Children have individual learning styles, as discussed by imminent scholars. These are catered for through museums.
Museums in the UK are surrounded by extraordinary material and non-material cultural wealth. So it seems natural that they are used to educate schoolchildren.
When children visit a museum they naturally engage with language as they read displays and discuss exhibits with their peers, teachers and accompanying adults. When a school is utilising a guided visit children may be given a range of opportunities to work with practitioners. These may range from using the setting for artwork or creative writing to working ‘behind the scenes’.
In other words museums when used effectively offer great value to develop understanding as well as promote a sense of awe and wonder.
These intelligences are increasingly considered in classrooms today. However, a bias naturally remains towards linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Certainly, museums today appeal to children’s multiple intelligences, displaying values and spirits as well as more concrete artefacts. Children can achieve a real sense of how their culture has developed and continues to develop. They are no longer just places for pickling the past.
Museums help children to participate in enjoyable experiences and to connect with their feelings on an individual basis, whilst complimenting their other learning experiences, as no learning happens in isolation. The way in which museums link subjects together enables children to ‘see’ the whole picture. These are not the only scholars to have discussed and researched learning styles. I have selected just a few to illustrate how renowned and respected educational experts, with differing pedagogical views, have recognised the vital roles that museums play in learning.
Museums enable children to be active learners, using the styles that best suit them as individuals. They stimulate children to think about how and what they are learning by providing them with activity-based learning experiences.
In America millions of dollars were promised to museums, to upgrade their Internet services so students could “visit” the museums without leaving their classrooms.
Across Africa people are recognising the unique ability of museums to provide education and enjoyment in multi-dimensional ways to serve them not only as children but also as adults in a contemporary world.
By doing this the youth culture generates new models for programme development and design. These initiatives had the aim of enabling children to make more than one brief excursion to a museum in the course of their schooling. This as we shall see later is the aim in the South East Hub for our museums.
These resources will include new technology and have ICT links. Projects include Virtual Victorians for KS2 children, local history, as well as KS1, KS3 and KS4. Hampshire Museums also plan to develop science and technology programmes that would be beneficial for schools. Gosport is being updated to become a new ‘discovery centre’ that should prove very attractive to school aged children with the new, exciting services on offer, such as improved access. Personnel would be trained to have better skills giving them more confidence as well as learning to interact better with children. Museum staff will also be trained to deliver skills more creatively helping to facilitate learning. As a result programs should be delivered in a diverse manner A range of techniques would be piloted to improve communications with schools, including evaluation of new programmes.
Outreach provision would be reviewed, in particular consideration will be given to schools and children who are unable to visit museums through distance, economics or other practicalities. The solution to solving the problems of transport costs for schools is being investigated together with after school activities. Outreach services will also include professional development for teachers. A Good Practice Guide will be produced. This will show the value of museum learning as well as enabling dialogue with educational personnel. It will be updated through the web helping to overcome practical problems that teacher’s currently experience when planning visits to museums (health and safety, planning, administration). We are aiming to produce a teacher’s guide from the research into the Good Practice Guide. All of the above would be evaluated.
We would value any suggestions such as: ensuring that our educational programmes are continuously linked to the LEA’s main priorities that we are aware as far in advance as possible about focus weeks.
Information is available to provide schools with specific website addresses, advise about museums in the area and how museums can be used to help children to access the National Curriculum.
Here in the South East Hub museums are continually listening, seeing and enabling children to “do” so that children can develop their thinking skills and not just absorb facts.
Museums educating final_presentation
BY NICKY HIRST The Power of Museum Learning for School Age Children
What are some of these learning styles? LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
Vygotsky and Bruner <ul><li>Vygotsky and Bruner both believed in the importance of culture and cultural artefacts, in material and non-material forms, across all fields of human activity. </li></ul>Vygotsky
<ul><li>Vygotsky believed in the importance of language to inherit and transform culture but Bruner believed that the main purpose of language was to introduce children and adults to skills and methodologies of different subjects through observation and apprenticeship with practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>(Anderson, D., A Common Wealth: Museums in the learning age, 1999). </li></ul>
Gardner <ul><li>Gardner promoted the idea of seven multiple intelligences: </li></ul><ul><li>linguistic; </li></ul><ul><li>logical-mathematical; </li></ul><ul><li>spatial; </li></ul><ul><li>musical; </li></ul><ul><li>kinaesthetic; </li></ul><ul><li>inter-personal; and </li></ul><ul><li>naturalistic, </li></ul><ul><li>possibly with spiritual as an eighth. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Gardner advocated that all children should attend intensive museum programmes and he promoted the informal and contextualised environment of museums. </li></ul><ul><li>(Anderson, D., A Common Wealth: Museums in the Learning Age, 1999). </li></ul>
Goleman <ul><li>Goleman’s theory involved Emotional Intelligence, illustrating that emotions affect our ability to think and achieve success. </li></ul><ul><li>Museums naturally allow the visiting school child to experience feelings and emotions as they actively rather than passively learn. </li></ul>
That is the theory, but does this all work for the children using museums?
What does Active Learning Involve? <ul><ul><li>Input comes from multiple sources and senses: such as sounds, sight and touch. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The learning process involves interacting with other people and materials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Output involves producing a response or a solution. </li></ul></ul>
I think this is best illustrated by Dale’s Cone %
Museums all around the world have realised their role in education and are trying to embrace successful partnerships with educational establishments.
America Museums are valued and Edgar believed that they ‘ should be used to the fullest ’ and that ‘ they are potentially great tools’ for schools. He wanted museums enabled to become more active partners in education and to ‘ inspire young minds . '
In Australia, 2002, Dr Barbara Piscitelli noted that museums had to ensure children’s participation in the museum culture, as the museum’s central importance. Amongst the new initiatives in Australia were strategic alliances with educational institutions, transport authorities and youth organisations.
In England David Anderson stated that museums needed to make education their reason for being and in so doing museums would ‘reaffirm the purpose for which they were first created, and meet the challenge of the learning society which the United Kingdom is becoming’. (Anderson, D., A Common Wealth: Museums in the learning age, 1999).
Here in the South East Hub museums are implementing an effective plan that aims to work in partnership with schools.
So what are the developments for the South East Hub?
After consultation the following points were decided upon for action: <ul><li>New resources, especially themed cross-curricular activities will be developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel would be trained to have better skills. </li></ul><ul><li>A range of techniques would be piloted to improve communications with schools. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Outreach provision would be reviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>The Inspiring for All framework will be fully implemented by April 2006 in the South East. </li></ul><ul><li>Websites would be developed to promote museum activities. </li></ul><ul><li>A Good Practice Guide will be produced. </li></ul>
Where do we go from here? <ul><li>We would value any suggestions you have to strengthen the partnership between museums and local schools. </li></ul><ul><li>We would welcome representatives from the LEA to contribute to steering groups to help us to develop museum education programmes to best suit the requirements of the LEA, teachers and children in the South East Hub. </li></ul>
<ul><li>We would like schools to become increasingly aware that they can use museums for additional information that will make teaching more accessible to all the children in their class regardless of their preferred learning style. </li></ul>
In conclusion <ul><li>Museums redress the old Chinese proverb: </li></ul><ul><li>I hear and I forget; </li></ul><ul><li>I see and I remember; </li></ul><ul><li>I do and I understand. </li></ul>