Selectors and Selected – Participation and Collaboration in Museum Education

I am a museum educator, who constantly innovates and experiments, who is sensible to social diversity. My work is the educative exploitation of the exhibitions created on scientific basis by the Museum of Ethnography’s curators. Both the detectable distance between exhibition and education interpretation and the close date of opening the Children Museum inspired me to look for radically new solutions, far more effective than the present ones, to know the public, to facilitate their self-expression, and to capitalize the experiences gathered during the education processes in the general museum work. I have chosen the secondary school students’ age group for my new museum education experiment in the spring of 2014 because of their generational characteristics. I have created a layman museum expert community of the secondary school and vocational school student volunteers with the constructivist approach applied in my day-to-day museum praxis and by using a series of differentiated participation exercises. The young people could check their expert knowledge and skills in uplifting museum tasks in partnership with each other and the professional colleagues: they had the opportunity to research, to create exhibitions, to guide in exhibitions, to manage professional programs. Using the experiences gathered during the activities of the layman student experts is a basic condition to ensure the appropriate quality of a children museum, which has secondary school students as one of its target groups. My essay stays deliberately open by this proposition, as the creation of the Museum of Ethnography’s Children Museum is at the phase, where we have to decide how to involve the prepared and committed students into the partner collaboration extending the levels reached, into the joint development of a new children institution. To be continued.

Released: Replika 100, 85–94.