If the museum was a person #TBT

Web

The pop-up museum

Gotta love the web. Just when you’re in the thick of something up pops a gem from the past that causes you to stop, think and reflect. For this #throwbackthursday post I came across some work we did back in 2008 with students asking them to describe the museum as a person. As usual, when working with young people their responses are not only insightful, but cute and hilarious at the same time! I was working at the Australian Museum then, so their answers very much reflect their thoughts within the context of a natural history museum, but they also give a whole lot more.

So, here we go – If the museum was a person:

  • If the Museum were a person, it would have been around 200 years old. Also it would have huge brain containing all of the evidence about dinosaurs and animals. This person would have a huge heart because it also helps people discover or learn something they haven’t seen or heard before. It is a female, because not everything smart can be a man. It tells us about things we didn’t know existed.
  • It would be an historian because it’s mainly about things from many years ago.
  • It would be a very nice person and smart to tell people about the world and it is very old.
  • If the Museum were a person it would be wise and know a lot about the past. It would be an outgoing person because it always lets people in.
  • It will be a famous kind because the museum is famous and it is a bit like a castle because of its shape. He is a good actor because the museum has a lot of different things. He knows a lot of information because the Museum is full of information.
  • I think if the museum was a person he/she would be old and full of knowledge. I think this, because of all the exhibits in the museum are full of the knowledge and the museum looks very old.
  • If the Museum was a person it would be a palaeontologist because the museum is full of dinosaurs.
  • Old Grandpa. Knows a lot about history and what happened around the world. Nice, funny and smart.
  • Smart, interesting, lots of stories to tell. Funny, bad at sport. Nice
  • It would be a very knowledgeable person, because it has loads of information about the past.
  • I think it would be a massive brick monster because it is huge and has a lot of bricks in the building. But it tells a lot of stories.

The original post appeared on my old (and first!) blog- The Audience Research blog.

Other readings on student learning in museums

  • Kelly, L. (2013). 21st Century Learning – A Students’ Perspective.
  • Kelly, L. (2014). Student learning in museums – what do we know?
  • Kelly, L. and Fitzgerald, P. (2011). Cooperation, collaboration, challenge: how to work with the changing nature of educational audiences in museums. In Rethinking Educational Practice Through Reflexive Inquiry. Ed. N. Mockler and J. Sachs. 77-88. Springer: London.
  • Kelly, L. and Groundwater-Smith, S. (2009). Revisioning the Physical and On-line Museum: A Partnership with the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools. Journal of Museum Education. 34(4), 55-68.
  • Kelly L. and Russo, A. (2010). From Communities of Practice to Value Networks: Engaging Museums in Web 2.0. In Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums. Ed. F. Cameron and L. Kelly 281-298. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: London.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2002). Evidence Based Practice in School Education. Paper presented at the Why Learning? Seminar. Australian Museum.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. and Kelly, L. (2009). Learning outside the classroom: A partnership with a difference. In Connecting Inquiry and Professional Learning in Education. Ed. A. Campbell and S. Groundwater-Smith. 179-191. London: Routledge.
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