The museum school movement in the US is gaining steam, and now our colleagues in the UK are jumping on the bandwagon. The "My Primary School is at the Museum" Project, conceived of by architect Wendy James, pairs two primary and one nursery school with three museums: the Tate Liverpool, the Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum and the National Waterfront Museum.
Following the students for one school term (plus a follow-up project next spring), researchers from Kings College London will "test the hypothesis that there may be beneficial learning, social and cultural outcomes for primary school children and their families when they receive their full time education in a museum setting, as well as benefits for museums."
These student's daily classes will take place in the museums, and this video shows you a bit of what their school days look like:
Some of my favorite quotes:
"I don't actually like museums, but this one turned out to be different."
"I'll remember this forever!"
and from a school administrator:
"I'd be very interested to move the whole school into a museum."
I've played with projections about how many school children could get all or part of their education through museum schools and museum apprenticeships. I hope research projects like this help shape policy and direct funding that brings museums into the educational mainstream.
The findings from the project will be published this fall--meanwhile you can follow the project on Twitter using #museumschool.