Museum education today: creative synergies and pedagogic innovations in multicultural contexts

Anastasia Filippoupoliti, Stella Sylaiou


Museums as mere repositories for cultural artefacts have long disappeared giving their place to museums as active institutions that prioritize engagement with a diverse range of communities. In today’s multicultural landscape1 that refers, reflects and at the same time adapts to diverse cultures, it is true that there is a growing international growing international recognition of the importance of ethnic diversity2 and a constant demand for museums to update their profile
as social and learning settings (Ang 2005). Increasing emphasis has been put by museums, nowadays, on interacting with a variety of multicultural audiences, not only visitors and education programs’ participants, but also educators and teachers, via a wealth of education programmes (Acuff and Evans 2014). Also, several examples of museum exhibitions, mostly temporary, set out to narrate and share the stories of various social and ethnic groups. Museum education
offers theoretical insights and practical means to engage visitors, trigger aesthetic and cultural sensitivities, exercise creativity and imagination, increase tolerance, reduce prejudices (Sleeter and Grant 1988, after Chin 2013), display historical empathy (Skolnick et al. 2004), as well as respect for all, promote equity and justice, in order to address challenges of cultural dialogue, social inclusion, and new models of cultural identity (Innocenti 2014, p. 2). Museums need to adapt to a diversifying and multicultural society and shall offer accessibility to inclusive, comprehensive and creative educational experiences that embrace and foster cultural diversity, and provide to everyone the ability to live and participate equally in a pluralistic society.

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360