Reading Corner

Browse through our collection of free resources, toolkits and conference reports.

 

Case Studies: Access and Inclusion

The first digital edition of the GEM – the voice of heritage and learning case studies is dedicated to inclusion. Many children and adults who engage with museums and heritage sites have Special Educational Needs. More and more projects are being developed to engage with special schools and families. In this edition, contributors move away from temporary projects and look at how they can work to generate enduring impact on their partners and practice. They challenge the notion that access is an added extra, speaking up for the cultural rights of marginalised groups, recognising their huge creative potential and our responsibility to make space for it.

 

Down Syndrome Resources

The Down Syndrome Foundation provides a unique range of services, materials, and resources for family and educators of learners with Down syndrome. Learn how to design activities for children with down syndrome and benefit from their great selection of ready-to-use activities and pritables.

 

Resource kit: The Birds And The Bees

Podcast, article and resource collection on strategies on how to talk to children about sex. The resources consider a brought variety of leading experts and offer multiple tools for an evidenced-based approach on sexual education.

 

Innovation Workbook: Developing and Evolving in Museums

This workbook introduces methods in which cultural heritage and art can act as inspiration, encouragement, and support for the development of new solutions. These methods have been developed in cooperation with museums, professionals in higher education and entrepreneurship education, as well as students in higher education. The project ‘Museums as innovation platforms’ was coordinated by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova and implemented together with the Museum of Technology, Humak University of Applied Sciences, and Junior Achievement Finland.

 

Resource collection: educating youth about agriculture

A collection of hands-on activities, engaging programs and inquiry-based educational resources aiming to connect kids and agriculture through innovative, experiential and curriculum-based programs.

 

Study: From social inclusion to social cohesion

This EU Publication by the 2017-2019 working group of member states’ experts on fostering the contribution of culture to social inclusion features guidelines for cultural institutions and policy makers on how they can achieve social inclusion. Learn about the current status of inclusion in Europe’s cultural institutions and get practical insights from best practice examples.

 

Tour Toolkit: Developing an Inclusive Tour

This toolkit for developing an inclusive tour was compiled using best practices recorded on tour observations and through discussions with more than 150 docents and guides at Mia during a two-year period. In observing guided tours with high levels of engagement, common elements and approaches used by tour facilitators emerged. One way to value our visitors’ voices is to create opportunities for participation and the exchange of ideas while exploring art together on a tour. Whether you have been guiding tours for 5 years or 25 years, using suggestions and techniques from this toolkit will help you provide a more inclusive tour experience, where all participants are invited to take part in building on the meaning of the art.

 

Education Research Highlights 2019

Does doodling boost learning? Do attendance awards work? Do boys and girls process math the same way? Does art education benefit the learning curve of other subjects?Do we learn more when reading from paper? Every year brings new insights—and cautionary tales—about what works in education. Edutopia has put together a great overview of the major questions tackled by researchers in 2019.

 

Guide: Methodology of working with people with special needs in botanical gardens and arboreta

This methodology is the result of a Erasmus+ cooperation between the botanical gardens in Prague, Poznań and Gothenburg and the Hungarian Association of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens. It aims to be a practical guide and inspire educators in botanical gardens, ecological education centres and other institutions to focuse on improving their accessibility by using innovative methods of work and perceiving nature by all senses. Available in English, Swedish, Czech, Polish & Hungarian.

 

Guide: Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals

This guide creating by Curating tomorrow is intended to help empower museums, museum workers, museum networks and their partners to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal. Learn about the Sustainable Development Goals vision, agenda, and why the SDGs need museums and museums need the SDGs.

 

 

Bring Science Home: Archive of DIY science experiments

Scientific American has developed an archive of over 400 of science experiments for kids ages 6-12. Each post in the archive details the key concepts kids will learn (such as biology, chemistry, physics, angles, friction, force, engineering or frequency), some background on the topic, a list of materials needed, step-by-step instructions, and observations and results. The experiments can be done with household items in 30 minutes or less.

 

Digital history book

Monument Europe is a free, open source project, which provides low-threshold information particularly to schools, social organisations, families, volunteers, and also to local history clubs and historical societies. The website and resources are designed to help young people unlock the “European Code” in monuments, and to examine the past with a view on the topics that are relevant today, both online and offline. Every topic is accessible via three paths: A timeline, an animated graphic novel providing a relatable character connected to a specific historic event and sn activity toolbox inviting participants to engage with monuments and their historical context in the physical world.

 

 

Exibit Design for Girls’ Engagement Resources

The Exhibit Designs for Girls’ Engagement (EDGE) project, a three-year research study, aimed to identify the most important design attributes for engaging girls at STEM exhibits. The purpose of the EDGE research was to winnow that list of 100 potential design attributes to those most important for engaging girls. The result: nine design attributes strongly and positively related to girls’ engagement across the three institutions. Check out their free Design Guide, Webinar, Articles, and Coding Scheme.

 

Methods and techniques from museum and heritage education

This handy toolkit offers an overview of 18 educational methods used in museums and other cultural insitutions of informal learning. The publication presents the basic concept of each method along with its strenghts and weaknesses and targets museum professionals, teachers, parents and students alike.

 

 

Spokes – Science Engagement Magazine

Spokes is the free monthly online magazine of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums. Dvelve into the  latest news from the European science engagement community, go further with in-depth features and make the most of the good reads, events and opportunities shared by Ecsite members.

 

 

Storytelling Card pack: Grandma got S.T.E.A.M

The intergenerational project Grandma got STEAM is an intergenerational Project, which  brought together a group of young people and  women with  successful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. They  developed a pack of illustrated storytelling cards that features characters and plots drawn from the life and work experiences of the women. The pack  functions as a storytelling tool and may be used by anyone with an interest in story and community.

 

 

Toolkit: Who is coming? Respectful Audience Surveying

Many cultural and civic institutions don’t have high-quality data on participants. For many, collecting demographic data sounds intimidating, expensive, and complicated. The OF BY FOR ALL initiative, founded by Nina Simon, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, has put together a free tool kit  helping you to develop a visitor survey to collect high-quality data on a budget.

 

Bringing up Britain

This weekly radio debate by BBC 4 discusses various topics connected to raising 21st century children. Subjects range from teaching critical thinking skills, to smartphone usage, childhood anxiety, risky play, boosting creativity and gender stereoptypes. In each episode moderator Mariella Frostrup is joined by experts, policy makers, parents and children, who offer multiple perspectives and further food for thought. All episodes are available online and for free.

 

 

Equity, exclusion and everyday science learning 

In an article for Ecsite’s Spokes magazine, Emily Dawson shares a summary of the findings of her latest book: Equity, exclusion & everyday science learning: The experiences of minoritised groups. The author explores how some people are excluded from science education and communication. Taking the role of science in society as a starting point, she critically examines the concept of equity in science learning and develops a framework to support inclusive change. The findings draw on two years of ethnographic research carried out in London with five community groups who identified as Asian, Somali, Afro-Caribbean, Latin American and Sierra Leonean.

 

 

Toolkit: History conveyed through dilemma-based communication

Dilemma-based presentation is a working method, in which the emphasis is on empathy and reflection. The main purpose is to get participants to live inside a specific scenario. Giving participants a crucial role in solutions encourages them to reflect on the possibilities and consequences of their decisions. Six Danish museums share their dilemma-based activities and practical insights of using the method for various target groups. The toolkit also offers a theoretical introduction to the topic and a list of reading recommendations.

 

 

Imaginary Open Mathematics

IMAGINARY is a non-profit Organisation dedicated to the communication of modern mathematics. It offers a free platform for open and interactive mathematics with a variety of content that can be used in schools, at home, in museums, at exhibitions or for events and media activities. The main contents of IMAGINARY are interactive programs, tool kits and exhibits.

 

Fablabnet Library

FabLabNet Library is an open online document repository that collects key deliverables of public interest – inlcluding mapping studies, videos & tutorials – jointly developed and piloted by nine FablLabs in the context of the Interreg Central Europe FabLabNet project. Fablabs are technical prototyping platforms for innovation and invention inviting the society at large to become innovators. The project joins 9 fablabs into a central European Network to share experiences and develop activities to boost their knowledge and capacity.

 

National Museum Reports 2018

Our friends from the European Museum Academy have asked their national representatives to submit reports on current developments of the museum landscape in their countries. This collections features reports from 20 European countries and offers unique insights on the latest achievements and difficulties of the European museum field.

 

Nordic Inspiration: Fresh approaches to museum learning

The Nordic associations of museum education (NAME)  created this  selection of projects from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway that have been internationally acclaimed for their innovative approaches.  The diverse projects are presented in four categories: Audience Development, Community & Collaboration, Schools & Education and Museum Development.

 

Museums change lives

Museums of all sizes, with collections ranging from fine art to social history, are changing lives – often in partnership with community groups, health charities and other third sector organisations. The British Museums Association is campaigning for museums to develop their role as socially purposeful organisations and has released a compelling report on the social impact of museums.

 

 

Start Empathy: A toolkit for promoting empathy in schools

A great collection of activities to help create learning environments which meet every child’s social and emotional needs.  Ashoka, the leading association for social entrepreneurs has identified empathy as a key skill of the 21th century. This toolkit was launched as part of their campaing Empathy Now!.

 

 

Summer learnings

A list of podcasts for museum professionals addressing a broad variety of topics. For bookworms we recommend Victoria & Albert’s learning and interpretation reading list , Lindsey Steward’s reading bucket list and the reading list of Bundesverband deutscher Kinder-und Jugendmuseen (for German-speakers)

 

 

European Museum Awards: A guide to quality work in museums

A NEMO publication dedicated to Europe’s most prestegious museum awards. Learn more about their aims and gather valuable information on their judging criteria and application processes. Spoiler alert: Our very own Children in Museums Award is featured too!

 

 

Session summary: Hands On! at Ecsite 2018

Our friends from Ecsite invited us to hold a Hands On! session at this year’s edition of their annual conference. From 7-9 June 2018 more than 1000 participants gathered at Europe’s largest Science communication conference. In our session ‘Reconceiling creative exhibit design and the demands of today’s compensation culture’ we explored the obstacles curators and exhibit developers face throughout their work. This report features summaries of the three inspiring brave practice presentations, questions and issues raised by the participants and a list of reads recommended by the speakers.

 

 

The NL factor: A journey in the educational world of Dutch museums

This Nemo publication written by CMA-judge Margherita Sani explores why there are so many extraordinary museum projects dedicated to young visitors in the Netherlands. Learn what makes the Dutch museum landscape so unique, dive into an inspiring case study and discover the work of 22 best practise projects.

 

 

Activity toolkit: Gender inclusive STEM education

Hypatia, a EU-funded project aiming to develop a theoretical framework on gender inclusive STEM education created this collection of activities for teenagers aged 13-18 years. This online resource contains workshops, speed dating, card games, debate scenarios and plays drawn from good practices across Europe.

 

 

Managing risk in play provision: Implementation guide

Play Safety Forum has gathered three leading experts of the fields of play and risk to introduce a state-of-the-art approach on risk management. The result is the risk-benefit assessment, taking into account latest scientific findings on human play. This guide shows, how insitutitons can successfully balance safety and free play.

 

 

Exhibit safety resources

This resource list complements the article “Keeping Visitors Safe Around Exhibits,” by Kathy Krafft and Harry White, which appeared in the January/February 2014 issue of Dimensions magazine, published by the Association of Science-Technology Centers . It features lists of recommended safety products, links to safety resources, recommended reads, sample accident forms and risk assessments.

 

 

Measuring socially engaged practise: A toolkit for museums

Evaluating the social impact of a museum can be a real challenge. This toolkit by the UK Museums Association looks at a variety of approaches including qualitative and quantitative techniques, helping institutions to find the best method for their needs.

 

 

The #Future Museum Project

Museum professionals from all over the world share their personal answers to the question ‘What will museums be like in the future ?’. Get inspired by the thoughts and ideas of colleagues, or submit your own short essay and participate in this visionary ongoing project. Do not miss out on browsing through other articles of the Museum ID Magazine as well – it is definitely worth it!

 

 

The power of play: A research summary on play and learning

A research compilation on the major types of play and its related learning benefits by Rachel White of the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

 

 

Social Media toolkit for cultural managers

This toolkit by the ENCATC network on internet engagement data, marketing and storytelling strategies, assists cultural insitutions to make more of their social media appearances. It also provides valuable background information on the nature of social media and best pratice ideas to boost the benefits of social media activities for your organization.

 

 

Conference report: Hands On! conference 2017

Raluca Bem Neamu’s  (president of the Da´DeCe (I Wonder Why) association) personal report on the 11th Hands On! conference titled `Future in children’s Hands – informal education as a tool for social change`. Our 2017 travelling conference brought 300 dedicated museum professionals to Pilsen, Pisek and Prague. See our biennial gathering through the eyes of a first-time participant and benefit from her take-aways.

 

 

The Participatory Museum

The open access online version of Nina Simon’s best-selling guide to working with community members and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant and essential places.

 

 

RAFT: Resource area for teaching

Great selection of lesson plans, workshop kits and tip sheets dedicated to hands-on learning of STEAM topics. They also run a blog on turning everyday situations into teachable moments and feature inspiring Projects and ideas for workhshop themes

 

 

Discussion guide: The future of museums and libraries

The summary of the discussions and outcomes of a planning Meeting initiated by the US- National Academy of Sciences. Leaders of different diciplines were asked to discuss the future challenges, opportunities and developments of museums and libraries. Dive into their ideas and visions for 9 key themes of the field and gain new insights with the help of the recommended literature.