29 SES 09, Dialogues between the Art Museum and the School
The purpose of this communication is to make an approach to the relationship between schools and museums of contemporary art, identifying problems and raising questions. School visits to museums have been a common practice used by art teachers. The relationship between these two institutions should be empathetic and effective, but some questions can be posted. How do schools relate with museums of contemporary art? Are the discourses of museums adapted to schools? Do schools have a compliant attitude with what museums expect? Why many students find moments of boredom in museums? (Moutinho and Ferreira, 2007; Oliveira, 2009). Contributions for possible answers can be found in a study conducted within the European project ITEMS (Innovative Teaching for European Museum Strategies). The ITEMS project took place in 2010-1012 and involved 6 countries and 7 partners, from: Italy, Associazione Nazionale di Storia dell'Arte Insegnanti (ANISA) and Associazione Idee per la Cultura (Eccom); Luxembourg, Université du Luxembourg; Hungary, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest; Portugal, Associação de Professores de Expressão e Comunicação Visual (APECV); France, Institut National d' Histoire de l'Art; Latvia, Tris Krasas. The results of this study provided indications that not always the discourses of museums meet the needs of schools, and not always the attitudes of schools are compatible with a productive work by museums (Eça and Ornelas, 2011). In general, museums typify their public and construct ideas about the behaviors of teachers and students, which ideally should believe in what the museum displays, positioning themselves with the same values, knowledge and expectations of those who organized the exhibition (Padró, 2009). Teachers often consider, in a closed vision, that the museum is an extension of the classroom where students should acquire certain knowledge. So, teachers end up using the museum to support the school curriculum (Gómez, 2009).
A balanced relationship between schools and museums assumes that both are on equal positions, but, in general, schools go to museums, but museums don't go to schools. Thus, the micro-narratives of teachers and students get lost, instead of being one of the starting points for the museum, which considering the personal and subjective experiences, could cross formats that pretend to be erudits (Padró, apud Juanola, 2010).
The museum has the power to provide a glimpse into the world around the students, but most of the time it's directed only to explain art history or the artists' creative process. The texts displayed often contain references to art history in a sophisticated vocabulary. In the exhibition discourse, students, and often teachers, don't see themselves reflected, because they only see fragments of a story that they don't know, in a modernist conception of art education (Padró, 2009), through a very schoolar practice: the museum educator talks while the students and teachers hear, preferably silent, responding only when they are asked to, propagating the "legitimacy of passivity" (Giroux, apud Olorunda, 2012). Although learning is a social activity "some art museums have a quiet air like a church, discouraging active debate and verbal interaction" (Hein, 1991).
Thus, the relationship between schools ans musems is uneven, although it's possible to find projects in which schools and museums run more egalitarian positions, assuming that museums go to schools, eg. in Spain (Garaigorta, 2011; Hernández, 2013) or in Portugal: the annual school projects of Serralves Foundation and of Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, and the pilot project 10x10 of the Gulbenkian Foundation. In these cases, museum educators or artists go to schools. The project 10x10 assigned the importance of the sudents' micro-narratives as a form of active participation and involvement, essential conditions for learning with critical thinking (Acaso, 2009).
Acaso, María. (2009). "Lo Rizómico como Alternativa a lo Vertical: el método mupai y su direccionabilidad en desbandada". III Congrés d'Educació de les Arts Visuals: per un diàleg entre les arts. Barcelona (paper). Eça. Teresa & Ornelas, Marta. (2011). Innovative Teaching For European Museum Strategies: Report From APECV – Portugal. [Consult. 16-06-2011] Available at: http://www.anisa.it/items_documents.htm Ellsworth, Elizabeth. (2005). Posiciones en la Enseñanza. Diferencia, Pedagogía y el Poder de la Direccionalidad. Madrid: Ediciones Akal. Flick, U. (2007). Introducción a la Investigación Cualitativa. Madrid: Ediciones Morata. Garaigorta, Charo. (2011). "Yo Pienso o me piensan?". In Perspectvas: Situación Actual de la Educación en los Museos de Artes Visuales. Madrid/Barcelona: Editorial Ariel. Pp.64-69. Gómez, Silvia. (2009). "Un Museo sin Etiquetas". In III Congrés d'Educació de les Arts Visuals: per un diàleg entre les arts. Barcelona (paper). Hein, G. (1991). "Constructivist Learning Theory". In The Museum and the Needs of People. CECA (International Committee of Museum Educators) Conference. Jerusalem Israel, 15-22 October (paper). Hernández, Fernando. (2013). "Modos de Relacionamento entre Crianças e Jovens e Arte Contemporânea na Escola (e o Museu)". Conferência A arte contemporanea como ferramenta para a sala de aula. Lisboa, Culturgest, 23 February (paper). Moutinho, Ana e Ferreira, Isabel (2007). "Internet, Museu e Educação: alguns exemplos de e para Portugal e Brasil". In Teresa Toldy et al. Actas do Congresso Internacional de Cidadania(s): discursos e práticas. Porto: Universidade Fernando Pessoa. Oliveira, Genoveva. (2009). “A importância da comunidade no processo artístico: Quando a Escola vai ao Museu.” In Revista Noesis Online. DGIDC. [Consult. 09-06-2011]. Available at: http://sitio.dgidc.min-edu.pt/revista_noesis/Paginas/DaEscolaparaaEscola.aspx Olorunda, T. (2012). "On Teachers: Beyond 'Good' and 'Bad'". Dissident Voice magazine. September 20th. [Consult. 09-12-2013] Available at http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/09/on-teachers-beyond-good-and-bad/ Ornelas, Marta. (2012). "Visitar um Museu: cruzamento de perspectivas de professores, alunos e monitores". Actas do Seminário Internacional Atravessar pontes entre escolas e museus. Porto, Fundação de Serralves, 12 a 14 Outubro. Padró, Carla. (2009). "Compartiendo Momentos de Tránsito: la Investigación Educativa en Museos como un Espacio de Posibilidad Intermedia". In Actas do I Seminário de Investigação m Museologia dos Países de Língua Portuguesa e Espanhola. Vol. 2. Porto: Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto. Pp.34-46. [Consult. 09-11-2011] Available at: http://ler.letras.up.pt/site/default.aspx?qry=id03id1319&sum=sim Recio, R. V. & Rasco, F. A. (2003). Introducción a los Estudios de Casos: Los primeros contactos con la Investigación Etnográfica. Granada: Ediciones Aljibe.
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