relevance to their lives. long-term relationships within rural devise an effective process of working
The second phase of envision, due to networks. The venue initially planned with contemporary visual arts to engage
begin in 2007, will focus on training, to develop sustained partnerships and enhance the lives and skills of young
advice and support for projects in with local youth centres, engaging people. A two-phase project was devised:
sixteen venues, helping more cultural young people in consultation about in the rst phase a series of training
organisations to work with young gallery development leading to a young and skill-sharing sessions took place for
people by developing facilities and peoples exhibition which would be museum staff (education team and visitor
provision with a youth-friendly face, toured around local villages in a mobile assistants), artists, youth workers and
and by reviewing organisational bus. The nal project was re-planned young people enabling everyone to have
culture to commit to working with following difculties in establishing the a voice, communicate on an equal basis
young people. partnerships which had originally been and share skills, ideas and understanding
envisaged. A strong partnership with a of each others culture and expertise.
The rst phase of the envision research local skate club was formed and rather Through practical workshops and
project involved eight art museums than curate an exhibition to be toured facilitated discussions, young people, staff
working in partnership with youth around local villages, the group worked and youth workers developed technical,
agencies and professional artists. with an artist and designer to create personal and social skills, explored the
They collaborated with 150 hard their own website magazine highlighting exhibition programme and also the venue
to reach young people ages 14-21 local cultural places and opportunities itself. In the second phase the venue
from outside of formal mainstream for young people, essentially citing plans to create an interactive website
education. The young people were the Royal Pump Rooms within young targeted at youth workers and young
recruited from youth clubs, volunteer peoples local cultural networks. people. The website will aim to be an
agencies, social and health services, ongoing tool to disseminate information
sheltered accommodation, local and share good practice with other young
colleges, pupil referral units, school people, cultural organisations and
and neighbourhood drop-in centres. service providers.
The K 9 Card
66
Photo: Terho Aalto, Hameenlinna Art Museum, Hameenlinna
67

Creative Consultants at Manchester or through presentations to senior participants); some will be more deeply
Art Gallery investigated how art management at key intervals. entrenched within the organisation and
museums can become more inclusive may take much longer to address.
of young people, not just in the Involve colleagues and partners at all
education departments, but also across stages of project planning, delivery Ask and involve young people and also
the whole service. Through creative and follow-up for the widest possible the gatekeepers (those who work with
consultancy young people engaged in organisational impact. Give staff a young people or who are within their
an audit of Manchester Art Gallerys role to play including staff who dont sphere of inuence) at an early stage
work and produced a video report usually come into contact with young and throughout the project.
making recommendations to staff. The people in the course of their work and
young people then worked alongside staff who may have negative ideas Ensure that all staff are fully briefed,
the gallery team across different about young people. youth-friendly and do not jeopardize the
departments to curate a high-prole project. Remember to involve front of
exhibition called Disguise aimed at Involve staff from across the house staff.
audiences 16-25 years old. A report organisation in training and planning to
produced as part of this project has challenge current practice and develop a Sustainability and legacy what to
informed future strategy for the inclusion shared mission. do when the project has nished?
of young people at Manchester Art
Gallery, and the Creative Consultants Tackling barriers to young peoples Build legacy and a strategy for
group has continued to grow and has participation in museums: sustainability into the planning process,
been involved in delivering a wide range and be ready for new opportunities to
of projects and events at venue. Identify barriers during the planning occur during the project stage. This
stage. For example, is it the image of the might include new organisational
organisation, staff skills / attitudes, lack policies, increased commitment to young
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES of contact with young people or youth people or a young peoples steering /
Creating a youth-friendly agencies, relevance of the programme or consultation group.
organisational culture the space available to work with young
people? Identifying the barriers will help Dialogue with young people may be
Strong management support is crucial, you to devise strategies to overcome sustained via newsletters, website,
both for organisational learning and these. Some barriers will be relatively further partnerships, invitation to
change to take place. Build this into easy to overcome (for example basic museum events / openings, or a
project activities, either through direct comfort refreshments, comfortable volunteer programme.
managerial involvement in the project working area, welcoming greeting to the
From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
68
Photo: Isabella Balena
69

Links with youth agencies made Older people without the benets WORKING WITH OLDER
during the project can offer additional of good education and resources, ADULTS AND
opportunities and support to young however, may feel less at home in CONTEMPORARY ART
people after the project has nished. museums. Some might have mobility Early in 1991, as the Irish Museum
problems and feel deterred by crowds of Modern Art in Dublin (IMMA) was
and public transport. Museums as preparing to open to the public, a close
institutions may have a negative working relationship was established
4.3 Older Learners image, appear tiring, be associated with the St. Michaels Parish Active
with learned people, seem difcult to Retirement Association. This was in
In this publication we are dening reach, feel uninviting, have texts that keeping with the Museums intended
older people as anyone over the age are difcult to read and high entrance policy of involving the local community
of retirement depending on which fees. Museums that want to attract in the life and work of the Museum. It
country, this might be 60, 65 or 70 older, culturally inexperienced visitors also recognised the potential and role
years old. Thus older visitors include need to devise programmes which of older people in contemporary visual
both healthy, active and recently take account of their needs. culture. A group of older residents from
retired persons as well as more elderly the nearby area of Inchicore in Dublin
and possibly more frail members of This means providing enough rest had formed their Association at local
the community. stops, easy access, texts that are level as part of a nationwide network of
easily readable in terms of print size voluntary groups.
Older and more frequent museum and positioning. Programmes should
visitors are often from well educated provide social contact. Successful THE PROGRAMME
social groups. They are likely to be programmes with older learners have The work with older learners - as
familiar with museums and to feel included nostalgia, anecdotes or with all the education programmes
comfortable in the surroundings. reminiscence, demonstrations, living at IMMA - is an active learning
They may need to be pointed in the history, historic art, ceramics, local experience, involving three elements
direction of educational activities history, local costumes, and handicraft. of art education: making art; meeting
aimed at people with more leisure It is important not to stereotype older artists and discussing with them the
time, which they did not have time for learners or to assume they will not conceptual basis of their work; and
during their working lives. They often be interested in projects concerning looking at and responding to artworks
become enthusiastic life long modern or contemporary themes, as in the museums temporary exhibitions
learners, even when they are new to this example from the Irish Museum of and permanent collection.
museum education. Modern Art demonstrates.
70

Practical workshops take place in the learners worked with museum staff on acquisitions and donations, exhibitions
museums studios. In the workshops questions of interpretation. and exhibition-making. They then
the group involved is able to explore researched, selected and took part in
a range of art materials, tools and Every week for three months the the installation of the exhibition as well
techniques; explore their own ideas, group of older learners worked with as researching and writing the wall
values and interests to create work two artists in a series of practical texts and catalogue.
themselves; and benet from the workshops, exploring artworks
advice and teaching of artists who from the Museums permanent OLDER PEOPLE AS
help them move from an idea to a collection, using the same principles MEDIATORS
nished piece of work outlined above. They made their Older people regularly facilitate tours
own responses to selected artworks, of both their own work and in the
Each element provides a different focusing on responses that the work case above of the Come to the Edge
perspective from which to view and evoked for them. exhibition at IMMA. This respects their
engage with artworks and the world in role as advocates and champions, in
which art objects are created. Then they worked with the Senior ways that help to draw new audiences
Curator of the Collection and the to the Museum. The group members
In the early stages of a programme Educator / Curator to develop an nd the experience interesting and
with older adults it is often necessary understanding of the curatorial challenging and require the Museum to
to introduce basic art making skills, process, i.e. the identication of continue to nd ways to support them
using a broad range of art processes. exhibition themes and the selection of and keep them involved in
It is essential to make time for learning individual works from the Collection such activities.
and un-learning. Schooling might have to illustrate the chosen themes. They
been a negative experience for some also observed a group of teenagers OLDER PEOPLE AS
participants so they need time to build curating a show from the collection KEYWORKERS
up condence and develop new skills. called Somebodies - and met and Older people are also encouraged
exchanged learning with them. to become keyworkers or hosts at
OLDER ADULTS AS CURATORS the Museum in a variety of ways that
In 1998, an invitation was extended Through a series of weekly meetings, complement the role of the full time
to the St. Michaels group to curate discussions, tours of the exhibitions Museum staff. They are encouraged
an exhibition from the Museums on display and slide shows of works to contribute to conferences, thus
Permanent Collection, In preparation in storage, the members of the developing their role beyond the
for this exhibition, entitled, Come group explored ideas relating to gallery or studio. And as hosts to other
to the Edge, the group of older collections and collecting policies, older peoples groups visiting the
71

Museum they are a valuable ingredient always sought before any new direction OLDER LEARNERS AT THE
in a growing network. They also input or element is introduced. BRITISH MUSEUM
to the Museums National Programme The University of the Third Age (U3A)
which lends artworks from its The social element is a very high priority is a worldwide network of special
Collection in co-curated exhibitions throughout the programme. interests groups which encourage
throughout Ireland. Education people in their later years to take
initiatives are programmed in Learning about process, meeting artists part in education for its own sake.
each location. and using their own lived experiences No qualications are required to join
as a resource is a key element of the and no qualications are awarded. It
The key points arising from the work programme. originated in France in 1972, where it
with older learners at IMMA are: was closely linked to universities, but
Older peoples contact and involvement when it arrived in Britain it became
Projects need to be well structured with with contemporary art and artists is more of a self-help organisation,
plenty of time for development. essential to the exploration of new forms with most of the teaching supplied
of expression and personal creativity. It voluntarily by its students based on the
Budgeting needs to be realistic. contributes to the ongoing process of commitment to co-operative learning.
dealing with personal and social change It remains a voluntary organisation
The programme has evolved slowly, in society. running an impressive and diverse
always taking its cue from the older range of activities including language
people themselves and pacing the Enabling this kind of access to long classes, arts and crafts groups,
new elements in accordance with the term educational programmes, that are music appreciation, creative writing,
participants needs or stated wishes. learner-centred and which work with philosophy and bird watching. It has
learners on an equal footing has been some 153,000 members in the UK,
Ongoing evaluation takes place through essential in developing the museums organised across the country and run
group discussion at the end of each access beyond merely opening doors. by the participants themselves.
session when necessary, and always
after each period of sessions: i.e. the Expanding the Museums policy on In 2003 the rst British Museum / U3A
end of each term. exhibitions to incorporate artwork and Shared Learning project took place.
work with special interest groups like Fifteen older learners, aged from 50
Ongoing consultation takes place on an older learners has also been crucial to to 88 years, joined up to work with the
individual basis about individual learning this process. Lifelong Learning team on a research
needs and the groups consensus is project which lasted for ten weekly
sessions. Each member of the group
72

researched their own chosen object, WORKING WITH OLDER age. Be sure to speak clearly and have
using the Museum and the rest of the LEARNERS IN MUSEUMS magnifying glasses available.
group as their resource. Their research
resulted in a presentation to the Give plenty of time to the process: Older Photography or video: is recommended
rest of the group in the galleries and people tend to move more slowly, spend as an aide memoire and a visual
education centre. The presentations more time in conversation and enjoy document, as older people may have
were moving, funny, impressive and the social aspects of these interactions difculty in recalling the visit and linking
quite unique. The museum beneted enormously. Be aware of respecting the one event with the next.
greatly from the project in that dignity of older people and prepare new
museum staff learned a lot about how visitors for their rst visit suggesting The language and point size used in
older adults learn from objects, an that they might want to dress-up for labels, text panels and gallery guides
area of research in museum education the occasion, as older people are more should take into account the learners
which is not yet highly developed. often more formal in relation to visiting prior knowledge and need for visual
public buildings, especially if it is the clarity. If hand-outs are being provided
The Shared Learning Project is now rst visit. Suggest that overcoats are left avoid passing them out in advance of
an annual event, with a different on the bus if they are being dropped off the gallery visit, if individuals are using
group taking part each time. The and collected at the entrance as this will walking frames as they will need to keep
commitment to shared learning avoid having to make a separate trip to both hands free.
continues and is reected in activities the cloakroom.
that benet both the learners and the Lighting and oor surfaces should
museum; for example, the production Be aware of the process of ageing: The take into account those with physical
of a trail and exhibition, as well as the physical aspects of ageing means that difculties this is also good practice in
evaluation of displays in the galleries many older adults will need more time working with any audience as there may
and of the British Museums methods to move from one place in the gallery to be people with disabilities in any group.
of interpretation. another, and that adequate, comfortable
seating in galleries should be provided. Orientation at the beginning of a
Shared Learning Projects, involving If groups need to be split up to use the visit is essential and all housekeeping
the U3As network, now happen all lift and/or stairs to access another oor, arrangements should be covered before
over the United Kingdom, including arrange for a meeting point to reunite the content of the visit is outlined; be
the National Maritime Museum, The the group. They may need studio tools alert throughout the visit of potential
Royal Opera House and a regional and furniture adapted to make it more difculties that may arise with
project concerned with entertainment comfortable and appropriate. Sight physical access.
in Sussex. and hearing difculties accelerate with
Photo: Leicester Arts and Museum Service
73
74

4.4 Corporate groups The focus in this section is on the The results of their enquiries and the
independent corporate groups who direct experience at Kiasma provide
WHAT IS MEANT BY do not have a nancial or contractual the following information:
CORPORATE GROUPS? arrangement to be provided with an
Corporate groups can be dened as education activity. Most of the advice, In developing programmes for corporate
adult groups linked with business life however, can be applied to sponsor groups, museums have moved from a
or the private sector. The relation of groups as well. reactive to a proactive attitude. From
these groups to a museum or gallery simply responding to requests coming
can be of two different kinds: Corporate groups, although being a from the private sector, and adjusting
very special audience for museums, existing activities or workshops to the
They can belong to companies that are are nevertheless an adult audience in needs of this new audience, museums
the sponsors or business partners of the their own right, with particular learning are now designing, packaging and
museum/gallery. requirements and needs. Such actively marketing new sets of learning
groups are not made up exclusively of activities and products to the
They can be independent adult groups managers or directors, but can include corporate sector.
from a company that has no ofcial staff at all levels in the company:
relation to the organisation, but simply people who might not visit the Business groups, when visiting a
want to spend some time in the museum, museum if not within the context of a museum on an organised occasion,
doing some kind of cultural activity. collective activity with colleagues. expect to have a good and relaxing
In this sense, they can also be time with colleagues, rather than an
The most obvious difference regarded as new audiences and as educational experience. This doesnt
between the two types of group is adult learners. mean, however, that what they regard
the economic relationship with the as a social event cannot have an
museum: in the case of corporate WHAT IS DISTINCTIVE ABOUT educational impact, although in an
sponsors or business partners there CORPORATE AUDIENCES? enjoyable and entertaining way. It is just
may be a contractual arrangement The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary a matter of shaping the event in a way
requiring the museum to offer some Art in Helsinki has recently been active which takes into account the groups
sort of enrichment programme in developing activities addressed to specic agenda.
guided tours, family days, behind the the business sector. It has also carried
scenes tours, private views to out a small piece of research in some Being perceived mostly as a social
the employees. European museums, to see how event, the corporate groups visit to the
others were working with corporate museum usually requires a separate
groups as an adult, learning audience. space and the provision of food and
From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
75
Photo: Tano dAmico
Photo: Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Helsinki
76

drink. It is popular for corporate groups


to organise their own staff meetings or
training days in a museum environment
and connect it with a visit to the
exhibition. This calls for specic meeting
rooms and conference equipment,
especially audio-visual facilities. As
concerts or other performances are
also sometimes part of the package,
there can be the need for more hosting
and staff presence. It is often more
convenient to plan such visits after the
museums opening hours.

AN EXAMPLE FROM KIASMA


CONTEMPORARY ART
MUSEUM, HELSINKI
It had become evident that the
regular one-hour guided tours or two
to three-hour workshop sessions
were not meeting the need of the
corporate groups that visited Kiasma,
and wanted to have a break in their
working day or engage with art during
their visit. A new form of service was
developed for them: an activity tour
which combines elements from guided
tours and hands-on activities. The tour
is exible and can be used in varying
situations and time schedules. The
mediator uses a specially designed
box, which includes the necessary
77

material for the visit. It can be used What counts as culture is the others in this process of exchange and
in the meeting room or in the gallery, consequence of a dynamic process. It are able to exert greater inuence. But
and its main purpose is to trigger gives meaning and value to things and history teaches that national fortunes
observation and discussion. The ideas. People who have conditions, can wax and wane. American culture
sessions are built around themes circumstances and experiences in was not always the most powerful
which start with the basic questions common create a group culture. At the in global terms. The rapid economic
about contemporary art, for example same time, every individual belongs to transformation of China, and to some
the everyday materials used in art or several groups. Sometimes a person extent India, for example, is already
contemporary forms of portrait makes a choice to belong to a certain beginning to challenge the current
and landscape. group, for instance a professional pattern of western cultural domination.
group. One is born into other groups,
for example, family, nation, gender, or Intercultural contacts between people
4.5 Intercultural ethnicity. These aspects skin colour, with different cultural backgrounds
Learning race, sex, for example are xed. present experiences that are both
But they are imbued with different common and unique. Common
meanings in different contexts and experiences that involve nding shelter,
HERITAGE, CULTURE AND shaped according to ideas and working, social exchange, love and
IDENTITY values, custom and everyday practice. relationships, travelling, making music
Heritage, it is said, plays a role Individuals might be born female, for - all play a role in the life of people
in making people feel at home, example, but they learn their gender anywhere in the world. But the way
giving them a sense of place, and role from within their community. In they are conducted and experienced
of belonging to a place. Cultural different communities or eras, learned is everywhere shaped and given
heritage contains both the material roles can take very different cultural meaning by social and cultural
and immaterial remains of history. forms or meanings. difference.
Monuments, music, artefacts,
architecture, archives, landscapes, Over time all cultures change and INTERCULTURAL LEARNING
dance steps, oral histories, photos and develop through contact with Intercultural learning is a term used in
recipes are all part of it. Taken together other cultures. The characteristics various European countries, including
they are part of the cultural luggage of national cultures, together with the Netherlands, to describe work
that migrants carry with them, to be national languages and histories are with participants from minority racial,
both challenged and changed by what formed in the crucible of international ethnic and cultural backgrounds,
they nd in the new countries in which exchange, trade, war and migration. whose experiences may include racial
they settle. Some cultures are more powerful than discrimination or racial prejudice. It is
78

sometimes referred to as multi-cultural differences and similarities between and to place most of the responsibility
learning or diversity. people and groups. on migrants to adapt to the mores and
values of the settled majority.
However, just as people from the The aim of the project was to
same ethnic group can belong to recognise and acknowledge cultural The project helped to promote the
different cultural groups or sub- diversity in the heritage sector, while use of heritage places museums,
groups, one could say that every diversifying both public, staff and archives, archaeological sites and
open exchange of knowledge and programming of museums and monuments in order to learn more
life experience between two or more other heritage institutions. Subjects about the language and history
people is intercultural learning. such as Diversity marketing or of the Netherlands. The project
How to diversify the museum staff was developed through the close
Intercultural issues, immigration and were brought to the attention of cooperation between museum and
language learning, intolerance, racism professionals in the eld. In museum heritage education workers with
and discrimination, are challenges programming this concerns education, language teachers and learners.
faced by all European countries to presentation and collections.
a greater or lesser extent. As part Presentations and collections on Special learning packages were
of a dynamic and complex society, the history of migrants, colonialism, produced, each of which consisted
museums cannot ignore their role in all slavery and Islamic heritage were of three lessons: the rst and last to
of these issues, and especially in the promoted. An important pilot take place in the language school,
work they do with adult audiences. project on adult learning concerned the second to inform a site visit to a
the publication called History of museum, archive or heritage site. All
INTERCULTURAL our own surroundings. Museum the packages were published, with
PROGRAMMES and Heritage project for Dutch as a separate material for teachers and
A good example of intercultural second language learners. For those who wanted to
learning is to be found in the make their own packages, a short
Intercultural (Museum) Programmes The project preceded the point at manual was prepared to help them
(IP), funded by the Dutch Ministry which a (paid) citizenship course do so.
of Education, Culture and Science became compulsory for migrants in
in cooperation with the Netherlands the Netherlands after the events of LANGUAGE LEARNING IN
Museums Association between 9/11 in 2001. Government thinking at THE MUSEUM
1998 and 2004. Intercultural that time, as in many other European Museums can provide a rich resource
learning according to IP is based on countries, was tending to equate for learning a second language or
acknowledging and respecting the cultural integration with assimilation, developing skills in a rst. Objects,
Photo: MLA, Jonathan Goldberg
79
Assyriomania
80
Photo: British Museum, London
81

artworks and displays can trigger ws of journalism who, what, where, Other comments included:
immediate responses, memories when, why). The participants were The form of going together with
or cultural reference points to be encouraged to ask questions such as: learners of Dutch as a second
discussed or shared with another Why is this photo there? Do you know language was very special. I look at
learner, as illustrated by these two what this object is? them as if they dont know so much,
brief case studies. Museum educators but she had done a higher secondary
wishing to develop this type of work Both groups were very enthusiastic school than me. She could read very
should contact local teachers of adult about the intercultural encounter that well, just not speak.
language skills. the visit of the exhibit had brought them.
The teachers noticed individuals speak I have realised how difcult the Dutch
Peer to peer learning who normally would have been quiet in language is through her.
A special simple but very effective the class. A language learner wrote:
programme was experimented in the I really like the exhibit. It is interesting This experience clearly shows that
Netherlands House of Parliaments because for the rst time I hear and integration is and should be a two-
exhibition called Aletta Jacobs and see something about old habits in the sided process.
the longing for politics. Aletta Jacobs Netherlands. I like the contact with the
(1853-1929) was the rst female Dutch ladies, very interesting because English for Speakers of Other
medical doctor with a university degree I learned new words and another way Languages (ESOL) at the
and a famous suffrage ghter. It was of speaking. British Museum
a unique experience, but one that can English for Speakers of Other
be adapted by other museums. Two A rst-language Dutch speaker of the Languages (ESOL) is part of a British
groups of learners were involved: a womens group said: government strategy for supporting
Dutch womens self-guided learning It was nice to go with someone. He adults with literacy, language and
group that had existed for twenty was really surprised because I told numeracy difculties and for whom
years and a group of adult immigrant him that in my youth we couldnt wear English is not their mother tongue. Of
learners of the Dutch language that trousers as women and that married the estimated seven million adults in
were trained by a teacher in formal women were under the jurisdiction of the UK who have difculty with basic
adult education. Both groups arrived at their husbands, so that until the law skills, about one million of them have
the same moment. The only instruction changed in 1956 our signature was a rst language other than English.
they received was: go with one person invalid after marriage. He was very The learners come from settled ethnic
from the other group through the shocked by the fact that we werent communities; some are refugees
exhibit and talk about anything you allowed to live together outside and asylum seekers; increasingly
see and nd interesting using the ve of marriage. they are migrant workers from
82

Europe, with widely different GOOD PRACTICE FOR Science, algebra and mathematics are
educational backgrounds. MUSEUMS BASED ON THE inconceivable without the Islamic-Arab
NETHERLANDS EXPERIENCE world. For European countries with
ESOL is an important part of the Identity colonial pasts, the shared heritage of
British Museums social inclusion and See learners as complex individuals slavery and trade, for example, have
audience development work. Museum with signicant personal histories in very different meanings, depending
collections are used to promote the their own right. Avoid focusing on only on which side of the exchange your
skills of listening, speaking, reading one aspect of their identity. Remember ancestors experienced.
and writing English. Learners study that identity is multiple and dynamic.
world cultures, often their own, and The borders between cultures are Encounter
are able to learn through objects in a variable. Be sure that the use of words Use heritage as a source of
dedicated and stimulating environment. like we and them, our ancestors, intercultural exchange. Any artefact,
others, strangers do not exclude your building, or site can lead to the
The Museum organises approximately learners. Present yourself as someone exploration of universal themes like
45 tours a year for ESOL learners, who also has a history with your own housing, work, safety, care, play etc.
using the main collections and share of contradictions and conicts. Traces from the past carry multiple
sometimes special exhibitions. Space for your life history gives space meanings. Show your interest in
Each session lasts 90 minutes, and trust for learners to tell about their learners perspective and ideas.
starting in the Education Centre life histories. Respect their opinions. Try to ask
and then introducing learners to the open questions. What do you keep,
Enlightenment, Egyptian and Assyrian Content collect or take with you? What do you
Galleries. The session concludes in Use heritage to illustrate and explore think this object is? Why do you think
the African galleries with an emphasis intercultural exchange. Music - such this happened? Open questions lead
on contemporary art and further as jazz - is a result of the mixing of to talking. Try to avoid learners feeling
independent learning for those who diverse musical traditions. Some attacked by questions that carry a
are interested to continue. ESOL inventions or discoveries that seem negative judgment. Create and share
college tutors are also made welcome new in some parts of the world, were knowledge in empowering ways rather
and encouraged to make use of the already known in other parts. The than didactic ways.
museum with their students. Chinese and Koreans knew the art of
printing books, for example, before Surprise
Gutenberg discovered how to do Make space for learners to develop
it. New York already had a name their own interests and to exercise
before it was called New Amsterdam. initiative. On visits to cultural sites give
83

learners space and time to explore on the collectors as about the merits of Language
their own and plenty of time to think the selected objects. Pay extra attention to your use of
about any questions they might have. language. Dont use superuous
Imagery jargon. When you ask a question,
Emotion Double check any images. Who is encourage learners to answer rst in
Make sure there is a direct connection speaking? Who is acting? Who takes their mother tongue and then work
between what they are looking at or initiatives? It is quite likely that the together to construct responses in
handling, and the original. Let them historical source will reveal prejudice, the new language they are learning.
touch the archive paper, go to the racism or anti-semitism. Take time Encourage them to keep a record of
actual site of the monument, make an to explore and discuss how this the new words they are learning.
interview with eye-witnesses. works. Emphasise the contextual,
historical and changeable nature Legacy
Diversity of all ideas. Encourage learners to Leave a legacy from the visit in the
Look for diversity in the photos, recognise stereotyped ideas and to be museum, archive, monument or
lm and source materials you are critical about them. Try to counteract website. For instance, write a letter
using. Check which images you unsubstantiated personal opinion. to the archive about the visit, make a
use. Many will be racist, some will photographic record, or write in the
be culturally inappropriate. In time Pedagogy museums visitor book. With the prior
these can become a source of critical Present learners with clear aims permission of learners, invite the press
examination but not at the rst or and objectives for the programme. or radio to join you at the monument.
second meeting. Negotiate and Negotiate what they might want to Working towards leaving a legacy is
cooperate with migrant and minority learn and be clear about what you rewarding for both learners
learners, through their organisations, expect of them. Challenge them to and teachers.
on an equal basis. Build strong make choices. Try to be concrete.
partnerships with their representatives. Use different approaches. Recognise
the signicance of different learning
Remember that collections are merely styles. Involve artists, musicians and
selections of the period in which they drama specialists to vary the approach.
were collected, based on the ideas Encourage experiential and active
and concerns of the collectors. What learning rather than formal instruction.
is seen as important enough to keep Make use of all ve senses.
in a collection reveals as much about
the authority, inuence and power of
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4.6 Inclusive learning regulations, exhibitions that do not to socially excluded communities
reect the diversity of communities or and visitors.
Inclusive learning is a term used different learning styles, poor signage
by some museums to reect their so that people cannot easily nd Community ownership and
commitment to non-traditional their way around, absence of a sense community partnership. If social
approaches with a wide cross of ownership and involvement by inclusion policies are to be fully
section of audiences and learners. ordinary people, absence of adequate effective, it is vital that individuals and
It is intended as a counter to those facilities for people with disabilities and representatives of excluded groups are
institutional and educational practices physical impairments. involved in developing, implementing
that serve to reinforce exclusion. and evaluating the services provided.
Sustainability and long-term Establishing and maintaining these
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL resource issues. Short term projects links is time-consuming but every
EXCLUSION may provide some quick gains, but effort should be made to build
Social exclusion takes many forms. a more signicant contribution lies in upon community consultation and
It can be direct or indirect and can the development of a long-term social partnership.
involve whole groups as well as inclusion strategy to extend cultural
specic individuals. It is rooted in rights to currently excluded groups Responding to the ever-changing
the economic inequalities of social and communities. ICT environment. The arrival of
class, race and gender. But it also the information age means that
has physical dimensions to do with The need for cultural change museums have an important role to
disability and physical impairment, as within museums as institutions. play in developing a socially inclusive
well as geographical dimensions to Putting social inclusion and equal information strategy. Museums can
do with territory, distance and isolation. opportunities at the heart of museum be an important conduit for the
learning, rather than the periphery, creation of knowledge and sharing
The main challenges facing museums means forming alliances with the of information at local level, as well
with regard to social exclusion are: representatives of excluded groups as enabling users to be in direct
and challenging some of the more communication with museums across
Identifying and removing common traditional values and practices of the wider world via the internet.
institutional barriers such as museums. Cultural change can be
entrance fees that disadvantage those fostered through a combination of Integrating the work of museums
on low incomes, restricted opening staff training, staff development and with those of other services. The
hours, inappropriate staff attitudes staff support to raise awareness and social inclusion activities of museums
and behaviour, inappropriate rules and improve staff performance in relation should not be seen in isolation. They
85

will be most effective when they are encouraged to explore aspects of the Irish Museum of Modern Art
integrated with the work of other their lives and their experiences of and through their own networks in
agencies and organisations committed living in inner city Dublin and those Community Development. The artist,
to reducing social exclusion. of contemporary artists as evident Ailbhe Murphy, continued to work
in artwork that they experienced with other groups in collaborative
Demonstrating benets and in IMMAs galleries. The dialogue projects. And the museum now runs
outcomes. Museums can between the artist and the women a programme entitled Focus on ... for
demonstrate their commitment involved exploring their individual community groups which is based on
to widening participation and lives and discussing how artists, the model created by Unspoken Truths
strengthening social inclusion by; writers and poets also work through involving, on average, 20 different
a similar process to create cultural groups each year.
Setting targets for widening artefacts. Drawing on radical theories
participation in Community Development and Arts EXCLUDED AUDIENCES:
Identifying social inclusion Education, Unspoken Truths also OFFENDERS OR PRISONERS
objectives challenged the Museums policy on Rebibbia Nuovo Complesso
Creating performance indicators access and engagement. In 2004 the social co-operative
Evaluating, reviewing and Cecilia and Eccom (European
monitoring success Taking as its starting point the Centre for Cultural Organisation and
authority of working class womens Management) developed a training
From a theoretical viewpoint, it has lived experience, the project came course, nanced by the Province of
been inuenced by the thinking to life because of their commitment, Rome, for assistants in archaeological
of Paulo Freire, whose ideas were willingness and determination to excavations. The course was for
outlined in section 2. continue. An exhibition emerging ten offenders, aged 40 to 61 years
from the project was displayed in four old, who were inmates of Rebibbia
UNSPOKEN TRUTHS different venues across Ireland. The Nuovo Complesso, the biggest
A good example of Freires inuence women involved made presentations prison in Rome. The training course
on contemporary museum education at international conferences and a lasted eleven months and provided
is the Unspoken Truths project. The book and video documenting the 500 hours of training, through three
project was a collaboration between project were both published. modules: the History of the Ancient
the artist Ailbhe Murphy, two womens World; Methodologies and Techniques
community development projects, and When the project ended, the women of Archaeological Excavations; and
the Irish Museum of Modern Art in continued to be involved in projects Care of the Green Areas within
Dublin. Working class women were and programmes organised by Archaeological Sites. At the end of
86

the course, participants took an exam in the eld of cultural heritage at to archaeological and museological
and afterwards received a Diploma. In University; another one who is a work, as well as being active in the
addition Cecilia and Eccom wanted sailor and a diver of great experience storytelling process, enabling them
to assess the possibility of creating - is going to work as a guide for to communicate to other people what
a labour co-operative, to include archaeological diving tours all along they have learnt and discovered. In the
offenders, which could possibly the Mediterranean coasts. process of discovering the past, they
manage an archaeological area which unearthed fascinating links between
had been discovered within the The Antiquarium the past and present to do with
prison grounds. A natural evolution of the training slavery and migration, poverty and
course, and of the practical activities incarceration - which has led to have
The prison is situated along the Roman undertaken on the site, was suggested a deeper consciousness of common
road, Via Tiburtina and the whole area by the participants themselves, who roots and shared identity, as well as a
is extremely rich in archaeological sites wanted to share their knowledge with better understanding of historical and
related to the Roman period. Two years other offenders and all the people who personal development.
earlier, archaeologists had discovered for one reason or another came
within Rebibbia a Roman cemetery into the prison. They wanted to tell the ADULTS WITH LEARNING
and a water cistern, both dating from story of the objects and of the earliest DISABILITIES:
the I-III centuries A.D. In the cemetery origins of Rebibbia. The Amazing Rembrandts
there were 85 tombs containing human Exhibition at The Amstelkring
skeletons - mainly of young men - and The idea became reality when Museum, Our Lord in the Attic,
poor objects buried with the dead, the group started working at the Amsterdam
such as lamps, ceramics, glass bowls development of a permanent exhibition A group of adults with learning
and vases. As part of their course the of archaeological artefacts within disabilities visited the Rijksmuseum
offenders were able to clean and mark the prison. The display of objects where they came face to face with
these ancient objects. is accompanied by a storytelling Rembrandts wonderful paintings. The
process, in which the storytellers - encounter made a great impression.
The experience of the training supported by archaeologists, restorers Later, back in the studio, out came the
stimulated considerable enthusiasm and architects - are the offenders books of Rembrandt reproductions.
and knowledge among the themselves, and the story told is about Pens and brushes were taken up:
participants as well as doing wonders the history of a living part of Rome. the results were astounding. The
for their sense of self esteem and remarkable artists transformed
achievement. One of the men decided The offenders have learned Rembrandts masterpieces into
to continue his formal education technical skills and abilities related colourful paintings with a wholly
Girl in a Window
Artist: Piet Schopping 87
The painting has been made after seeing an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, and is inspired by
Rembrandt. With his own ery style the artist puts faces, copied from a magazine or book, onto
paper or canvas. He hardly talks, yet has a huge fascination for language, storing fragments of
text that he comes across in daily life in his head, later reworking them in paintings and drawings
which are powerful and direct.

personal slant. Forty-ve works were


selected for The Amazing Rembrandts,
an exhibition at Amsterdams
Amstelkring Museum, also known as
Our Lord in the Attic, a house from
Rembrandts own time containing
a secret church. The paintings are
poignant, touching, intense
and surprising.

This project differs from some


adult learning projects in that the
participants, adults with learning
disabilities, were all experienced
artists in their own right. They had
been trained as artists for many years
and had had exhibitions before. This
however was their rst exhibition in a
museum, where both critics and the
public considered them as real artists.
Therefore the inclusion in this case,
was the recognition and inclusion
of a group of artists in a museum
who had not before been regarded
as artists. Another form of inclusion
which occurred as a result of this
project was the inclusion of the visitors
who, through this kind of art, became
acquainted with a new form of art they
werent familiar with.
88

There are several ways to consider the 4.7 Case study: adult of Londoners who have not traditionally
project as an adult learning project: learning at the British thought of the British Museum as a
Museum place to go.
The participants, in this case adults with
learning disabilities, were so inspired The British Museum was one of the The course programme for adults was
by their visit and guided tour in the rst UK museums to appoint a Head also redeveloped. In partnership with
Rijksmuseum that they afterwards of Lifelong Learning. The remit was not Birkbeck University of London a unique
expressed themselves in their own only to continue the strong tradition set of courses was devised, World Arts
language art in such a way that it of adult education at the museum, and Artefacts, which reect the global
had museum-quality. but also, as the new title implied, to nature of the museums collections, a
develop new audiences and new ways recognition of different learning styles
The artists forged a strong link with the of promoting adult learning. and a commitment to learning from
museum, talked to journalists and gave objects. Part-time adult students can
them guided tours. This enriched the The existing education programme of sign up for one off practical courses such
experience beyond the initial visit and lectures, study days, gallery talks, etc., as Indian textiles or Arabic calligraphy.
artistic response. was rethought in order to position the These can be combined with historical
Museum as a centre of cultural debate and contextual studies of aspects of
By showing, celebrating, and validating connecting contemporary issues to world arts to build up a portfolio of
the work, the museum brought a totally the historical collections. For example: qualications leading to a degree.
different audience to the museum,
people that never had been to any The season of events supporting
museum, let alone to an art exhibition. Forgotten Empire, a major exhibition ADULT LEARNERS WEEK
Many of them worked in institutions on Ancient Persia, included a debate Adult Learners Weeks take place
for people with disabilities, or had in partnership with the Guardian in several European countries and
learning-disabled family members or newspaper entitled The unbroken can function as good catalysts to
had a learning disability themselves. arc: what ancient Persia tells us about design and stage new and innovative
The new audience became acquainted modern Iran. museum activities addressed to adults
with Rembrandts work and with the during the designated period.
Amstelkring Museum, both through the A strong programme of cultural events
'Amazing Rembrandts' exhibition and in including lm, literature, music and In the UK, Adult Learners Week is
the way the exhibition was set up. poetry makes connections between the an annual, national festival of adult
collections and the contemporary arts learning, organised by NIACE (the
and aims to appeal to a new generation national organisation for adult learning
89

in England and Wales). It involves table in the care of a Hands On The role of the Hands On volunteer
hundreds of thousands of learners volunteer. The purpose is to enable is crucial. As with guiding in
taking part in different learning visitors to have a direct and personal the galleries, it is a medium of
activities across the country, as well as experience of the museum through interpretation which offers social
events, publications, media coverage, touching and talking about the objects. contact, but is more interactive and
conferences and award ceremonies. Touching objects reveals something exible as the volunteers work with
extra about their qualities which is not the experiences and reactions of the
The British Museums participation in evident when they are behind glass - a visitor. The museum sees the training
Adult Learners Week typically starts Palaeolithic hand axe always prompts of volunteers (over 300 in total across
with an Open University Day at the a strong reaction, for example many aspects of the museums work)
Museum, inviting people to sign up as part of its adult learning mission.
for part-time programmes, through The thumb ts there, your ngers go The Hands On training for example is
a varied programme of talks and here and this ts in your palm. Its so a big commitment from both museum
activities which link Open University personalised, you held it in your hand staff and new recruits. It consist of ve
courses with specic museum and you used it Ive got small hands one day modules, run by the Learning
collections. Special family learning and it ts just there. You imagine Department and with the participation
activities are also scheduled to take youre in touch with the person that of curators and visitor services staff.
place during Adult Learners Week, to made it.
reect the signicant role that adults The Autobiographical Approach
play in their childrens learning when The programme is designed for visitors Cradle to Grave:
they visit the museum in family groups. of all ages, not just children. Object Whats Your Story?
This has included the opportunity handling is regarded as a tool of The Gallery of Living and Dying at the
to take part in drawing activities, critical analysis as well as a sensual British Museum, sponsored by the
try calligraphy and to watch artists and emotional experience. Wellcome Trust, shows how different
demonstrate their work in the public cultures, in different historical periods
courtyard of the Museum. Holding things used to be for kids, and contexts, have contributed to their
places like this when I was young, own health and wellbeing. Objects on
VOLUNTEERS FACILITATING guards tutting at you if you ever went display include a giant Easter Island
LEARNING: HANDS ON AT near anything. Its the rst time you statue from 1000 AD and a modern
THE BRITISH MUSEUM can see, feel and touch and it really sculptural interpretation of the Mexican
Every day, in very many of the galleries brings it home especially when the Day of the Dead.
of the British Museum, eight or so person says this is 350,000 years old,
small objects are placed on a handling it brings it alive.
90

Down the middle of the gallery is The small group taking part were
an installation Cradle to Grave recruited through open invitation in the
illustrates the medical journey of gallery and targeted publicity to health
one western man and woman, who centres, nursing schools and medical
are reckoned to consume about museums. The ideas underpinning
14,000 pills in the average course the project along with the artists, the
of their lifetime. The timelines of the access manager and a curator have
man and woman are illustrated with developed into an outreach arts
personal memorabilia, photographs project with a group of inmates in
and documents, documenting key Pentonville Prison.
moments in their lives. The installation
was created by a doctor, a textile The project was just one example of
artist and a video artist and attracts the many through which the museums
considerable attention and discussion. collections are related to the broad
threads of human experience health,
The museum recently invited the two religion, ageing and the aspirations
artists to run a workshop called Whats of adult learners to interpret and re-
Your Story? Participants worked interpret their culture and their lives.
with the artists to develop their own
versions of the journey, inspired by the It is also exemplary of a now not
installation. Those who signed up for infrequent autobiographical approach
the workshop were asked to bring the adopted with adults, consisting in
contents of their medicine cabinet, a using museum objects to trigger
selection from their photograph album reminiscence and encourage the re-
showing signicant life events, and any visiting of one owns personal story.
objects which they thought related to
their own health and wellbeing. With
the use of video and photography,
their creations became part of the
museum display.
African Gallery dancing
91
Photo: Benedict Johnson, British Museum, London
92

Section 5
The Museum 93

Environment
5.1 Why is environment n The use of multimedia and new
important? technologies.
www.collectandshare.eu.com
Adult learning in a museum can be under reports. The recognition of the importance of
the result of participation in structured teamwork in exhibition development.
educational activities or projects. It The importance of the environment
can also happen informally during to learning is also recognised in the Changing public and institutional views
a museum visit, as a result of free UK Museums Libraries and Archive and expectations of what a museum
interaction between individual visitors, Councils best practice framework should provide for its visitors.
objects, artworks or artefacts, and for access and education, Inspiring
the museum space itself. Adults Learning for All, where it refers to Based on research conducted by the
learn much on their own and this Places - Creating an inspiring and European Museum Forum, which,
means that museums, as places learning environment that since 1977 has inspected more than
of informal and individual learning, supports learning. 1600 museums to assess innovation
should strive to offer their visitors the for its European Museum of the Year
best possible conditions to support Award, here are some elements which
this learning process. The museum 5.2 Some elements to illustrate the evolution of the museum
environment plays an important role be considered environment in recent years, with a
in promoting understanding of the specic focus on exhibition and display
works, effectiveness in raising the The environment in European techniques. These are not meant to
intellectual curiosity of the users and museums has evolved quite be denitive because all museums are
involving them in a unique experience, signicantly in the last three decades, different. However, they should provide
rich in cultural and emotional values. due to a number of factors including: food for thought and discussion when
Visitors who feel physically comfortable, considering the museum environment
welcomed and orientated in museum The adoption of new materials and new and its impact on learning.
spaces will enjoy their visit more and technical devices which have proved
learn more as a result. essential in improving exhibition design
(for example, polycarbonates instead of
The relevance of this subject led the glass; plastic materials instead of wood).
European Museum Forum to devote Wharf
its 2005 Workshop to this theme, the Improved conservation techniques which Photo: The German Emigration Centre,
conclusions of which can be read on: have a direct impact on exhibition design. Bremerhaven
94

THE PHYSICAL COMFORT turn 180 and focus on elements on Similarly, an over-directed route
OF VISITORS display in different areas of the room. march through the museum can
It is often said that museum visitors actually prevent visitors discovering
vote with their feet, quite literally. In the same museum visitors can the treasures along the journey in their
Visiting a museum may well be exciting make use of a room equipped with own way and at their own pace.
and involving, but in physical terms, a bed complete with pillow, sheets
it is often tiring. Giving focussed and blankets, to be used by museum- THE CO-EXISTENCE OF OLD
attention to paintings or exhibits, goers if they feel tired, although the AND NEW
together with a lot of listening, walking, museum is not very large. Trying to make a museum a welcoming,
moving around and standing, makes communicative and learning-friendly
for a heady mix of concentrated VISITORS ORIENTATION place sometimes remains as wishful
intellectual and physical tension that Museum and gallery orientation and thinking, because of the restrictions
is not part of most peoples everyday signage caters for a wide variety of and limitations imposed by the
behaviour. Despite all efforts to age, social, national, cultural and building and also by the presence
make an exhibition interesting, or other special interest groups, and of old facilities and equipment which
to assemble the most important relies on a mix of audio, visual and might be regarded as museum pieces
masterpieces together in one gallery, digital aids to capture their attention. themselves.
the average visitor feels exhausted In addition, increasing museum
by the experience within about two awareness about how to welcome For example, old showcases which
hours. A welcoming museum tries to different learners, each with his or her display materials in a strictly taxonomic
minimise this effect by creating restful own combination of learning needs, order are seen as testimonies of the
areas including benches, chairs, and interests and styles, requires different museological approach of the 18th-
other opportunities to take a breather, kinds of communication existing 19th centuries.
despite the familiar limitations of side by side. If the implications are
design restrictions, space, re and well understood, and done well, the Changing the museum environment
safety regulations. results are unobtrusive but helpful for a temporary exhibition can be more
and effective. If they are done badly, successful, because it presents the
The National Museum of Iceland the proliferation of numbers, colours, opportunity to view the environment
recently introduced two interesting codes and keywords can make the afresh and to design a space
innovations: a bench equipped with use of competing narrative, symbols especially to complement the works.
a telephone receiver for listening to a and audio information seem over-
recorded text xed at one of the two complicated and counter-productive. Care needs to be taken when
extremities so that visitors can easily renovating parts of existing exhibits
Freud
95
Photo: Het Dolhuys Museum, Haarlem
96

through add-ons or the addition of although their impact on visitors is models attract visitors curiosity and
new elements to existing ones. Due not always predictable. Information may provide a sense of authenticity
consideration must be given to the new screens, such as touch screens, to the museum experience, despite
environment which is being created. whereby visitors can negotiate their the competition from more technically
way through icons to sources of sophisticated forms of virtual reality.
This process can result in clashes information, or narrative screens, Their strength lies in the fact that they
between the old and the new, which whereby different stories are relayed, are three dimensional, tangible and
may be aesthetically disturbing, or provide both individual and group big. They can be used to introduce a
just simply misleading, because learning opportunities. They can human element into displays of habitat,
the old element neutralises the be supplemented by video projectors machinery and transportation, or to
innovative drive of the new one. For that turn entire walls into large demonstrate how objects were used
example, why leave an old showcase talking surfaces. and experienced in the past.
crammed with objects and captions
next to a well-designed computer The Imperial War Museum in Models can be realistic, or evocative,
unit with touch screen, digital images Manchester, for example, has used or metaphysical - depending on the
and sounds, which can much more screens to great effect, projecting theme and purpose of the exhibition.
effectively give information about images into entire rooms in ways that Their use is a matter of taste, choice,
the artefacts? immerse visitors in a drama of sight resources, the technical ability of
and sound through which they can the designer and the philosophy of
SCREENS walk. This is achieved using a simple the museum. Realistic models are
Visual communication has moved slide projector rather than anything very expensive, but cheap versions
with the times. First cinema screens more sophisticated, illustrating the produce a cheap effect and can
were installed in the larger museums, importance of selecting the right tool damage the credibility of the museum
then televisions, videos and DVDs. old or new for the job. or the display. Metaphysical models
The widespread use of computers, are often more effective than realistic
made resource-rich by increasingly LIFE-SIZED MODELS ones if they are able to suggest a
sophisticated digital technology, is Life-sized models have a long history, special artistic or poetic dimension
now an important information and especially in natural history museums. to an exhibition. But if they are either
education tool in the museum. They went out of fashion for a while cheap or too intellectual they do not
when more minimalist approaches work well.
Screens connected to DVDs and to exhibition design became more
computers provide considerable common but they are currently
opportunities for communication, experiencing a revival. Life-sized
Wax models at the exhibition Bombings on Milan organised by the Historic Collections of the
City of Milan 97
Photo: Photographic Archive - Historic Collections of the City of Milan
98

INTRIGUING PRESENCES nowadays becoming more popular Adding signposting and other
Among the technological innovations and seem to be the future of this information for different visitors groups
introduced in the museums application, particularly for integration can be confusing. Look at all the signs
space, a special role is played by with the Internet. and symbols from a visitors point of
devices that are hard to categorise view. Are there too many or not enough?
but which include machines with Are there other solutions?
human-like behaviour and which 5.3 Creating a learning-
represent intriguing presences for friendly environment Use multimedia wisely and inventively:
visitors. These interventions may the most modern and sophisticated is
look like human beings or animals Here are a few things to think about: not always the best or most effective.
(animatronics), interacting with visitors First ask yourself, what is the purpose?
in the most realistic way, and even Consult with audiences to create an Then devise the best solutions for
engaging them in conversation if environment that suits their needs. your resources.
operated at distance by a skilled This may include opening times of the
operator. They may retain the museum, entry areas, seating and other Life-sized models can be an asset for
appearance of industrial artefacts, like rest areas, signage, disability access, and a presentation. But good models are
the robots which welcome you at the the types of interpretation or learning expensive whereas cheap, badly made,
Museum of Communication in Berlin resources provided. There are many models can spoil they effect. Models
playing football among themselves or ways to consult: by establishing a group should be in keeping with the rest of the
with the visitors. These devices are of audience advisors, by interviewing or exhibition both in content and design.
successfully replacing talking heads surveying existing audiences, by going
which were always a difcult to use outside of the museum to ask people Pay attention to the physical comfort of
technology, popular in the early 1990s, who dont attend what would entice your visitors: create enough rest areas, or
and consisting of projecting an image them to try it out, or by speaking with provide free, portable seats for visitors to
of a real person (a protagonist of common-interest users, such as visitors carry. Benches can also be combined with
history, for example) onto a model face. with physical disabilities. information: headsets, screens, written
information. But be aware of what is
Avatars have a different role: they are Assess the museum entrance and adequate to promote learning and what is
conceived as substitutes for guides, entrance hall as if you were a rst- time too much and overwhelming.
accompanying visitors in the museum visitor. Are the spaces inviting, is the
tour in different ways according to the entrance clearly marked, can even the
technology adopted or the philosophy inexperienced visitor nd his or her way
of the project. Virtual avatars are easily, are there seats?
99

5.4 A case study Attracting new audiences and educating cases, development of the theme and
wider, more demanding and better- visit involve another partner working
The importance of the environment informed visitors, by establishing with closely with museum staff.
is even more evident in those them a close and lasting relationship.
museums which are located in old Themes
buildings, palaces, historic houses, or Contributing to environmental education,
which include monuments or sites through programmes aimed at both The Baroque: The Queen refreshes
of industrial heritage as part of their children and adults. herself. This walk focuses on an aspect
collections, such as in the following of the social history of the Aqueduct and
example. Guided tours, when Creating forums for reection, dialogue the spirit of the Baroque by recreating a
designed in an innovative and involving and discussion of themes such as the journey undertaken by the Royal Family,
way for the visitors, are one way to environment, water, the historical the Court, and the common people
approach these very special artefacts. heritage, the Baroque and related through the guas Livres Aqueduct as
study elds. they travelled from Mafra to Queluz.
Museu da gua, Lisbon
The mission of the Museu da gua is to Adjusting the museums role to the Geology: Geo-Aqueduct. The springs
encourage visitors to be more aware of challenges posed by social change to of the Aqueduct and the Hydra-geology
protecting the environment and of the become more actively engaged with the of the Carenque-Caneas region, are
values inherent in Lisbons historical, concerns of contemporary society. the subject of this visit. A geological
documental, monumental and cultural approach to the Aqueduct, the Me de
heritage. The museum invites a Themed visits and cultural walks gua das Amoreiras and the Geology
wide variety of visitors to explore take place related to the Museums of Lisbon is pursued. These visits are
these concerns through educational, permanent and, where possible, organised in partnership with the
animation and cultural activities. temporary exhibitions. These may also Geology Department of the Faculdade
include other parts of the Museum, for de Cincias of the Universidade
The museum focuses on: example the Aqueduct. These themed de Lisboa.
visits for organised groups try to meet
Creating and supporting a dynamic a diverse range of interests and needs.
programme, with initiatives that meet Visitors discuss and learn, according
the interests of a wide variety of visitors to the route and the theme chosen by
and compete with the spread of other the learners. Visits can take place in
leisure activities. Portuguese or another language, and
are held throughout the year. In many
Cultural Walk Geo Aqueduct
100
Photo: Museu da gua, Lisbon
101

Symbolism: The Paths of Water. In Aesthetics: Paths of Light. This visit


collaboration with Quinta da Regaleira explores the aesthetic qualities of the
and Palcio de Queluz, the visitors are guas Livres Aqueduct, focusing on
invited to experience the element water contrasts: heat and cool, light and shade,
in its three dimensions: as an esoteric water and air.
symbol, in Quinta da Regaleira, as
divertissement in the gardens of Palcio History: Lisbon, the Aqueduct and
de Queluz and, as a moral value at the the Earthquake. This visit recreates
springs of the guas Livres Aqueduct. the route taken by Jcome Ratton, a
French trader living in Portugal in 1755,
Change through time: From the through the streets of the city to the
Patriarcal to the Chafariz do Vinho. safety of Alto da Cotovia, today know
The Water Museum in collaboration with as Garden of Principe Real. The route
the Chafariz do Vinho has renewed the also includes a stop at the guas Livres
journey that takes visitors through the Aqueduct where he saw, on his feet,
underground galleries from the Patriarcal the destruction of the city of Lisbon on
(Principe Real) to the Chafariz do Vinho 1 November 1755.
(Praa da Alegria). The Chafariz do Vinho
has been refurbished and adapted to its
new function as a wine tasting venue.

Ecology and Cultural Heritage:


From the Aqueduct to the Palcio
Marquus de Fronteira. Walking
across the majestic guas Livres
Aqueduct, over the Alcntara Valley,
visitors contemplate a panoramic view
of Lisbon before entering the Monsanto
Natural Park, one of Lisbons last havens.
Just before the journey comes to an end
(Over page) From the catalogue of the
the visitors are invited to appreciate the exhibition Gli occhi del pubblico (Bologna,
Church of S. Domingos de Benca and IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
the Palcio Marqus de Fronteira. Photo: Isabella Balena
102

Section 6
Training Implications 103

The changing social roles of museums, educational work: preparation, design Educational skills: Developing learning
with their increased emphasis on and planning, delivery, and evaluation. aims and objectives, identifying learning
visitor and learner-centred approaches, approaches, creating learning activities
has tremendous training implications Preparation and producing teaching and learning
for museum professional staff. Public materials.
policies concerned with widening Shaping ideas
participation, combating social Delivery
exclusion, improving intercultural Analysing context in relation to
understanding and promoting audience, subject matter and institution Staging and presenting events
cultural rights means that museum
professionals have to become as Doing background research in Conducting the related educational
knowledgeable about the wider world relation to collections, audience and activities.
and their potential audiences as they learning styles
are about their objects and exhibitions. Evaluation
They need a heightened awareness Networking and partnership
of the social and political context in development Monitoring and reviewing activities and
which these policies originate and events, both during and at the end of
have signicance. They also need to Planning exhibitions and events their existence.
understand the signicance of relating
exhibition content and interpretation Identifying training needs Measuring learning outcomes against
to the existing knowledge and set targets
background of prospective audiences, Securing appropriate staff development
and to realise that most audience opportunities. Researching partner and user
members will not have a specialist or satisfaction.
academic knowledge of the subject Design and planning
More specically, museum educators
Although experience and systems Organisational skills: designing involved in the informal provision of
differ widely across Europe, there is appropriate events, project management, lifelong learning in museums need
a good deal of shared understanding nancial planning, identifying and to be able to do a variety of different
and consensus about the four areas contacting potential audiences, and tasks. They must be able to:
in which competence is required scheduling.
when it comes to project planning and Devise and plan innovative educational
programmes and activities that
104

recognise the diverse needs of new and Devise, develop and evaluate the Evaluating the impact of learning on
different audiences education and learning strategy of their adults participating in museum activities
organisation
Work in partnership with audience Building networks with external partners,
and learner groups and/or their Contribute to, and help to shape, audiences, and peers, locally, regionally,
representatives in the planning, delivery the interpretative strategy of their nationally and internationally
and evaluation of activities organisation.
Managing change.
Identify current and potential audiences The emerging training needs for
and learners in ways that show museum and gallery educators are: Consequently the training programmes
understanding of their diverse needs devised for staff development
Having a working knowledge of adult purposes should equip museum
Provide opportunities for existing education theories and approaches educators to:
audiences or learners to explore ideas
and develop understanding relevant to Gaining insight into the social and Focus on learners: Innovations
their own needs and interests political factors which shape and concerned with outreach, access
constrain the experiences of learners and activity should start and proceed
Provide opportunities for new and in relation to the needs and to the
different audiences to represent and Developing programmes which help to material and cultural circumstances
develop their specic cultural concerns promote creative thinking skills of learners, rather than the needs and
requirements of institutions. Outreach,
Commission and produce educational Developing programmes for self-directed contact outside of the museum or
and resource materials to meet the learning gallery, needs to be taken seriously as
needs of diverse audiences the rst and most important point of
Communicating with adult audiences contact with non-traditional learners.
Create learning environments that are using innovative approaches and
accessible and user-friendly techniques Focus on the activity: How does the
knowledge of the art or collections
Evaluate the impact of learning activities Documenting projects and activities connect to the lived experience of
on audiences or learners effectively, for networking and learners? Dialogue and interactive
dissemination purposes and as part of teaching methods concerned with
reective evaluation developing creativity, problem-solving,
critical thinking and tolerant and
105

reective attitudes are much more Focus on research and


likely to enhance learning than didactic development: Training support
transmission. Information-giving for museum educators should
should respond to participants with aim to ensure that staff are as
different amounts of prior knowledge. knowledgeable and rigorous about
Some of the conventions and rituals participants as they are about their
of museum and gallery settings may exhibits and collections.
need to be modied and diversied in
order to welcome new participants.

Focus on partnership: Recognise


that widening participation to include
non-traditional audiences is common
to the concerns of both learning and
culture. Working in partnership with
educational providers, as well as with
the communities and associations that
represent the interests of learners, is
the best way to respond positively to
learners needs and interests. Working
in partnership should include the
development of shared staff training
and the development of opportunities
across institutional boundaries.

Focus on equal opportunities


and empowerment: Equal
opportunities and respect for
diversity and difference should be
at the centre of the museums work.
Regular consultation, dialogue and From the catalogue of the exhibition Gli occhi
collaboration should take place with del pubblico (Bologna, IBC-CLUEB, 2006)
the representatives of excluded groups. Photo: Tano dAmico
106

Section 7
Bibliography and 107

web sites

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112 Biographical notes

David Anderson is Director of Learning and Gallery Education, Kirsten project-managed the of Lisbon International Club, Advisor of Orensanz
Interpretation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Grundtvig 4 network, Collect & Share, promoting Foundation in NY, teacher of Communication and
London. lifelong learning in European museums. Patrimony at Lusofona University and author of several
Margaret O Brien is Head of Lifelong Learning at Rinske Jurgens has worked as a curator, designer articles in different areas of knowledge, namely
the British Museum, London. and educator in several Dutch museums. She is lifelong learning in museums, environment, culture and
now exhibition manager at the Maritime Museum published a book about political marketing.
Judi Caton is a researcher, writer and museum
consultant who after many years of working in museums Rotterdam (2001- ..) and she was responsible for Margherita Sani works at the Istituto Beni Culturali
in the UK is now based in Italy. She specialises in helping STEM TO STERN - ships decoration from bow to stern. of the Region Emilia Romagna where she is in charge
museums and museum workers to communicate better Kaija Kaitavuori is Head of Development, in of several innovative and special projects, EU funded
with the public, often through training. the Art Museum Development Department of the projects, training programmes for museum personnel,
Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki. Previously Head of both at regional and international level.
Cristina Da Milano is a researcher who is working
for Eccom, European Centre for Cultural Organisation education at the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, Dineke Stam is an historian, specialised in gender and
and Management. She specialises in museum and responsible for the educational programmes and diversity. In the Anne Frank House she was a curator of
communication and education with specic reference audience development work in the museum since its exhibitions, researcher and project manager education.
to the theme of culture as a means of social integration. opening in1987. From 2001 till 2004 she headed Intercultural
Hanneke Kempen has been working at the Programmes at the Netherlands Museum Association.
Martina De Luca carries out research projects
Maritime Museum Rotterdam for ten years. She Since 2004 she is an independent consultant for
on modern and contemporary visual arts, with
started as Coordinator Visitors Service, since the last Intercultural Museum and Heritage Projects.
special interest for public and social art. She has
been consultant for various Italian museums. She two years she switched to museum education. Jane Thompson is Principal Research Ofcer at
is President of Eccom (European Centre for Cultural Andrea Kieskamp started as freelance guest NIACE. She has worked in adult education for many
Organization and Management) and lectures in curator at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. Since years and has leadership responsibility at NIACE for
Economics of Cultural Heritage and Activities at the 1997 she works as an exhibition manager. Her learning in relation to Arts and Culture.
University of Tuscia. specialism is cultural diversity. She is focussing on Ineke van Klink was a museum educator for more
Helen ODonoghue has held the post of Senior script writing and is researching how to use this than 20 years. She spent the last twelve years working
Curator: Head of Education and Community within exhibitions. as an exhibition manager specialised in interpretation
Programmes at the Irish Museum of Modern Art Massimo Negri European Museum Forum Director, methods. Among many exhibitions, four big
(IMMA) since its founding in 1991. She has piloted, since 1983, member of the Jury of the European interactive childrens exhibitions were made by her.
designed and developed the framework for public Museum of the Year Award . Professor of Museology Annemarie Vels Heijn has worked in museum
access to all aspects of the Museums programmes. at the IULM Univeristy of Milan and at the M.A. in education for more than 25 years. She was director
She qualied in Fine Art, Painting, at the National Industrial Archaeology at the University of Padua. of presentation at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland. He is also Consultant to the Province of Milan for (1989-1998) and director of the Netherlands Museum
Juliette Fritsch is Head of Gallery Interpretation, museum programmes. Association (1998-2003). She now is an independent
Evaluation and Resources at the Victoria and Albert Carla Padr is Assistant Professor of Art Education museum adviser and publishes on museum subjects.
Museum, London. She has worked in visitor studies at the University of Barcelona. She has collaborated Amber Walls is currently Development Coordinator of
and researching interpretive techniques for several with a number of pieces of educational research, envision, engages pioneering programme supporting
years, previously at English Heritage and Historic including projects at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and galleries to develop youth-friendly practice. She has
Royal Palaces. Sites Gallery in Washington DC and the National worked in a variety of roles broadly encompassing
Kirsten Gibbs is a museum and gallery consultant. Museum of Catalan Art. gallery education and the arts in community
She offers project management, professional Margarida Ruas is the Director of the Water development contexts, and has specic expertise in
development, training, and specialist advice in the Museum in Lisbon, the President of APOREM engaging creatively with at risk young people.
eld of museum and gallery education, interpretation (Portuguese Association of Enterprises with Sue Wilkinson is Director of Learning,
and working with audiences. As Deputy Director Museums), National Correspondent for the European Access, Renaissance and the Regions at MLA
of engage, the UK-based National Association for Museum Forum, Member of TICCHI ,Consultant (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council), London