7 Keys to Museum Education Programs

http://wp.me/p3XN68-3nThis workshop is written specifically for small museums and explores the keys to develop museum education programs that engage students in exploring history.  The new Australian History curriculum provides a clear framework to plan program content, as well as techniques to engage students on a journey of inquiry and discovery.

The 7 keys for creating engaging programs, a nutshell are:

  1. Take an inquiry approach.  Museums are an ideal place for students to learn through their own discoveries. It’s about setting up life long learners – perfect future customers for museums!
  2. Play to your museum’s strengths.  The stories, the people who tell them and the artifacts of your museum are the raw materials for creating engaging programs  that have personality – maybe even some attitude!
  3. Work with the History Curriculum.  The curriculum and syllabus are great tools for uncovering educational aspects lurking in your museums.  Understand its aims, the skills being learned – and the nitty-gritty content for each level.
  4. Collaborate with schools. Ensure you have an audience for your program – collaborate with a school from the start. Besides creating program that is properly targeted – they will tell their friends.
  5. Be mysterious and puzzling.  Engage students in untangling a puzzle, solving a mystery or hunting down treasure. Get ideas on challenges you can create, copy, steal for your museum.
  6. Show don’t tell. Resist the urge to tell the students how it was done … Is there a way they can give it a try – directly experience what it might have been like?
  7. Create a coherent program.  Literally map it out, schedule it, walk it through – deliver a smooth running program.

The workshop runs for 2 1/2 hours, for a cost of $300 held in your museum*.

Please contact us us if you would like to organise a workshop for your museum.  Why not get a couple of museums together?  The work itself aims to be fun and is hands on.

The content covered here is a perfect prelude to further workshops under development:

  • Plan an education program for your museum: Create an education strategy for your museum, working through ways to link into the Australian National Curriculum
  • Create an excursion : Walk through actually creating an excursion
  • Creating a movie making excursion program: Walkthrough creating an excusion day for students to make movies.

*Additional charges may apply for museums further than an hours drive from the Gold Coast, Qld.

Author: Janis Hanley

Janis Hanley creates education programs for museums. She has a strong interest in digital engagement. Her programs have received several Queensland National Trust awards. Janis is the Queensland representative of the Museums Australia Education committee, and founder/coordinator of MAEdQ - a Queensland Network for Museum Educators . Janis is currently researching the value of digital story telling in community museums.

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