Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study
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Learning in the Museum: The Hepworth a Case Study. By Charlotte Preston MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies. ‘ Everyone should be able to learn from the wonderful treasures that museums and galleries have to offer’. - The Department for Culture, Media and Sport

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Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

Learning in the Museum: The Hepworth a Case Study

By Charlotte Preston

MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘Everyone should be able to learn from the wonderful treasures that museums and galleries have to offer’. - The Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Culture, Knowledge and Understanding: Great Museums and Libraries for Everyone– Arts Council England (ACE)


How can museums and galleries make collections accessible to everyone

How can museums and galleries make collections accessible to Everyone?


Questions to examine

Questions To Examine

  • How should we define learning in museums?

  • How has the approach to learning in museums changed over time?

  • How can we measure the success of learning programmes?

  • Why do museums and galleries now feel obliged to measure the success of their learning programmes?

  • What has led to the popularisation of the term “learning”; why not “education”?

  • What is the most effective approach to learning in the museum (in terms of facilitating the learning of the most visitors) - Didactic, Discovery, Constructivist, or something else?

  • Why have some strategies taken precedence over others?

  • What are the tensions between promoting active learning and maintaining the aesthetics of the gallery space?

  • What are the government’s desired outcomes of museum learning programmes in terms of their impact on individuals, local communities and the economy?


Some key theorists

Some Key Theorists

  • Graham Black

  • Pierre Bourdieu

  • George E. Hein

  • Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

  • Brian O’Doherty


Today s focus

Today’s Focus

  • What has led to the popularisation of the term “learning” in the museum; why not “education”?

  • How should we define learning in museums?’


The hepworth wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

  • The Hepworth Wakefield = the relocation and expansion of Wakefield Art Gallery.

  • Built to house:

    • Wakefield’s collection of 20th century art

    • The GottCollection

    • The Hepworth family gift

  • May 2011: gallery opened to the public.

  • Part of a city-wide regeneration strategy.

  • Catalyst for:

    • Further regeneration?

    • Attracting people?

    • Attracting money?

    • Improving people’s perceptions of the city?

    • Raising the aspirations of young people in Wakefield?


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘what really matters is not year-one figures for a new or largely redisplayed museum, but those achieved in years three and beyond when a project is no longer new or a tourist destination has lost its initial attraction’.

GRAHAM BLACK, 2005


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

  • Educational value?

  • Ability to reach new audiences?

  • What is the impact of these activities on the traditional art museum audience?


What has led to the popularisation of the term learning in the museum why not education

What has led to the popularisation of the term “learning” in the museum; why not “education”?’

The use of the term “learning” is: ‘a measure of the acceptance of the basic premise of constructivism: that learners construct their own meanings and make sense in their own way of the learning opportunities they experience’.

Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, 1994


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

What is Constructivism?

  • By reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in.

  • Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge.

GRAHAM BLACK, 2005


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘The teacher becomes a facilitator of learning rather than being central to it’.


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

Sir Andrew Motion, Chair of the MLA

The word “education” ‘carries with it connotations of formal, didactic, curriculum-based, teacher-led processes’.


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘lifelong’, ‘life-wide’ learning


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

VISITORS

CURATORS


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

Consulting Communities

Evaluation

Review

Surveys

Comments Cards

Feedback


How should museums define learning

How should museums define “learning”?

  • ‘The acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught’. The Oxford Dictionary

  • ‘Learning is what you do when you don’t know what to do’. Guy Claxton

  • ‘Learning is any more or less permanent change in behaviour, which is the result of experience,’. Peter Jarvis


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

We intend to build, ‘a shared quality framework that draws on models like Inspiring Learning for All [a programme launched by the MLA]’.


The mla s definition of learning

The MLA’s 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 the development or deepening of skills, knowledge, understanding, values, ideas and feelings.

  • Effective learning leads to change, development and the desire to learn more’.


The mla say

The MLA Say:

Learning is a process of active engagement with experience.


The transmission model of communication

The Transmission Model of Communication

‘active engagement’ suggests that the MLA rejects this model.


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘The receiver is conceived as cognitively passive, and contributing nothing to the process. The role of the receiver is simply to receive’.

(Hooper-Greenhill)

Barbara Hepworth is ACE!a

FATIGUE

CROWDS

NOISY KIDS

HUNGER

BLADDER PRESSURE

CURATOR


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘Once a receiver is brought into the process to play a more active role, the whole process changes and begins to break up[…].

The work of meaning-making begins to be shared between the two parties. The greater this sharing process, the more likely effective communication is to take place’.

Shared Meaning Making

Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, 1994


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

‘Communities […] want to participate in the interpretation of collections; they want to discuss and debate the issues raised and share their views with others’.


The mla say1

The MLA Say:

‘[learning] may involve increase in skills, knowledge, understanding, values and capacity to reflect’


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

(Then again it may not?)


How can we measure learning in museums and galleries

How can we Measure Learning in Museums and Galleries?


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

GENERIC LEARNING OUTCOMES


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

Dame Barbara Hepworth

Mother and Child, 1934

Is learning always immediately evident?


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

The Problem with Attempting to Measure Learning

‘In truth, learning is a continuous process, a state of becoming, rather than a unique product with distinct and totally quantifiable outcomes. […]

Specifically, any effort to define, observe and measure the effects of a visitor’s interactions with museum objects and exhibitions, that seeks to understand how those interactions contribute to that individual’s growth, change and/or development, must be conducted over a reasonably large framework of time and space’.

GRAHAM BLACK, 2005


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

?


Learning in the museum the hepworth a case study

I hope that you have enjoyed my presentation.

Thanks for listening.


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