If I have to be honest, I think museums are not being used to their full potential, at least not anymore. Having been a student since I could remember and only recently having graduated high school, I know that schools aren’t looking at museums as much for education purposes. Not because people don’t think museums are useful, they truly are. But it’s because many people do not think of museums as resources for information and learning. For example, I took history classes in high school. Classes that focused specifically on the 20th century and the World Wars, to classes that focused on ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. However, not once did anyone in the class or the professors think to turn to the local museum for visual resources on what we were learning, it just never came to mind.
But after having worked at the Welland Museum for quite some time now, I wish I would have had the opportunity to visit the museum with my 10th grade history class when we were studying the great wars. It would have really brought life to our studies and could have even inspired new assignments and projects for the students.
I would have loved to go on a class visit to the museum because an artefact could have easily inspired me for an essay topic and instead of always referring to online resources, I would be learning and doing research at the museum for the essay I was writing. Not only does this get students away from depending on technology and internet resources for more reliant ones, but it also helps students develop critical research skills that will need to be applied in their post-secondary education. In university and college, you may be required to visit the library and look in real books and archives to find your information, especially when you get into your upper years.
Recently, the museum had an open house for teachers and educators. It provided them with information on what the museum could offer them in their classrooms and on-site. The Welland Museum has many educational programs ranging from education packages for teachers with activities, to having a speaker from the museum come to the classroom. The museum even has programs ranging from information on the world wars to exploring behind the scenes and gallery tours of current exhibits. I think students and teachers would truly love what we have to offer them!
For more information on our education programs, please call us at 905-732-2215 or stop by for a visit. We are located at 140 King St, Welland.
-Alacia Michaud (Welland Museum Blogger).
*French version coming soon!
*Version française à venir bientôt!