University of Cambridge Museums

Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums

Helping you to find a ‘way in’

During the past week, a fellow PGCE Primary teacher trainee and I have been inspired by the education departments of The Museum of Cambridge, The Sedgwick Museum, The Museum of Classical Archaeology and The Fitzwilliam Museum.  What these museums have to offer families, schools and people of all ages means that whether you’re 18 months old, pushing 100 or any of the years in between these educational teams are thinking and planning for you, respecting and valuing your ideas.  Between the artefacts, collections and buildings themselves there is an infinite number of stories to tell.

A way inThe Fitzwilliam Museum was our home for the majority of the week, where we seized the opportunity to make connections and explore age appropriate strategies that elicit and scaffold curiosity towards the unearthing and articulation of a web of ideas.  Through a three way dialogue between subject, object and the museum educator/facilitator skills of observation are guided and honed as meaning and understanding are threaded and shaped by emergent narrative. Reading a painting with your imagination and appealing to all your senses sparks confidence in the reader.  In engaging guided sessions the familiar features are enhanced, questions are celebrated. Tempted by fascination, thoughts safely flow.

Within the walls of a museum there is an incredible potential to recognise objects, not as distant relics but instead as significant pieces of information and connected through time.  The museum skilfully brings the past into the present moment, as the real object stands before you or indeed you can journey back in time to meet the creator.  In a powerful moment of realisation the familiarity and humanness of many of the collections lead to a mutual respect between observer and artefact, lending validity to their own point of view.

If you fancy an epic adventure then find, tell and create stories out of the multitude of characters, locations and situations; interact, interpret and become authors through your self-expression; be artists, scientists, philosophers or put on your deer stalker, join up the dots and solve a mystery.  These museums are collections of ideas waiting to be inherited, carefully presented in recognition of the significance of the experience, enjoy a new age of exploration.

Peter Bardsley, Primary PGCE student at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

One comment on “Helping you to find a ‘way in’

  1. Pingback: Spiral Bound | University of Cambridge Museums

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Top Posts & Pages

Follow us on Twitter @CamUnivMuseums

University of Cambridge Museums on Facebook

University of Cambridge Museums on Instagram

'Michael Jackson' by @hey_reilly at the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Part of 'Recasting', an exhibition of classical casts and contemporary art. Catch it in #cambridge before the show ends (15th October)
#classics #museums #michaeljackson #casts Head of a Kore on display at the #Museum of #Classical #archeaology  #Cambridge. Found on the #Acropolis, #Athens.  This is an archaic head ( c. 510 BC) from a small but full-length female figure.  This small head is all that remains of one of the many sculptures destroyed in the Persian raids on Athens in 480 BCE. It has holes on the brow for the attachment of metal adornments, and has a socket in the top of the head for a protector against birds and the weather. #Museums #Classics #History #ancienthistory #sculptures #casts #Persia #arthistory #greece #ancientgreece Fragment of Limestone relief on display @fitzmuseum_uk #Cambridge.  The relief this fragment is from represents either the god #Amun; identifiable by the plumes in his crown, a #female who might be a royal person or servant, or is a representation of the #King who receives the gift of #life from a #god.  This #object is from the Temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, #Egypt. #ancientegypt #limestone #Museums #ancienthistory #temple #afterlife #Repost @cubotanicgarden with @repostapp
Ouch! The New Zealand speargrass - Aciphylla colensoi enjoying a well-drained, sunny site outside here in the #Botanic #Garden in #Cambridge.  #NewZealand #Botany #Plants #Gardens Image of backlit projecting planetarium on display at the #Whipple #History of #Science #Museum #Cambridge.  A #planetarium demonstrates the motions of the #planets. On this particular #instrument the rings are rotated by a turning crank, moving a system of cogs. Each ring carries a planet or one of its #satellites. The signs of the #Zodiac appear on the edge in reverse order. This planetarium was intended to be used with a projecting device, such as a #magic #lantern. There is no date for this instrument, however in 1848 an eighth satellite of #Saturn was discovered. This instrument only has seven. It is very likely that this planetarium was made before 1848.  #Space #Museums #Universe #historyofscience #astronomy #astrology #Repost @cambridgeuniversity with @repostapp
Illustrator Sir Quentin Blake at the unveiling of his new illustrations at the Museum of Zoology. Photo by @camdiary, 11 Jul 2016. #quentinblake @quentinblake #cambridgeuniversity #universityofcambridge #zoology #museum #study #portrait #roalddahl #illustration #drawing #museums
%d bloggers like this: