Museums and schools: An analysis of the educational "game"

Year: 2001

Author: Mathewson, Donna

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on an ongoing investigation into the relationship between museums and secondary school-based education. In a previously completed study the author identified contradictions and misperceptions as evident within the beliefs expressed by classroom educators and museum educators. While both communities assumed ostensibly that they were working cooperatively and effectively toward a shared goal my findings established that this was not the case. This presentation sets out the nature of problems identified within the museum/secondary school relationship using selected elements of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological theories and his notion of the game. Findings regarding the sites of contest and contradiction within the two settings are examined in terms of power, dominance, and unexamined conventional practices and philosophies. Such an analysis allows for identification of underlying social forces that maintain borders between museums and schools that are yet to be crossed.