Monday, 15 June 2015

#TwitteratiChallenge - Museum Education

I was recently nominated to take part in the #TwitteratiChallenge by fellow museum worker @ceciliapeartree. We met in the Scottish capital during 2014 after occasional e-mails over a number of years. As it happens, our e-mails and meeting were over some common McLean ancestry - although the museum connection was a nice bonus.

The #TwitteratiChallenge, as I understand it, is to give a shout out to those you go to for support or challenge in the world of museum education. My challenger wisely said: "In a sense everyone who works in a museum or a gallery is involved in the education business to some extent, as just by being there they contribute to the informal education of the community."

I'm going to push the definition a bit further and give a shout out to a non-museum education worker who makes a substantial contribution to museums through support, encouragement and advocacy. In that line of thought, it's impossible for me to go past @mareewhiteley.

I've searched online to rediscover a nice photo of Maree and I, snapped at the 2015 WA Heritage Awards (with champagnes in hand). To our surprise, the photo made the social pages of The West Australian newspaper! Surely, that has to be proof of the rising profile of museums and heritage!? Anyway, back to the challenge...


I met Maree during Edith Cowan University's Certificate in Museum Studies in 2008. At the time she was a primary school teacher but now works as a curriculum consultant. She helped with the development of the Australian History Curriculum and actively encourages museums and teachers to work together.

A few well-placed comments from Maree on Facebook ultimately led to the @carnamah project developing education resources usable from the classroom with Carnamah's virtual exhibitions. This started small but grew to a suite of nine expansive resources, which were recently awarded a Highly Commended in the 2015 Museums and Galleries National Awards.

Others directly in the world of museum education, who I follow on Twitter, are @Janpcim and @JoClyne1, who are both in Victoria. It's outside of the museum sphere but another inspiring educator is school teacher @BhavneetSingh12 who heads up the TeachMeet movement in WA (#TMWA). I think the museum world could learn a lot by the way teachers are banding together and developing both their networks and professional development.

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