Enquiremanchester’s Weblog

The Manchester Museum is the lead museum in the North West Manchester cluster in a national project about art and learning for engage called ‘enquire’

enquire is on the move November 20, 2008

Filed under: Alchemy Enquire — enquiremanchester @ 2:56 pm
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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.

Bagi and Day discussing enquire

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.

 

Planning and Progressions September 2, 2008

Filed under: About Alchemy - enquire — enquiremanchester @ 4:09 pm
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All this afternoon the Secondary and Post-16 team have been planning the next couple of terms on the en-quire project.  Its a very exciting time, with lots of creative ideas flying about – more details to follow in the next couple of weeks!

One of the things we wanted to achieve as part of this work with artists has been a series of sustainable programmes that can be offered throughout the year and that work with some of our talented artist educators already on staff.  We have been lucky to secure funding from the North West Museums Hub, part of Renaissance in the Regions, through their Pathways and Progression programme.

This programme aims to provide Museums and Galleries in the Manchester area to develop their work with secondary schools.  Here at The Manchester Museum we have a well established Science and Humanities programme and arts programming has not been a core part of our offer until very recently.

With this funding we have developed three exciting new workshops that highlight the diversity of the collection and use the Museum galleries as sources of inspiration for creative learning and we can offer them FREE OF CHARGE which is wonderful news.

More details on each of the sessions will follow, along with information on the forthcoming trials and images.  If you are a teacher, or have a friend who is a teacher, and you want to know more, please contact one of us at The Museum, or even leave us a comment below so we know we are not alone!