ITP+ Mumbai: final preparations for group presentations, from Rashidah Salim (ITP 2016, Malaysia)
Rasidah Salim, Senior Executive Assistant to the Director, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
What an inspiring day sitting together to finalise the museum-learning project proposal at the ITP+ course Museums and education. Not to forget the peaceful ‘reflection time’ walk in the CSMVS grounds with a workshop partner that added stimulation to it!
We have had brilliant thinking from participants creating and presenting wonderful ideas, and reaching out in offering the museum as a common ground for changing the mind-set of society. With mood boards starting to take shape and colourful notes being stuck on them.
Group 1 was highlighting museums as a suitable place for inter-generational families to spend quality time together. This family interaction is important in sustaining bonds among family members. In engaging all family members in the museum outing, a lot of educational activities were listed by this group such as the museum trail.
While Group 2 and 3 both included youth in the museum system, thinking long-term, and serious attention has been given to their priorities. It is important that youths are able to enjoy the museum and to have freedom in creating personal meaning for the museum spaces. It should not be seen as a boring place for these youths. In addition to that, the museum is not a one-stop training for interns and volunteers. When positively accepted by the museum, these future leaders will make a difference by coming back and transforming the museum into a better learning institution.
Group 4 have been looking into how museums can transform society and they are focusing on how the museum can be the learning context for implementing social inclusion, regarding literacy. Among the recommendations is partnership with schools followed by timely evaluation on the collaborations.
Lastly, Group 5 – my group – are taking museum as a non-judgemental and neutral institution and therefore a suitable setting for teachers to discuss sensitive issues of diversity to students. By including museum objects in the discussion, issues such as gender, disability, LGBTQ, equality among genders and differences in faith/religion can be turned into positive learning processes that lead to acceptance of these students toward diversity issues.
People of this world are full of diversity and it comes in many forms. Learning to accept this should be taught in the early stage of life and teachers are the best people to ensure this will be in the mind of the young ones. Museums collaborating with experts on specific diversity issues will provide teachers with better understanding.
The background of the Group 5 team members has made the task smooth sailing. Walking together through the gallery was indeed very refreshing and engaging. Beside our UK facilitator Joanna Mawdsley (V&A Dundee), Vaidehi (ITP 2016, India) and myself from museums, we were fortunate to have Esther who is a teacher and Siddhant who is a youth role model and an expert on the issue of access in our team. Who could ask for more!