Revisiting the Educational Value of Museums

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Kendall, Maaß and PagelRevisiting the Educational Value of Museums – Connecting to audiences invites readers to take a step back and reconsider the topic of education in museums. Museums have been educational places since their inception, however, the increasingly prominent role museums are playing in society means that education no longer equals to conveying content or information about the collection.

A look at the developments of the field of education in museums, particularly with regard to a wide diversification of audiences is given through examples from countries with different educational traditions, among them from the Czech Republic, the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and Portugal. They show that education in museums is often intertwined with activities which aim to achieve inclusion, intercultural dialogue, public engagement, participation, community empowerment, or to stimulate creativity and support innovation.

Perspectives of colleagues from museum networks beyond Europe extend the views and emphasise the common thread of a social dimension included in educational programmes. This, along with an increased emphasis on visitor and learner-centred approaches and a wide diversification of audiences, confirms the great potential and the crucial role museums as learning environments can play to form more responsible citizens and contribute to a more inclusive and informed society (publisher’s presentation).

* Geraldine Kendall, Mareen Maaß and Julia Pagel (eds.), Revisiting the Educational Value of Museums – Connecting to audiences, Network of European Museum Organisations, 2016.