Sharjah Museums Department, in collaboration with the renowned German Goethe-Institut, recently conducted an innovative workshop aimed at specialists working in the museum education sector.
The workshop was held within the context of a far-reaching and comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between the Sharjah Museums Department, the National Museums of Berlin and Goethe-Institut last year.
The agreement is aimed at promoting collaboration between the partners as well as joint professional development in areas of mutual interest in the field of museum sciences. The agreement will foster opportunities for institutional exchange in view of enhancing cross-cultural understanding and dialogue through museum collections, art and culture.
The workshop – entitled ‘'Learning with objects and visitors – Approaches, Objectives and Perspectives'’ – was aimed at equipping participants with innovative approaches to bringing museum collections and a wide range of visitors and audiences together.
A main focus of the training addressed participatory methods to involve the museum public in re-interpreting the meaning of museum objects and revealing new object stories for exhibitions and educational events.
Commenting on the workshop, Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department, remarked, “We are delighted to host the tailored training which will equip museum education specialists with the necessary skills and the new methodologies for their work with our diverse communities. The sessions allow for a dialogue between the trainer's expertise and local know-how and experience. The aim is to develop skills and jointly move forward towards delivering state-of-the-art educational activities that are relevant to all our museum audiences. With the ongoing support of the Goethe-Institut, we are hoping to provide more workshop activities of this kind in the near future."
Dr Gabriele Landwehr, General Manager of the Goethe Institut Gulf Region added: “The German trainers are delighted with this cooperation. They feel inspired by the fact that the participants and themselves, despite coming from different cultures, discovered through the workshop that they had much in common with regard to both their professional aspirations and their personal stories and memories. Furthermore, the workshop has proven that museums as informal learning places are ideal partners in the work of the Goethe Institute.”
The four-day workshop included theoretical and practical sessions on stimulating visitor awareness by working with objects, reflecting on perception and learning in the museum. Participants discussed the methodologies of a focus group approach for visitors and museum users. They learnt how to implement the outcomes into their daily practice and then how to organize and evaluate them in relevance to their work in Sharjah Museums.
exchange in view of enhancing cross-cultural understanding and dialogue through museum collections, art and culture.