We had our first meeting with Alice from Levenshulme High School on Tuesday. I’d already met with artist Dena Bagi a couple of times before in the museum’s resource centre to talk about the project.
Dena and I went along to talk to art teacher, Alice, about Dena’s ideas and to discuss how we could all work best together on the project. We ran over the aims and objectives for the project which were broken down into points for students, artist, teacher/school, museum educator and museum curator separately. The question I have identified for the project is: How can schools, artists and museums work collaboratively to deliver successful, sustained and sustainable art projects where each of the participants is considered to be a learner? By viewing each of the participants as learners we’ll be looking at how collaborating together can also mean that we learn together and identify our own roles within the collaboration. In considering ‘successful, sustained and sustainable art projects’ we’ll be looking at what makes a project successful, the differences for learning between longer projects and our one-off workshops, and at how we continue to offer sustained projects to schools in the future.
As the museum educator, my learning is focused around how I foster the collaborative partnership and how I develop the framework for this model of working. Its also about what my role as a museum educator is for this project – should I be at all the delivered sessions, how much information or support do I need to give to each of the participants, and what’s the best way to evaluate the ‘success’ of the project – what does ‘success’ even mean?
The meeting with Alice reminded me that there is no ‘perfect’ way to go about a project. I’d suggested that Dena try not to make any hard and fast plans before meeting Alice because I didn’t want the teacher to feel outside of the project from the beginning. However, Dena did have some pretty developed ideas about what she wanted to do – the project is to be based around her practice after all – but Alice had no problem with thinking about how Dena’s plans would be appropriate for the class or the national curriculum. So I needn’t have worried about Dena developing her ideas in advance of meeting Alice. This might have been more difficult for other teachers though, as we’ve found in the past.