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Developing Education Programmes for Different Audiences


Developing Education Programmes for Different Audiences Caroline Lang April 2014 * Groups of 5 or 6 ; choose an audience you think your Museum needs to develop ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Developing Education Programmes for Different Audiences

Developing Education Programmes for Different
  • Caroline Lang
  • April 2014

What are museums and who are they for ?
  • A cultural treasure house
  • A leisure and tourism attraction
  • A source of local pride
  • A memory store for the community
  • A meeting place for promoting dialogue
  • A resource for both informal and structured
  • All of these and more
  • Adapted from Black, G. 2012.

What is learning in museums and galleries ?
  • A core function of museums
  • Offers opportunities for everyone to develop
  • a critical understanding of the collections
  • the skills to interpret them
  • visual literacy
  • an understanding of their social, aesthetic and
    historical context
  • broader and deeper knowledge
  • increased enjoyment

A definition of learning
  • Learning is a process of active engagement
    with experience . It is what people do when they
    want to make sense of the world . It may involve
    an increase in skills, knowledge or
    understanding, a deepening of values or the
    capacity to reflect. Effective learning will lead
    to change, development and a desire to learn more
  • The Campaign for Learning in museums and

Audiences and Learning Styles
  • Different types of Learning
  • Formal Learning
  • Informal Learning
  • Self-Directed Learning

Using Kolbs learning styles
What this means for museums
  • Each visitor learns in a different way
  • They bring their own prior knowledge and
  • They personalise the museums message
  • They select a small number of experiences from
    the many on offer
  • Visitors are influenced by the physical aspects
    of a visit
  • Social context other encounters eg. with staff
    are important
  • There is no such thing as an average visitor
  • Exhibitions and education programmes should be
    designed to appeal to
  • a wide range of visitors.

Barriers to access
  • Access is usually seen in terms of barriers which
    may be
  • Physical and sensory
  • Intellectual
  • Cultural
  • Attitudinal
  • Financial
  • Barriers which might hinder visitors
  • need to be addressed, ensuring that their
    specific needs are met.

A tale of two museums
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (VA) London
  • Opened 1837 National Museum of Art Design
  • Around 600 staff 2.6 m visitors per year
  • Budget in yuan per year 500 m.
  • Hong Kong Maritime Museum
  • Opened 2013 Independent Museum
  • 30 staff 80,000 visitors in first year
  • Budget in yuan per year15m .

VAs priority audiences
  • 6 main audience groups
  • Families
  • Schools
  • Students
  • Professionals in the creative industries
  • Groups (other than schools and students)
  • Individual adults not in other categories

Engaging with audiences through programmes
  • Take into account
  • Information from visitor surveys
  • Consultation with users and non users
  • Barriers some visitors perceive
  • Different learning styles provide variety

Audience needs families
  • Families want
  • To spend leisure time together in a worthwhile
  • Activities to keep children occupied.
  • Direct experience and play for children.
  • Text (panels /labels) that adults are able to
    scan quickly and answer questions.
  • Questions and suggestions for discussion topics
    and activities.
  • Level access for baby buggies/ strollers.
  • Baby-changing and family friendly toilets.
  • Affordable family-friendly menu in the café.
  • Note the children, especially the youngest
    child, generally drive the visit.

Programme families
  • Regular Saturday programme Activity back packs
    and Imagination Station ( Art cart).
  • Regular Sunday programme Drop-in Design
    activities, e.g. design and make an accessory in
    Baroque style
  • School holiday programmes Drop-in Design
  • Free Art Fun Festivals, e.g. Arabian Nights
    festival, part of the Arab World Family Learning

Audience needs schools
  • Cloakroom facilities and somewhere to eat.
  • Welcoming attitude from security and other front
    of house staff.
  • Advance information about what is in the museum
    and why they should visit.
  • Links to the Curriculum and examination
  • Things that will give structure to their visit,
    eg gallery tour.
  • Teaching resources usually online.
  • Space in galleries and teaching rooms for groups
    of 30-35.

Programme schools
  • Workshops, led by artists and designers
  • Gallery talks and exhibition talks on a set menu
    of themes
  • Big events e.g. Creative Quarter which
    showcases careers in the creative industries
  • Special projects e.g. Design Lab in which
    students work to a brief with professional
  • Resources for self-guided visits
  • Courses for teachers, e.g. Drawing Skylines
    where teachers investigate influential drawings
    and architectural fragments of buildings and
  • Teachers previews for Special Exhibitions

Audience needs university students
  • Need help learning how to read museum objects.
  • Need structure and direction when visiting the
  • Outlook and purpose for visiting museums matures
    over the course of their study.
  • Want resources related to their personal
  • Like different perspectives on the same object.
  • Want to challenge the authority of the museum.
    . .
  • . . . but young undergraduates want to hear from
    the curators and value their expertise.
  • Post-graduates more interested in views of other

Programme university students
  • Hard to programme for as courses vary a lot at
    different universities.
  • Personalised support resources.
  • Networking with creative industries practitioners
    is important, events with a social element work
    well eg Friday Late.
  • Courses for tutors.
  • Induction sessions, e.g on the architecture
  • Behind the scenes access to the stores

Audience needs adult learners
  • Manage their own learning rather than being
    driven by a formal curriculum.
  • Motivated by curiosity and internal incentives
  • Not restricted by conventional subject
  • They bring varied experiences to the learning
    process and often operate through word-of-mouth
    and networks.
  • Outside their own area of expertise they will be
    novice learners.
  • They respond to information at different levels
    and in different ways to tie in with their varied
    learning styles.
  • Older adults may be short-sighted or have
    mobility problems.

Programme adult learners
  • Long and short courses on art and design history
  • Academic conferences and symposia
  • Study days and seminars
  • Practical one or two-day workshops or longer
    practical digital design courses (daytime or
  • Illustrated lectures and gallery talks
  • Ticketed evening talks by big name speakers
  • Themed special evening or weekend events
  • Concerts and film screenings

Setting up education programmes in a new museum
Pacifying the South China Sea scroll????
The Education Team
  • Staff and volunteers.
  • Aim to offer opportunities for the whole
    community to enjoy and to learn
  • from our collections

Priority Audiences 2013-14
  • Adults with a general interest
  • Schools
  • Families with younger children

Adult talks and tours
  • Teachers Guide and help with planning a visit
  • Resources. Activity Sheets linked to the
  • 4 Topics for Primary schools
  • 5 Topics for Secondary schools
  • Museum led gallery sessions
  • Workshops
  • Special programmes for
  • temporary exhibitions
  • Outreach visits to schools


Families with young children
  • Started in July 2013.
  • Family corner 1 Sunday per month
  • Workshops, art and craft
  • Family tours with drama


Developments for 2014-15
  • Increase number of local school groups visiting
  • Hold talks and events for Adults every Saturday
  • Run Family Programme every Sunday
  • Increase number of trained volunteers
  • Develop sessions for older people and teenagers

  • Thank you
  • ??!

Develop a gallery activity to suit .
  • Families
  • Schools
  • Students (tertiary)
  • Adults (non academic)
  • Young People (teenagers, not with family or
  • Elderly people
  • Community Group