Museums are important, right?

I know. I promised more photos, but I never seem to have the right device charged when I’ve got a bit of time to blog.

I will try harder. . .In the meantime I want to talk about something important. flag_yellow_low

Today I went to Southampton to discuss developing EU projects and I
was reflecting on a short video of Emmie Kell from Cornwall talking about the importance of museums. Did you know only 40% of Cornish school children visit a museum?

Chances are that if you’re reading this blog you think museum learning is important – but clearly this perception is wrong if only 40% of school kids are visiting museums. So there are several  possibilities:

  1. Museums aren’t important
  2. Museums are important, but just not that important
  3. Museums are important, but there are too many obstacles in the way.

I spent many years researching the benefits of heritage learning, so I know there is evidence to dismiss reason 1. I think the answer might a bit of 2 and a bit of 3. Museums are important, but there’s so much to do: coaches are expensive; schools trips are laborious to prepare for  and there’s serious stuff like maths and English to learn!

One of the things we discussed today was the different priorities and values for cultural education across mainland Europe. So my question is what can we learn from our European partners and what can we share. AND CRUCIALLY how do these different values and approaches influence education and heritage at a national policy level – how do we address 2 and 3 above because museums are absolutely important. In this world of changing educational paradigms with a eye on the future we need museums to help our young people to explore, understand, champion and celebrate their unique identities and common ground as human beings.

What do you think?

Let me know – we might just turn it all into a Europe wide project and then perhaps we can do our bit to make sure 100% of students from Cornwall get to visit a museum.

Oh, and what about a picture after all. . .

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