Heritage education happens in places that offer a trusted source of knowledge

Research conducted by the Museums Association (MA) with the general public suggests that the educational function of museums is widely understood. More than that, they are seen as places where knowledge is not just created but freely shared for the public good.

The MA’s research shows that people regard museums positively as “guardians of factual information”. They are valued as a trusted source of knowledge and as places where “all sides of a story can be told”. This custodianship function and perceived openness to many different points of view is an enduring aspect of their appeal.

This is not to say that museums and other heritage attractions are neutral. No system of collecting, display and interpretation is without its inherent, perhaps unconscious, bias. But the great thing about our heritage sector is its potential for rediscovery and reinterpretation by each successive generation of curators, educators and visitors.

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