A New Experience in London: British Museum Colloquium and ITP Education Week (Shreen Amin, ITP 2016, Egypt)
Written by Shreen Amin, Director of the Children’s Museum, Egyptian Museum in Cairo (ITP 2016, Egypt)
ITP Legacy Project: 16 – 20 July 2018
Egyptological Colloquium Displaying Egypt & Tailored ITP Education Programme
‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’
This famous phrase from the 18th-century by author Samuel Johnson describes my feeling: there is more and more to see in London.
I was invited by the ITP family to attend a one-week programme focusing on learning aspects in museums and to deliver my paper ‘Displaying Egyptian history in the
Egyptian regional museums: challenges and future trends‘ at the Annual Egyptological Colloquium organised by the Ancient Egypt and Sudan Department at the British Museum. It was amazing opportunity to explore London again and meet museums professionals from all over the world.
I started my adventure by visiting Oxford with some of the ITP 2018 fellows and ITP Coordinator Becca Horton. It was an amazing trip where I got to know new friends from the ITP family.
On the first day of the prepared programme, I met my Indian ITP colleague J.M. Gandhimathi who is Curator in the Arts Section of the Government Museum, Chennai with a responsibly for education programmes (ITP 2017). We explored together one of the British Museum learning programmes, Little feet. It is one of the programmes presented to kids under five years old with their families. I have realised that the British Museum has an impressive learning team – I was really impressed by their learning techniques. The past ten years have seen a revolution in museum education. Museums have placed learning at the core of their service to the public and have developed extensive programmes, establishing their role as vital centers of knowledge. We need to ensure that museums and galleries remain at the heart of children’s and young people’s education.
‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’
This quote from Winston Churchill describes what the ITP family are doing to improve our skills and add to our professional career.
It was a good opportunity for me during this week to attend special sessions about learning focusing on visitor and community engagement. The ITP also let us attend the display sessions presented to ITP 2018 fellows where we explored Rodin and the art of ancient Greece, the temporary exhibition at the British Museum at that moment.
The ITP team chose the Imperial War Museum as a key museum for Gandhimathi and I to explore during the visit to look at the display A Family in Wartime from a children’s education perspective. The museum identifies conflict from WW1 to the present day. It was a perfect choice – I had not been there before and it is a very impressive exhibition that you cannot miss in London.
With my new friend J.M. Gandhimathi , we explored different places in London, including a suburban district of north London. Respect people who find time for you in their busy schedule: thank you, Gandhi!
No words can express my gratitude to the ITP family for giving me chance to live this experience.
My final words are:
Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup.