Museum Learning: Museums and children in the new age

Museum Learning: Museums and children in the new age
Museum Learning: Museums and children in the new age
#museumlearning

 

This webinar is an innovative programme carried out in collaboration with the Museum of Cycladic Art, one of the most progressive and open museums in Greece

About the museum

A dynamic cultural organization in the centre of Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art focuses on promoting the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with particular emphasis on Cycladic art of the third millennium BC.

Since it was founded in 1986 to house the private collection of Dolly and Nikolaos Goulandris, the Museum has expanded significantly and now houses one of the most complete private collections of Cycladic art worldwide, with representative examples of the world-renowned Cycladic marble figurines. The museum’s permanent collections include 3000 Cycladic, ancient Greek and ancient Cypriot artefacts, witnesses to the cultures that flourished in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean from the fourth millennium BC to approximately the sixth century AD.

The Museum also organizes and hosts temporary exhibitions with a focus on archaeology, modern and contemporary art with the aim to familiarize the public with important twentieth and twenty-first century artists and to explore the relations between ancient cultures and modern art.

Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology

The programme is addressed to educators, teachers, museologists and professionals in the museum sector, and people interested in museum learning. Aiming to respond to the current demand for the development of practical skills and knowledge exchange, the Museum of Cycladic Art shares its wisdom and experience in designing state-of-the-art learning experiences for children. The webinar will focus on the interactions between museums and children, examining actions and initiatives that involve children in different contexts: students, family members and others.

The programme is structured in eight units, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the learning process achieved in the museum, starting with the theoretical background, moving on to good practices from cultural organizations around the world, and finally providing guidelines. The units are enriched by videos of lectures, notes written for this programme and suggested bibliography.

Unit 1: Introduction – the Educational Role of the Museum

The 1stunit will discuss, among others, the formation of a museum’s educational policy, including the limitations and possible problems. Emphasis will be given on the theory behind the educational role of a museum while specific learning models will be discussed, along with themuseum visitor roles. Moreover, the strategic planning of museum learning policy will be explained step-by-step. All these elements will be illustrated through good and bad practices, theory and practical guidelines. This first unit will set the general context for the upcoming units.

Unit 2: Design of Learning Material (Games, Paper-based material)

The 2nd unit will focus on the types and characteristics of educational activities. More specifically, the learning activities typically carried out in a cultural institution will be categorized, defined and explained, while the difficulties in their design will be identified. In addition to this, the different approach and expectations of teachers and museum educators will be discussed, along with proposals to effectively bring them together. This unit aims to serve as a reference point for the main tools needed to create educational activities, for different age groups and visitor profiles.

Unit 3: Learning Design for Primary and Pre-school Education

The 3rd unit will focus on the learning needs of primary and preschool education students, and on the expectations of their teachers. How does a child aged 4-12 learn, and how can the museum build on the child’s pre-existing knowledge and build competences? The aim is to draft guidelines for the design of specially formed programmes in an understandable and easy-to-use way. To do this we will take inspiration from the first and second units, and offer the necessary theoretical background, practical recommendations and examples from museums around the globe.

Unit 4: Learning Design for Secondary Education

The 4th unit will focus on the learning needs of secondary education students, and on the expectations of their teachers. How does a teenager aged 12-18 learn, and how can the museum build on pre-existing knowledge and build competences? The aim is to draft guidelines for the design of specially formed programmes in an understandable and easy-to-use way. To do this we will take inspiration from the first and second units, and offer the necessary theoretical background, practical recommendations and examples from museums around the globe. Upon completion of the 4th unit, the participants will be able to compare and evaluate activities addressed to primary and secondary education, comprehend the differences, analyze the similarities and create their own activities.

Unit 5: Museum Learning Activities for Families

The 5th unit will focus on the links formed between the museum and the family, also examining the needs and expectations of both children and their parents. The aim is to draft guidelines for the design of specially formed programmes in an understandable and easy-to-use way. To do this we will take inspiration from the first and second units, and offer the necessary theoretical background, practical recommendations and examples from museums around the globe. Upon completion of the 5th unit, the participants will be able to compare and evaluate activities addressed to formal and non-formal learning settings, comprehend the differences, analyze the similarities and create their own.

Unit 6: Learning outside the Museum – Museum Kits, Teacher Training

In the 6thunit we will examine the main education-oriented actions organized by a museum that can take place outside its physical space. This unit aims to provide an answer to what’s the point of ‘doing museum stuff outside the museum’ before explaining the basic steps for the design of such activities. What do they have in common – is that they contribute to the redefinition of the museum’s nature and role as a geographically defined space that acts as the safeguard of a collection? Moreover, the 6th unit will provide an overview of teacher training: teachers may have different expectations from the museum experience than what is really offered – or no expectations at all. But can they design their own museum learning activities? And should they?

Unit 7 – Outreach Programmes and Other Issues

The 7th unit will focus on the museum’s social role. To this direction, various initiatives and ideas will be discussed, aiming to reach inaccessible communities or people with disabilities. Upon completion of the 7th unit, the participants will be able to understand the activities addressed to these social groups and, most importantly, their background, and to be in the position to respond to foreseen social changes by providing tailored solutions.

Unit 8 –the Museum’s peripheral offer can lead to learning

This last unit will focus on a museum’s multifaceted offer. For example, one can claim that a museum shop has an educational value. It will be explained how learning can be achieved not only by the educational programmes, but by numerous other lines of action as well, such as offering a curated experience in the shop or outside the museum. Which ones are they? And how can the museum educator, the teacher, the parent use them for the benefit of the children? Moreover, the future of museums will be discussed: the various changes, societal and technological, that we have all experienced in the last decades have led to unprecedented changes. How can museums respond to these changes will staying true to their role and have a positive impact on people’s lives?

Each teaching unit consists of three parts:

  • In the first part, the learner has the possibility to work on the language tools at the time most convenient to him/her (for the duration of a week). These are presented either in the form of instructions/theory through authentic texts appropriately modified depending on the level of general knowledge of the language, or lexical items lists. It should be mentioned at this point that texts presented in the first part (interviews, radio or tv programs, native speakers’ oral communication) are authentic that have been modified in order to match learners’ needs and knowledge at each of the three levels. Thus, modified input becomes controlled input that prevents learners’ frustration that result from lexical burden or syntactic complexity. 

    In any case, all the necessary components of each unit are given in the form of necessary steps/actions directly accessible from the beginning. Then, the learner has the possibility to review the information and study them through guided exercises, which are in the form of list matching, multiple-choice (pick one) or right-wrong (boolean). For these exercises, the program provides to the learner direct assessment and the opportunity to refer to the first part of the theory whenever he feels there are gaps in the initial contact with it.

    This first part is essential, not only because it functions as the ‘exemplified linguistic input’ that helps learners enrich their vocabulary, syntactic structures and communication strategies, but -more importantly- because comprehending speech production precedes speech production and is the cornerstone of the development of all other language skills. Researchers have convincingly argued that “the relevance among skills shows that, if listening comprehension is neglected, there will be consequences in the development of the other language skills”

  • In the second part, the learner is asked, in a time predetermined by the program, to perform a speaking task which is the final product of each module. In fact, the learner practices the material of the first part in order to complete the task of the second part. However, topics and activities involved in this part are not identical with those in part A, since the aim of Part B is not only enhancement of listening comprehension but mainly improvement of speech production. Specifically, tasks in Part B have the following form: 
    - First, one or more texts from Part A are chosen in order to trigger a discussion between the learner and the instructor. The learner is asked to comment, criticize, express his/her agreement or disagreement, suggest solutions or present his/her ideas related to the issue at hand. The learner does not know in advance which of the text(s) will be chosen for this task, in order to regard all texts in Part A as equally important.
    - In the second task, the learner has to make a ‘presentation’ of a topic relevant to the learning unit s/he has worked on. Texts in Part A function as examples which give him/her the required linguistic input as well as some basic ideas on which the learner can ‘construct’ his presentation. This way, all texts of Part A are put in use, comprehension and production of spoken language are connected and learner’s overall skills are evaluated, moving from the micro- to the macro-level of his/her production
    - The third and last task is a role-play activity between the learner and the instructor. The learner has a specific role (e.g. client in a house moving company) or just the role of a person with a specific point of view that contradicts that of the instructor’s, in order to create a context for a debate. In both cases, the learner knows in advance the role s/he has to play and has enough time to prepare his/her oral production, making the best of the input s/he had in Part A.
     

  • In the third part, the learner receives personalized feedback on his own linguistic output. The feedback includes error annotation and metalinguistic explanation for each error type.

    The structure of the material entails two things:

    1.    The learner may not proceed with the second part of the task, if he has not previously followed the instructions and have not been familiar with the material that is presented in the first part. Each task targets the comprehension of the language tools preceding.

    2.    The learner cannot stay in the first part of the linguistic input, and not perform the task provided in the second part. This way he "breaks" the chain of consecutive language productions and participation in the program is insufficient. 

The prerequisites for participation in the program on the learner’s part are:

- Internet access

- Basic computer knowledge

- Certificate of attendance in Greek language courses (if applicable) (eg. in case of attending Greek language courses at the University/school or institute/language school in another country or in Greece).

When will I receive the Certificate?

The Certificate will be sent to you electronically 30 working days upon completion, if you have no remaining academic or financial obligations. The Certificate will be also sent to you through traditional post services. Upon request the Certificate can be sent with the use of courier services. In this case, the relative cost should be covered by your side.