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Museums and Learning. Sue Wilkinson Director of Policy Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Key questions. Why is it important to engage young people? How do we engage them more effectively? How can schools and museums work together?. Why engage young people?. Self interest

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Sue wilkinson director of policy museums libraries and archives council

Museums and Learning

Sue Wilkinson

Director of Policy

Museums, Libraries and Archives Council


Key questions
Key questions

  • Why is it important to engage young people?

  • How do we engage them more effectively?

  • How can schools and museums work together?


Why engage young people
Why engage young people?

  • Self interest

  • They benefit

  • Key government agenda


3 key reports focus on how to increase participation
3 Key reports – focus on how to increase participation

  • Attitudinal barriers to engaging young people DCSF RR140

  • Positive Activities – qualitative research with young people DCSF RR141

  • Positive Activities - qualitative research with families DCSF RR142


How to engage
How to engage

  • Raise aspiration early

  • Understand and work to overcome barriers

  • Working with partners, schools and families

  • Communicating the offer using new media

  • Involving and engaging young people


Involving and engaging
Involving and engaging

  • Develops skills

  • Creates ownership

  • “helps develop a more realistic sense of their control over external events

  • Better product

Regeneration through culture


“If you hang out with astronauts,

you end up sitting on the moon.”

Young person in poetry workshop,

Lambeth Libraries


How people learn
How people learn

The Human mind is better equipped to

gather information about the world

through operating within it rather than

by reading about it hearing lectures on

it or studying abstract models of it”

(Santa Fe Institute for complex systems


How people learn1
How people learn

What a wise society has to do is to find

Those techniques which go with the

grain of the brain so that they are able

to extend what comes naturally in to

the mastery of ever more complex,

higher order skills.”(21st Century Learning Initiative)


What goes with the grain
What goes with the grain?

  • Social and collaborative learning

  • Problem solving

  • Imitating people

  • Being part of a team or group .”

  • (21st Century Learning Initiative)

Regeneration through culture


Campaign make an impact
Campaign! Make an impact

  • Created by British Library and Yorkshire

  • Now being rolled out across England – 2 projects in NE (Woodhorn Archives and Hadrians Wall Consortium)

  • Museums and Schools work together to use historical campaigns to inspire and teach campaign communication skills, enabling children and young people to run their own campaigns about issues that affect them today.

  • Three step model: select your campaign; make yourself heard; plan your own campaign


Campaign make an impact1
Campaign! Make an impact

  • “It had a very positive effect on the school and the young people involved. Can we do it again?”Chris Straker, Headmaster at Endeavour High School

  • “Students gained in confidence, developed a sense of achievement and realised that they can change things.”Sarah Sutcliffe, Teacher at Immanuel College Bradford.

  • “This is a fantastic way of getting students to reflect on the present by exploring the past”. Thackray Medical Museum

  • “We have seen the young people who have taken part develop the skills and confidence to make a difference in their communities. Museums and archives have an important role to play in helping young people understand their history, their place in the world and develop the skills to change their future”. Hull Museums



Modern times1
Modern Times

  • Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

  • Funding to work with young people around the Gerhard Richter exhibition

  • Call out for young people who wanted to develop range of skills – journalism, design, photography

  • Age ranges 14-21

  • Produced newspaper Modern Times


Killhope north of england lead mining museum
Killhope: North of England Lead Mining Museum

  • Young People fro the NE Regional Youth Assembly took part in site evaluation with museum staff

  • Explored how the museum might improve provision for young people

  • Awarded grant from One NE via regional cultural volunteering programme to further develop work around volunteering, skills and employablity



Key messages for sector
Key messages for sector

  • Best work involves real shift in practice

  • About empowering not just consulting or involving

  • About shift in power, control and ownership

  • Changes ways we approach all services not just the learning and education programmes


What do we gain
What do we gain?

  • Audience of future

  • Better products and services

  • New ideas, partnerships


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