Essay Example on Roles and functions of a Museum

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People have different views on the roles and functions of a museum Personally I think museums should be both entertaining and educational Museums function a range entertainment look at the Imperial War Museum they offer a range of things from the Big Picture Show Action Stations to Trail packs which are both seen as entertaining and educational Indeed museums are the provision of entertainment which is available to the public Falk Dierking 2000 One of the main aims of these action stations in IWM is to give children access to entertainment and education at the same time Looking at these stations and how people interact with them learning can be defined as how people taking part can understand the information they are presented with Falk Dierking 2000 Look at this people interact with different exhibits but if there not gaining anything its not seen as educational However say they was showing voice over and pictures to tell a true story and the visitor can then recap and note down some ideas that the war was full of conflict and be able to retell the story then learning has taken place Falk and Dierking both defined entertainment In a museum as engaging I found that when 



I was spending time interacting on the exhibits and not taking part in other activities I was overly engaged however there was a few things going on around which could lead to distraction for someone who finds it hard to focus Outside of formal schooling museums can be seen as one on the main functions of education within the United Kingdom Teachernet 2004 However they provide resource for both informal and formal education instead of challenging it I visited the Imperial War Museum and looking around many of their visitors were schools and groups who had come to take part in formal learning The groups of school kids were getting involved in the Action stations and completing the Trial packs which were provide this shows that interactive learning does take place in a museum The three action stations were guess the smell dressing up as a soldier and pressing buttons to make lightning streaks across the screen These stations prompt its visitors if they do don't apply the correct actions it ll inform you it may display and say press me when the visitor does not press the button in time it won't detect it This allows the children to get involved and become competitive with each other Successfully completing this is recognised with Well done which is being spoken and appears on the screen The IWM is a free exhibition and open every day of the year minus 



Christmas and boxing day this allows people who can t afford tickets to still go and enjoy the museum and get involved in the stuff that is going on Plenty of museums have spaces which are designed to match to the learners needs that will be visiting the museum Hooper Greenhill 2007 This is seen in the IMW as they have different spaces which are provided for the children's needs and encourage them to get involved in the demonstrations and activates that are going on around them Looking at the benefits of the Imperial War Museum is its access arrangements which are in place for people to gain entry to the exhibitions that are taking place This has been shown through the scheme where you can hire a wheelchair also the wheelchair access to all levels of the building Audio descriptive guides for those who are blind the museum allows guide dogs Looking at Falk s and diecks contextual model of learning it speaks of physical context Looking at this building the architect clearly knew access for all If Daniel Libeskind hadn't made disabled accesses people would be missing out on finding out about history but also missing out on socializing Also looking at Maslow hierarchy of needs arranged on the pyramid it states Self actualization and safety needs this is unreachable for those who do not have access to the IWM The design of the building adds to this as its just monotone where if you look at the Museum of science and industry its full of bold and bright colours The design of the building gives it a easy accessible route around the building so people who have a disability can get around it easily access the exhibitions this will allow them to feel self fulfillment and personal growth as they won t be missing out on certain exhibitions This will also allow them to feel safe when getting around Maslow 1987 In conclusion a good museum must be able to provide and to offer a enjoyable interesting and educational experience When people are there they can enjoy it while they are learning I believe that the imperial war museum does this by allowing children to engage with the interactive exhibits This can be understood as either two categories Participation and access Look at the exhibit design and productive areas they allow access for all and this allows everyone to get involved


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