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Future of Museums: Learning and Engagement

27 March 2019 @ 09:30 - 17:00

£55 – £195

Museums Association One-Day Conference

This one-day conference will look at the latest understanding of how adults and children learn, examine historical perspectives on museum learning and engagement, and assess how that might work in the future.

Twenty years after the publication of the influential A Common Wealth: Museums in the Learning Age, how has museum learning developed and how are museums responding to demographic, economic and societal change? How can museums reach out to their communities most effectively given this context?

Advances in theory, the progression of digital innovation and capital investment, and developments in socially engaged practice have all had significant impacts on cultural learning in the last two decades. This conference will consider how museums can respond to these opportunities, as well as asking:

  • What new models of practice can museums learn from?
  • Do we need to decolonise museum learning to take into account different cultural models?
  • What do communities, teachers and educators want and need from museums?
  • How can we make learning and engagement central to our museums?

A diverse range of speakers will present new ideas and perspectives on the future of museum learning and ask challenging questions about how museum learning can contribute to a social justice and cultural rights agenda.

This conference is part of the Museums Association’s Future of Museums series, and will offer an opportunity to debate these issues, discuss what the future holds, and explore how museums can make a positive difference in society.

The event also features the launch of a Museums Association research project into the future of museum learning and engagement. The aim of the research will be to understand what audiences and communities need from museum and to share what innovative learning practice looks like and how it might be applied.

Speakers include:

  • Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes, National Museums Scotland
  • Dominique Bouchard, Head of Learning and Interpretation, English Heritage
  • David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museums Wales
  • Kate Fellows, Lifelong Learning Manager, Leeds Museums and Galleries
  • Wendy Gallagher, Head of Learning and Engagement, Manchester Museum
  • Sharon Heal, Director, Museums Association
  • Siobhan McConnachie, Head of Education, National Galleries Scotland
  • Mark O’Neill, Museum Consultant
  • Dhikshana Pering, Young People’s Producer, London Borough of Culture 2020
  • Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland
  • Colleen Watters, Head of Learning and Partnerships, Ulster Museum


27 March 2019
09:30 - 17:00
£55 – £195
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National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1JF United Kingdom
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