Reconceptualising educational engagements between museums and schools

Year: 2003

Author: Mathewson, Donna, McKeon, Penny

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The author's analysis of recent research exposes a disjunction between the school-based pedagogical role of secondary school-based educators and their educational engagements with museums, that has yet to be adequately explored. In seeking explanation, this paper presents a theoretical framework that interrogates the characteristic practices of school-based educators in relation to museums to expose how concealed and misrecognised relations of domination operate to undermine the authentic representation and engagement of school-based perspectives in the museum setting. On the basis of this analysis the author presents a model for engagement with museums embracing the notion of a critical museum pedagogy that, in challenging perceptions of certainty and inevitability and allowing for the active negotiation of meanings, aims to undermine processes of domination. The model constitutes an alternative framework that draws on research emanating from the museum and school-based fields, and the particular field of art education and utilizes the social theories of Pierre Bourdieu.