“WHEN YOU’RE DEAD YOU’RE STILL TEACHING”
While museums are able to support school curriculum-based learning, they can also provide an opportunity for students to stretch their knowledge and their imaginations beyond the boundaries of the formal curriculum. When a museum offers a diversity of viewpoints and exhibition topics, it opens a door which leads beyond the curriculum boundary. A brief period of time, even as short as 30 minutes, can enable students to experience something new, intellectually broadening and visually stimulating.
This taste of something different, even exotic, can stimulate interest in cultures, history and other peoples. It can be the unexpected add-on, the unplanned supplement. The words of one anonymous adult visitor who evaluated our history exhibition on rituals and sacrifice in ancient Europe (The Mysterious Bog People) expressed her museum learning experience beautifully:
“The main theme is how much the present, past and future are all intermingled. Amazing. Whoever thought all these people who lived centuries ago would be on display? Even when you’re dead you’re still teaching people. I guess that’s what museums are about, aren’t they?”