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Learning package learning environments


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Learning package learning environments provided by Aalto University ARTS (Helsinki).

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Learning package learning environments

  1. 1. Exhibitions as Learning EnvironmentsGallery Education and Museum PedagogyDesign EducationLearning Resources in ExhibitionsLearning in the Tango Exhibition?Links References and Further Reading
  2. 2. Exhibitions as Learning Environments This package gives you an overview of learning in exhibitions. Under each header, you will find a definition or a shortExhibitions explanatory paragraph followed by links that help you to develop a deeper understanding of the issue at hand.Open Learning EnvironmentsLearningLifelong LearningDifferent Learning StylesModes of Learning in Exhibitions -
  3. 3. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Exhibitions are public displays of works of art or other items of interest that are held in an art gallery, museum orExhibitions some other context, depending on the type of exhibition. Exhibits can be constructed around a certain theme, specific artist or designer, or some other chosen factor.Open Learning Environments TANGO is an international design exhibition concerning intergenerational dialogue and sustainable everyday, whichLearning encourages visitor participation by interactive engagement.Lifelong LearningDifferent Learning StylesModes of Learning in Exhibitions -
  4. 4. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Exhibitions have a long tradition as forums for learning. Historically, the aims accorded to exhibitions haveExhibitions varied from civilizing and educating audiences to, most recently, providing them with open-ended and participatory learning opportunities.Open Learning Environments Nowadays, the guiding light in exhibition-making is theLearning idea of lifelong learning, for which exhibitions are seen to offer ideal settings. In contrast to schools, exhibitions are open and informal learning environments, where noLifelong Learning measurements or accreditations have to take place.Different Learning StylesModes of Learning in Exhibitions -
  5. 5. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Here is one of many possible definitions for learning, by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA):Exhibitions – Learning is a process of active engagement with experience. – It is what people do when they want to make sense of theOpen Learning Environments world. – It may involve the development or deepening of skills,Learning knowledge, understanding, values, ideas and feelings.Lifelong Learning – Effective learning leads to change, development and the desire to learn more.Different Learning Styles Read more: of Learning in Exhibitions -
  6. 6. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Lifelong learning is a key concept in today’s gallery education and museum pedagogy. According to the definition given by the European Commission,Exhibitions lifelong learning encompasses “all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within aOpen Learning Environments personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective”.Learning Learning happens in various contexts in everyday life, often informally and in diverse ways, including interaction with other people. Instead of knowledge transfer, lifelong learning refers to individuals actively broadening their skills,Lifelong Learning values, and attitudes. Lifelong learning enlarges the focus of museum pedagogy, gallery andDifferent Learning Styles design education from their most common targets – children and adolescent audiences – to enrich adult visitors’ exhibition experiences.Modes of Learning in Exhibitions In the NEMO (the Network of European Museum Organisations) website you can read more about lifelong learning within exhibitions: -
  7. 7. Exhibitions as Learning EnvironmentsExhibitions Learning styles vary from person to person: some prefer to learn by looking and watching, some by listening, others by doing and experimenting with their hands. However, people often mix all three approaches in theirOpen Learning Environments learning processes. The key point is that there are many types of intelligence, each as valuableLearning as the next, and to be able to address diverse audiences, using different types of educational resources is recommended.Lifelong Learning Here you can do a little test to find out about your preferred learning style: Learning StylesModes of Learning in Exhibitions -
  8. 8. Exhibitions as Learning Environments According to NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organisations, exhibitions can provide a diverse range of learning opportunities:Exhibitions Formal Learning (conscious and goal-oriented learning): Resources for learning are connected to an exhibition as part of a structuredOpen Learning Environments course that leads to a qualification of some kind. Non-formal Learning (non-goal-oriented learning):Learning Settings for learning are structured but are not measured or accredited. In an exhibition this can mean attending a guided tour, a workshop, a talk, a lecture, a reading circle, or a seminar.Lifelong Learning Informal Learning (subconscious learning): Learning occurs outside of structured contexts and not necessarilyDifferent Learning Styles intentionally. For instance, many adult visitors explore exhibitions by themselves, without any set agenda for learning. Still they might get a lot out of the experience.Modes of Learning in Exhibitions -
  9. 9. Adult Workshop at the Design Museum, Helsinki.Image Courtesy of the Design Museum. -
  10. 10. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Gallery education and museum pedagogy are the most commonly used terms for activities related to learning inGallery Education and Museum Pedagogy exhibitions. A diverse range of both informal and formal learning can take place within the settings provided by exhibitions: opportunities vary from specific subject learning to more open-Participatory Exhibitions ended processes. The use of various participatory practices is one way to encourage visitor exploration. By allowing people to engage with the contents of an exhibition, creative thinking and actions can be promoted. By implementing both fresh ideas and good practices within gallery education and museum pedagogy, exhibitions can be regarded as inspiring learning sites for various kinds of audiences. -
  11. 11. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Participatory exhibitions open up possibilities for visitors to interactively engage with the displayed content. Instead of, or in addition to, finalized objects, the contents can consist of social processes in which people canGallery Education and Museum Pedagogy take part. These types of exhibitions can become forums for active exchange of ideas and experiences.Participatory Exhibitions Activities carried out within exhibitions can even aim to combat social exclusion, educate on active citizenship, promote intergenerational and intercultural dialogue, and contribute to participants’ wellbeing and personal development. Through an approach that encourages participation, the TANGO exhibition can spark new ideas related to visitors’ social, cultural, and physical environment, provoke creative and critical thinking, and even inspire the audiences to take positive action within different spheres of their own living environment. Case Examples: The Museum 2.0 blog explores participatory museum experiences and ways that social web philosophies can be applied in museum design. The blogger, Nina Simon, is the Executive Director of the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz and author of the book Participatory Museum. A link to the blog: An online version of the book: Simon, N. (2010). The Participatory Museum. Santa Cruz: Museum 2.0 -
  12. 12. Children’s Workshop “Esa ja esineet”at the Design Museum, Helsinki. -Image Courtesy of the Design Museum.
  13. 13. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Everyday life with its different experiences and material environments provides the starting point for design education. ItDesign Education guides the participants in recognizing and articulating their own experiences. The most important goal is to open up and deepen the participants’ relationship with their own living environment: to encourage them to find new meanings related to their surroundings and connect with them in new ways. (See Vira, 2004, 20.) Although design is constantly present in our lives, its meanings reach beyond the everyday. Design education opens up new ways to observe our physical and social environment. It explores and experiments, focusing on the relationship between people and their surroundings and trying to provide tools for critical, ethical, and ecological thinking – but also for enjoying the aesthetic pleasure that our environment can provide us. It also aims to deepen our understanding of the central elements in design processes: creative thinking, problem-solving, and artistic expression. In the TANGO exhibition design education can open up new perspectives on the possibilities for intergenerational dialogue in our everyday environment. -
  14. 14. Workshop “Avoin kuva” at the DesignMuseum, Helsinki. Image Courtesy of theDesign Museum. -
  15. 15. Exhibitions as Learning Environments In this chapter you will find information on variousLearning Resources in Exhibitions learning resources that exhibitions can provide.Inspiring InfographyPublicationsGuided ToursWorkshopsSide ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  16. 16. Exhibitions as Learning Environments For individual visitors who explore the exhibition by themselves, informative and inspiring wall texts, signs, and infograms thatLearning Resources in Exhibitions visualize data are especially useful.Inspiring Infography Various printed or digital information materials (info brochures, interactive info screens, exhibition website, etc.) complete the exhibition experience.PublicationsGuided ToursWorkshopsSide ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  17. 17. Exhibitions as Learning Environments An exhibition can have an official catalogue that deepens and broadens its content by going into details. More informal typesLearning Resources in Exhibitions of publications such as magazines or very informal `zines´ are also common ways to open up new viewpoints on the exhibition, and they provide the possibility to expand its timeInspiring Infography span by contributing to its documentation and collective remembering.Publications Publications do not necessarily have to be printed; they can also be in audiovisual or other type of format.Guided ToursWorkshopsSide ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  18. 18. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Different types of guided tours are probably the most traditional way to open up exhibitions to audiences. Typically, the guide leads the visitors through the exhibition, presenting information about it to them. Today,Learning Resources in Exhibitions more participatory forms of guidance tend to be favoured: for instance, the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma offers tours whereInspiring Infography visitors can give a `thumbs up´ or down on the exhibited artworks. This is one way people’s own reactions, emotions, and experiences can be brought into the discussion.Publications Another option is to have an approachable person present in the exhibition space. For example, the Museum of South Carelia has offeredGuided Tours the possibility to discuss its exhibitions with their recruited “museum grannies and grandpas”. Audio or mobile application guides and podcasts are gaining more and more popularity among museums andWorkshops museum-goers. They offer an easy way to tailor different guided tours to different needs. They can go into the smallest detail and for visitors with visual impairments they can be a great way to make theSide Programmes exhibition come alive.Spatial and Technological Solutions See – and hear – how MoMa’s collections and exhibitions can be enjoyed via different multi-lingual audio guides, podcasts, and other audio formats: -
  19. 19. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Working with one’s hands can be a great way to understand and learn: guided tours can be combined with workshops toLearning Resources in Exhibitions introduce various aspects of the exhibition to visitors through participation. The workshops are closely related to certain themes or works in the exhibition, and they are usually tailoredInspiring Infography according to participants’ needs, knowledge and previous experience.Publications Case Example: Design Studio – Finnish Design Museum’s workshops for different audiences:Guided Tours ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  20. 20. Exhibitions as Learning EnvironmentsLearning Resources in Exhibitions Often exhibitions have a side programme consisting of lectures,Inspiring Infography seminars, talks, reading circles, interventions (by invited artists, performers, etc.) or other events related to its themes.PublicationsGuided ToursWorkshopsSide ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  21. 21. Exhibitions as Learning EnvironmentsLearning Resources in Exhibitions Exhibition architecture, design and modes of display can encourage learning. New and developing interactive exhibition technologies take visitor experiences to another level. DesigningInspiring Infography spaces for visitor interaction and recreation can be conducive to sharing experiences and learning.Publications There surely are opportunities for completely new solutions – Could you come up with some of your own?Guided ToursWorkshopsSide ProgrammesSpatial and Technological Solutions -
  22. 22. Children’s Workshop “Esa ja esineet”at the Design Museum, Helsinki.Image Courtesy of the Design Museum. -
  23. 23. Exhibitions as Learning Environments Questions for you: – What kinds of possibilities open up when exhibited content is more aboutLearning in the TANGO Exhibition? processes, ideas and concepts than finalized objects? – How can the themes and concepts of the exhibition be made tangible to the audiences? – How could the theme, intergenerational dialogue, be taken into account in exhibition design and pedagogy? – In what ways could the field material gathered during the courses be present in the exhibition? – How can an exhibition environment be created that is conducive to learning? – How can interactive engagement in the exhibition be encouraged? -
  24. 24. Exhibitions as Learning Environments A quick checklist for supporting learning in different institutional environments: Designing Great Learning Environments resources/repository/Quick_checklist2.pdf A more detailed checklist for creating accessible and inspiring learning environments: resources/repository/Detailed_checklist_Places2.pdf A self-assessment tool for improving possibilities for learning in different organizations: Collect & Share is a European network that promotes good practices in learning and education within visual arts for adults. Here is a link to their list of useful publications: Collect & Share publication “Good Practices”, see e.g. p. 6 of the document: Collect & Share also hosts a database of informative case studies from across Europe: An online library of audiovisual material on gallery education case studies: -
  25. 25. References and Further Reading Vira, R. (2004). In: Ikonen, P. & Vira, R.. Esineet esiin! Näkökulmia muotoilukasvatukseen. Vantaa: Taiteen keskustoimikunta. An improvement framework by British Museums, Libraries and Archives Council provides a tool for creating better learning environments: Link archive by the Finnish Open Museum project (see the section in English/ “Englanniksi”): Intergenerationality in exhibitions: A study of grandparents and grandchildren as museum and gallery visitors: A report on benefits for older people from learning in museums, libraries and archives: pdf/2009/Older_Learners_Report_Final_2009_2.ashx -
  26. 26. Family Issues exhibition opening atthe Design Museum, Helsinki.Image Courtesy of the Design Museum. -