Teachers and Museums: A study of teacher preparation and school

Julie Wilkinson
1979, Vol. 12, No. 1,

Abstract


Much has been said concerning the role of museums in recent years, not least about their enormous educational potential. For children the experience of a museum visit can encourage the development of critical perception, and by presenting tangible evidence of the past enable them to form an acquaintance with previous generations and cultures in a way that the average textbook cannot hope to achieve.

While supervising a school party at Gladstone Pottery Museum, I was surprised to hear one ten year old (who had impressed me with her interest and enthusiasm) with the ingenuousness so attractive (and embarrassing!) in children, tell me bluntly that she hated history. Wondering whether this was a reflection upon my guided tour, I asked her if she had enjoyed walking around the Museum. 'Oh yes' was the reply, 'but that is seeing history, not reading history'. It is important that we as educators also realise this distinction. It is the emotional experience of a museum visit that leaves the most lasting impression on a child, and, properly nurtured, it can be utilised to the full back in the classroom.


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