The Contribution of Art Museums to Art Education

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Over the years, in recognition of the need to increase opportunities for art education and art learning, schools have endorsed the value of museum learning and its role in facilitating knowledge acquisition and enriching the educational experience of students. Nevertheless, Jordanian schools ignored the enormous advantages of art museums and they consider them as an additional resource for classroom art. The intention of this study is to activate the role of art museums in art education, as such, the study analyzed contribution of art museum as an integral part in teaching art to students and children in particular. Moreover, the issue of educational tours and school visits to art museums were discussed. In order to establish a base for discussion, books and articles on this subject were reviewed. The study revealed that museum learning is not a supplement to art curriculum, instead, museums are a parallel educational system to schools and they have their own potentialities for providing quality programs, therefore, they should be an integral part of any school art curriculum. Collaboration between schools and art museum is the key to achieve a successful art teaching and learning, where students and children acquire different skills as communication, self-expression, criticism and aesthetic judgment.

Keywords: Art Museum, Museum Learning, Art Education, Children Education, School-Museum Collaboration

1. INTRODUCTION

Learning can no longer be restricted to books or imparted within the school walls in a planned, sequenced and intentional manner. Learning occurs in a variety of settings and in different informal contexts, such as the home, the street, the museum among others. Over the years, schools recognized the need to increase opportunities for learning and all kinds of extracurricular activities as visits and fieldwork; so the whole environment is considered a learning resource and art museums is part of this wide environment.

Museums are undoubtedly one of the most important learning facilities of society and are a commonly visited and highly valued venue for school excursions. With increasing awareness about museums as valuable resource of knowledge, schools recognized that art curriculum can be compromised with opportunities of learning at the museum. Learning about art from actual art works in the museum and galleries have come to be viewed as valuable to students at all levels from Kcollege level.

While such a view is gaining increasing popularity all over the world and across the United States, there is still schools especially in the Middle East region ignored the enormous advantages and possibilities of art museums to students especially children, they were excluded from the museum world. Museums were treated as an extra or as additional resource for classroom art. For instance, the instructional potential of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan art museums and galleries were not taken advantage of; if a visit to art museum took place it takes a shape of field trip model, without any proper preparation from either the teacher or the museum educator, the art works were selected randomly without specific criteria and students simply walk in silence between paintings or display cases, trying to see everything, ending up not seeing anything, because neither the necessary time nor the resource are made available to feel. Eggemeyer (2006) stated that in a study of teenage attitudes about museums, it revealed that teens have negative experiences with learning in the museum. Teen respondents recounted feelings of boredom, how they rushed through exhibits and not given enough time to explore and understand art works. Eggemeyer explain that the teenage attitudes speak of a deficiency in the teacher's experience to manage a group of students to learn in an informal environment, the museum environment and their failure to nurture the interest of students during a museum visit.

This study will address the contribution of art museums as a resource in teaching art to students in general; with taking into consideration the childhood level since their experiences laid the foundation for further adult learning. …