VX Designers: Skills learners develop as exhibition curators
Every formal educational system uses exhibitions for learning specific subject matters, that can be for example history, Arts, science, and culture. For sure you have a memory of visiting a museum or an art center or a gallery, during school years. If you think well, you might remember that this visit it was perhaps linked with a specific school subject, or project, or simply a follow-up activity or discussion in the classroom.
It is obvious that the reason why we can remember this kind of experience is because they were interesting first of all because it was a much different activity than the others of the usual school routine. Exhibitions enable students to ‘escape’ from the “constraints” of their usual learning environment as they provide a non-formal teaching and learning approach that is more engaging, joyful and creative for students. Furthermore, exhibitions can provide significant content, specialised or focused on a specific subject, that allows learners to move forward with the information and construct new knowledge in different settings. This is not only engaging for the students, but it also fosters individual’s self-esteem and confidence in learning, creating links and discovering new things. This is also something very important and beneficial for learners with learning difficulties, including those with Specific Learning Disorders (SLD).
The educational value of exhibitions is no doubt, enormous. They can assist learners to develop skills in questioning, critical thinking, reflection, and problem solving and encourage them to shape knowledge about specific or more general concepts. They offer exposure and as cultural medium, they enable experiencing, and understanding the cultural value and heritage, thus, create open minded, cultural aware and creative pupils as well.
Nonetheless, as an educational process, learning using exhibitions is still limited to a fairly passive practice of visiting, rather than inviting learners to actually be a part of the exhibition creation process – which would foster active learning and potential of full engagement and learning. Indeed, learning by experience, with hands-on activities and involvement in the creation process, can maximize the benefits of learning thought exhibitions. It also helps in developing learner’s skills some of which are described below.
First of all, exhibition creation (curation) requires research work to arrive at the required meaningful information. This helps developing significant research skills but also awareness about the latest research and challenges of the society, which fosters skills in problem-solving and a technical approach to overcome any given problem. It also enhances critical thinking and analysis of any situation and challenge, to reach the desired conclusion or the solution.
Furthermore, exhibition creation enables learners to explore different ways and medias to design their exhibition, with can develop various technical and digital skills. This can help learners discover new areas and technical knowledge, but also their talents and things that they enjoy doing. The process can simply spur curiosity and develop student’s creativity, but also skills in collaboration, communication and work in groups. Students can work in groups and learn social skills and to respect each other’s views and realize the value and power of collaboration.
Afterall, exhibition curation leads to presenting the exhibition, that requires skills in presentation, communication, content knowledge and work with audience. This can help developing learner’s self-esteem and confidence.
Finally, creating an exhibition can work as a method to test the application of knowledge taught or learned. By collecting exhibits from various sources, students learn to apply the information and discover what and how much they have learned. Through this process students can also develop a tendency to set goals but also to discover their strengths and develop organisational and planning skills.
Convinced that creating exhibitions for learning can offer all the above, and other benefits to the students, we created VXDesigners Erasmus+ funded project. The project aims to put the learners truly at the centre of the exhibition development process to maximize their learning and interest through a project-based learning activity: co-curating an exhibition. Specifically, the project will equip teachers, educators and museum professionals with tools and knowledge that will allow them to invite the young members of audience to the process of creating co-curated exhibitions while developing skills necessary on different stages of education.
Stay updated about the VXDesigners project by following our social networks.
If VXDesigners speaks to you, give us a shout!
We are currently looking for teachers and professionals from the cultural world who would be willing to tell us about their experiences with museum visits, exhibitions and even scenography, done with children or for children.
You can contact us through mail : email@example.com or fill the form here and we will reach you in order to set up a digital meeting.
Accessibility tools offering a narrative and visual experience of works of art for low or unskilled learners and those with specific needs
Cross-curricular approach using History to contextualise STEAM and allow for a non-formal, hands-on active learning.
Using Virtual Reality technology (VR) to improve learning of mathematics.
Tools for math teachers to add art works and hands-on exercises in their lessons.