Case Study Museum Learning Education Essay

This study investigates a figure of facets associating to the development of museum acquisition. To being with, the altering function of museums is traveling to be looked at paying mention to their history and new pedagogical thoughts. Second, the issue of museum support is traveling to be discussed in relation to the Generic Learning Outcomes and the National Curriculum. Museums provide the chance for greater societal inclusion ; this is traveling to be examined with mention to illustrations of good pattern by the museums themselves, in add-on to how schools use museums. Finally, museums provide a figure of benefits to instructors and kids which can be demonstrated by relevant research.

The Changing Role of Museums

Museums have a really long history jumping from what may be an unconditioned human desire to roll up and construe and holding discernable beginnings in big aggregations built up by persons and groups before the modern epoch. The word museum has classical beginnings. In its Grecian signifier, mouseion, it meant “ place of the Muses ” and designated a philosophical establishment or a topographic point of contemplation. Use of the Latin derivation, museum, appears to hold been restricted in Roman times chiefly to topographic points of philosophical treatment. By the seventeenth century ‘museum ‘ was being used in Europe to depict aggregations of wonders ; the thought of an establishment called a museum to continue and expose a aggregation to the populace was established in the eighteenth century. ( Lewis, 20 — )

Museums as we now know them belong to a really peculiar historical epoch, looking foremost in eighteenth century Europe. Public museums participated in what Fisher ( 1991 ) refers to as ‘democratisation of hoarded wealth ‘ which saw public museums make private hoarded wealth and colonial booty available to a mass audience. The democratization of hoarded wealth non merely transferred the hoarded wealths, but besides the leisure patterns of the wealthy to the in-between categories and finally the on the job category excessively. ( Henning, 2006 )

More late, new thoughts about civilization and society and new policy enterprises have challenged museums into rethinking their intents, to account for their public presentation and to redesign their teaching methods. Museums have been capable to countless calls to modernize and new ways of believing about media audiences have confirmed the dynamic character of the relationship between museums and their audiences, and the reading of aggregations is high on the precedences of most museums. ( Henning, 2006 ) ‘The function of museums is no longer limited to the preservation of objects, they besides have to portion and continuously re-explain them. ‘ ( Price, 2002 )

The originative re-imagining and reworking of the individuality of the museum is one feature of the post-museum. One of the cardinal dimensions of the lifting post-museum is a more refined apprehension of the multifaceted relationships between communicating, civilization and acquisition and individuality that will back up a new attack to museum audiences. A 2nd basic component is the publicity of a more classless and merely society which is linked to an credence of the thought that civilization works to stand for, reproduce and represent self-identities. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 )

Hooper-Greenhill ( 1994 ) states that:

“ In the past decennary tremendous alterations have taken topographic point in museums and galleries across the universe. The push of the displacement is clear – museums are altering from being inactive depots for artifacts into active acquisition environments for people ”

The new bombilation words in museum acquisition are ‘interactive ‘ and ‘hands-on ‘ .

As museums have restructured themselves for current times, their educational intents have become a major precedence and their educational proviso has increased. Since 1997, Government policies have indicated that instruction should hold a cardinal function in museums ( DCMS, 2000 ) . Education and acquisition has been prioritised in museums, nevertheless, the words ‘learning ‘ and ‘education ‘ are understood by persons in really different ways. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 )

In Britain, there has been a cardinal swing from the look ‘museum instruction ‘ to the phrase ‘museum acquisition ‘ and this symbolizes a major theoretical alteration in the manner the educational maps of museums are being understood. The usage of the word ‘learning ‘ specifies an enhanced focal point on the acquisition procedures and results of users, and a move off from believing about the museum and its educational bringing. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 )

Support and Education

With the reaching of the National Curriculum more museums were drawn into the partnership with instruction. However, larning is a continual procedure which frequently goes unnoticed. Education is cardinal to the function of museums today and they risk losing Government funding if they do non do proviso for educational usage. Hooper-Greenhill ( 2007 ) states that:

“ At the beginning of the twenty-first century, cultural administrations have to contend difficult for endurance in a political environment shaped by economic rationalism. An instrumental attack to civilization demands grounds of value for public financess, sponsorship and the proviso of resources. ”

National support programmes require museums to hold a closer relationship with schools and communities, every bit good as developing a partnership between local and regional museums. However, Government funding comes the with increased duty of supplying grounds of value for money by run intoing needed aims. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) Generic Learning Outcomes ( GLOs ) were introduced as wide classs that could be used to measure museums and their activities and for support intents when viing for support. The GLOs are split into five results ; Knowledge and Understanding, Skills, Attitudes and Values, Enjoyment, Inspiration and creativeness and Activity, Behaviour and Progression. ( MLA, 2008 )

Knowledge and understanding includes learning facts or information and developing an apprehension. Well-known information may take on a new relevancy or be understood in a new manner during a museum, archive or library visit. Knowledge can be attained through hearing, speaking, reading, looking and seeking things out in a practical manner. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) Here is an illustration of how this GLO can be supported:

‘I liked traveling down the mine because in the Victorian times they had to work a long manner down and they had a mashin [ machine ] that was 7 times louder than a drill ( Beamish ) ‘ ( MLA, 2008 )

Skills refer to cognize how to make something and the results result from the experience of making something. Skills can be approximately divided into cognitive/intellectual, societal, emotional and physical dimensions. Using the imaginativeness can besides be seen as a accomplishment, peculiarly when linked to empathy and creativeness. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) Here is an illustration of how this GLO can be supported:

“ I have learnt to look at the artifacts and reflect on why they are at that place and their importance ( Imperial War Museum ) ” ( MLA, 2008 )

Attitudes and values are an built-in portion of acquisition in both formal and informal environments. As new information is learned, attitudes to that information are developed. Visits to museums can ensue in a alteration in attitudes and the values that people hold. Hooper-Greenhill ( 2007 ) states that

‘With immature scholars, where attitudes can alter often and values are still to be steadfastly established, there are considerable chances to act upon their development. It is extremely possible that the effects on values and attitudes will non be evident in the short term ; and they may be organizing without the scholar ‘s witting consciousness. ‘

Here is an illustration of how this GLO can be supported:

Today I met an astonishing womanaˆ¦a female parent of eight. We stood and looked at Susan Hiller and Suzanne Lacy ‘s work and when she left I listened. The manner this adult female had talked so openly about her life, about her hurting, was echoed on the words in the Suzanne Lacy public presentation – my religion has been restored in the gallery as a resting topographic point, a site of treatment and duologue – a topographic point of acquisition ( Leeds Art Gallery ) . ( MLA, 2008 )

Enjoyment, inspiration and creativeness are truly of import in the acquisition procedure. When acquisition is gratifying, it is easier, and may sometimes take people by surprise. Visiting museums can ensue in originative and advanced ways of thought and making. ‘These are open-ended learning environments, where scholars can command the gait, way and focal point of their ain acquisition and can stay unfastened to new penetrations, connexions and relationships. ‘ ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) Where geographic expedition and experimentation can be offered, creativeness, inspiration and enjoyment may ensue. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) An illustration of how this GLO works in pattern:

“ About without exclusion the kids exhaustively enjoyed the twenty-four hours – one peculiarly difficult to delight pupil claiming it was the best trip he had of all time been on! It inspired some first-class recounts of the twenty-four hours motivating some to compose more than of all time achieved in category ( St John ‘s Museum Warwick ) ” ( MLA, 2008 )

Activity and behavior refers to actions – what people do. The things that people do, their actions and activities, are the consequence of their acquisition. Activity and behavior as larning results encompass the manner people balance and pull off their lives. Progression can be seen as a consequence of action that has achieved a alteration. ( Hooper-Greenhill, 2007 ) An illustration of this GLO in pattern:

It ‘s likely one of the most memorable hebdomads of the kids ‘s school life. They have learned a batch about their ain accomplishments and capablenesss. I have learned a batch about their capablenesss. This workshop brought out endowments which we do n’t ever see in the schoolroom. The accent on English, maths and scientific discipline agencies that we do n’t ever give adequate clip to countries of the kids ‘s characters ( Prescot Museum, Knowsley Borough ) . ( MLA, 2008 )

The National Curriculum has clear, defined larning aims. These make it comparatively easy for museum staff to associate exhibitions and gear resources towards the course of study outcomes. A survey carried out by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries ( RCMG ) day of the month? found that 94 % of primary and 87 % of secondary school visits were straight linked to the course of study and suggest that a course of study nexus must be present to warrant a visit. 51 % of these visits were said to be linked to history, nevertheless, an interdisciplinary attack with cross-curricula purposes is going more and more of import.

Social Inclusion

One of the biggest challenges that museums need to turn to in their community is societal inclusion and the authorities has lead a countrywide thrust to face this issue. Many people working in museums and galleries believe in the rule of societal inclusion. However, effectual and sustainable action needs leading, resources and committedness. The current substructure tends to deter or keep back those regulating organic structure members and professionals who are eager to see alteration. ( Resource, 2001 )

The Government has embodied its rules on societal inclusion into two policy paperss: Libraries, Museums, Galleries and Archives for All: Co-operating across the Sectors to Tackle Social Exclusion ( DCMS, 2001 ) and The Learning Power of Museums – A Vision for Museum Education ( DCMS, 2000 ) . It believes that the current proviso to turn to societal exclusion and instruction is non consistent and as a consequence they have identified a figure of cardinal ends that are critical to the ethos of all museums ; this is irrespective of their location, size or beginning. The chief aim is that ‘social inclusion should be mainstreamed as a policy precedence for all libraries, museums, galleries and archives ‘ . Other aims include taking for the widest possible entree to aggregations and cognition, and outreach / audience development, with outreach activities being seen as ‘an built-in portion of the function ‘ of museums and galleries. The policy aims besides refer to museums and galleries moving as ‘agents of societal alteration ‘ , through partnerships and undertakings concentrating on socially excluded people. ( DCMS, 2001:8 ) Although many museums and galleries have engaged with the societal inclusion docket, barely any have really mainstreamed societal inclusion as a policy precedence. ( Resource, 2001 )

One illustration of how museums tackle societal exclusion is go oning in Tyne and Wear. Tyne & A ; Wear Archives & A ; Museums ( 2007 ) believe that everyone should hold entree to their exhibitions, aggregations and programmes. ‘Museums are a great resource for any community group and the possibilities to work with us are eternal. ‘ This bunch of museums has an outreach squad who aim to work with a variets of groups in order to ‘bring museums to life for different audienced – whether in the musems or exterior at a locale to accommodate the group. ‘ Past undertakings with the outreach squads have work with looked-after immature people, culturally frogmans communities and disablement support groups to call but a few.

Another illustration of how museums help to get the better of issues of societal exclusion is straight linked to school usage. Research carried out by the Renaissance in the Region Study ( 2005 ) ( RR2 ) has found that the schools in countries of greatest want made up the greatest per centum of museum users. These visits were of great benefit to the kids as they were a new experience which was fresh and exciting. The kids from these schools were much less likely to see a museum out of school clip and would happen these visits more good than kids from more good off backgrounds.

This research besides states that the figure of particular schools utilizing museums was merely 12 % . However, ‘Museums are a antic acquisition chance for kids with SEN as they are full of objects ‘ ( Swift, 2009 ) The Museum of London began by supplying outreach programmes in schools for kids with SEN, but they provided so popular and good to the kids that they extended their services to include visits to the museum. When these Sessionss are evaluated by the instructors utilizing GLO questionnaires they score really extremely. ( Swift, 2009 )

Value of Museums to Teachers and Children

Findingss from surveies carried out by DCMS/DfES and RCMG ( 2007 ) found that instructors use museums for a assortment of grounds. First, larning outside of the schoolroom provides a wholly different larning experience for the kids which consequences in the cognition gained by managing artifacts etc. much more likely to be retained. When asked about the importance of the GLOs, enjoyment was the highest rated by both primary ( 81 % ) and Secondary ( 68 % ) instructors. The research besides found that instructors believe that museums inspire enjoyment and farther acquisition in all kids, including those classed as lower ability.

The same research besides investigates the kid ‘s position of museums. It was found that the content in the museums made a immense impact because it was unlike what they would usually see in their mundane lives ; the most memorable experiences tended to be big graduated table, old, hands-on, utilizing the medium of narrative and theater based experiences. 91-95 % of primary and 86 % of secondary kids expressed how much they had enjoyed their visit to a museum.


The function of a museum has changed dramatically over clip.