On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd November, part of the Educational Team of the museum attended the 2nd International Congress: Museums in Education. From the outset, it seemed to us to be an interesting topic, around which the contents were based: “From action to reflection”.
It is a topic among the professionals in the educational services of museums, that despite carrying out an infinite number of projects, activities, works, etc., we often find we don’t have enough time or energy to file things, to think back, analyse, reflect, compare or share, among the thousands of things we could list.
To be able to get away from the routine for three days, to change city, and to meet up with lots of other professionals with years and years of experience, was in itself very stimulating. To listen to, and learn from, other museums, other cultures, other countries and other cultural and educational organisations was very attractive and motivating.
One of the conference papers. Source: Congress Photo Gallery
I could fill pages with formats, connections, research, from all the different talks, but I would like to tell you specifically about one, the one that made most impact and made me think more about my work, my environment, the changes and above all the need to stop and reflect so as to continue working. The most curious thing is the fact that the person who did it isn’t from an art museum, but from a science museum, and was able to put forward a global vision, and one which is useful for everyone and I believe didn’t leave anyone indifferent from the thousands (and I say thousands, because as well as the people who were in the room, the congress was followed through Internet by thousands more) of the people who had the chance to listen to her.
I am talking about Diana Alderaqui, from the Bloomfield Science Museum of Jerusalem. She summarised our situation, without defining any specific project, by talking about our spaces, our publics, our protagonists, providing bibliography, making everyone feel reflected. She then asked us to think about a series of elements:
- Our open doors: backing from the Management of the museum, outreach projects under way, skilled, open-minded and professional educators, a decent budget, etc.
- Our closed doors: learning, training, having more time, our relationship with other departments, etc.
- Our limits: spaces, public, etc.
- And especially the next steps to be undertaken, connections that allow changes, contacts, new perspectives, new themes, new hybrid museums, new spaces, new publics, and new protagonists.
Now we need to think and go on.