Archive for the ‘Evaluation’ Category
In the development of our sessions for babies in museums and galleries in Manchester, we were (quite rightly!) challenged by colleagues about the level of participation there would really be for babies. We were asked,
‘Aren’t the sessions really just for the benefit of parents?’
‘Can babies really enjoy museums?’
I posed the question ‘Can babies really enjoy museums?’ to parents attending a Baby Explorer session at Manchester Museum and added, ‘How do you know? ‘
The question did take our parents by surprise! They couldn’t understand why anybody would doubt that their babies were enjoying and participating in the sessions, which for them as parents, was clearly evident.
The many fabulous images we have taken and the short films we have produced, do capture the engagement levels of babies in our sessions, but like anything else, this is far more powerful (and evident) if you experience it directly.
One of our members of staff, who was initially sceptical about the opportunities for babies to truly participate in the sessions, attended one of our baby explorer session and commented afterwards,
‘I think babies can enjoy museums because it’s a totally different environment from other surroundings and they interact with different things than they would usually….they focus on what is being shown them and seem enraptured by what is going on including the storytelling and singing.’
Here is a selection of the feedback we had from parents ……
· It’s helped her to notice things more in other places too. These sessions really help to develop her concentration. I notice when she misses a session.
· Fabulous sensory learning aimed at the age group appropriately. My baby LOVES this. He is active, wide eyed, bouncy and afterwards he sleeps! Thank you.
· Development of motor skills by holding and touching objects. Babies’ eyes lit up concentrating for lengths of time. Staying quiet during singing (attention and listening).
· So many things to see and feel- nothing like home environment. I know how much he enjoys it because he cries when we leave!
Lets keep developing the practice and collecting the evidence of impact, to make the case for more babies in and museums and galleries nationally.
Elaine Bates, Early years coordinator, Manchester Museum
Here at the Manchester Museum we are always looking to develop and improve our practice and part of this includes asking students that visit what THEY think of any workshops they have participated in.
In November we had a two week hot-spot for evaluation where we asked for student feedback on any sessions that took place during that time. Within the Humanities and Arts programme we had a number of different workshops take place – ArteFACT, Patterns in Nature and our brand NEW session Empire Explained.
Here’s a snapshot of what particpating students had to say about their experiences at the Museum:
ArteFACT session – Trinity High School, Year 7 pupils
When they were asked which part of the session they enjoyed the most, their responses were:
“I enjoyed writing labels for each of the objects”
I enjoyed classifying the objects because it was fun”
I enjoyed seeing interesting things and working together as a team”
I enjoyed labelling the objects and creating a history for it!”
When they were asked what they would tell friends and family about their expeience at the Museum they said:
“How to organise a part of a museum and how to investigate what an object is by looking at it”
“I would tell my family that I enjoyed the trip and I got a chance to enhance my knowledge in History”
“I really enjoyed looking at the different items and artefacts about history. I will be telling loads fo people about this memorable experience at the Manchester Museum”
Patterns in Nature Session – Sidall Moor Sports College, Yr 10 students
For this art session in observation drawing students were asked what they would take away from the workshop. Here are some of their quick-fire responses:
“Don’t use lines as much”
“Use different pens, pencils and other things like that differently”
“Using different types of shade”
“You can use tone instead of line”
Empire Explained – Trial Sessions with Yr 7, Newall Green High School students and the Home Educators Network
Here are some things that the groups said they learned about Egyptian, Roman and British Empire:
They all had armies and military awards
The Empire increased trade opportunities
They had different titles for their ruler – Pharaoh, Emperor and King/Queen
They all became expensive to defend and relied upon different technologies to expand
Things they said they really liked about the workshop included:
- The use of I-pads
- Interaction with objects
- Lots of different activites
- Comparison of the empires
Overall we collected a huge range of evaluative material that allows us a glimpse into understanding what it is that students get from participating in a museum session as part of their education. We’ll be examining all of our material over the coming weeks and have planned in more hotspots weeks over the year so that we can ensure that all students attending our workshops get a quality, educational and fun visit.
Rebecca Jordan, a science teacher at Our Ladies Sports College brought some of her students to our very first trial session of ‘Nature’s Pallete: Pigments, Paradise and photosynthesis.’ Here’s what she thought of our the brand new addition to our secondary science programme:
I brought a group of year 8 pupils to the new Natures Palettes session at The Manchester Museum on Tuesday 25th May and it was definitely an enjoyable day for all.
It was an ideal workshop as at the minute the pupils in year 8 are covering a topic on light and colour as part of their scheme of work. They were able to relate what they were learning in class to the content of the workshop. There were lots of excellent interactive activities for the pupils to take part in and they loved the activity where they had to walk around the museum and look at how colour affected different species in terms of camouflage, relationships, survival etc.
The pupils were also lucky enough as well to experience being up-close to snakes, frogs and many different reptiles, they thoroughly enjoyed this and it really brought even the quieter more reserved pupil to life and many said it was an experience they would never forget as they had never seen these animals before. They could not stop talking about this even when they came into school the next day.
The practical session was brilliant and the pupils got to handle equipment they would never get the opportunity to at school.
The pupils gained many skills at this workshop, from practical skills, to being more open in a group environment, and it was so good to see the pupils happy and smiling when some of them had had a negative attitude towards science before this workshop.
I am looking forward to attending more workshops in the future.
Many thanks Alexa, you were fab!
Some photos from the workshop can be viewed below:
Its always great when you get a good feedback form from a teacher, you know that the pupils enjoyed themselves and that you have in some way contributed towards their learning.
Its even nicer when you come across websites or blogs where people write about their visits. Below are a few I’ve stumbled upon the last few weeks, but if you do write a blog post or post something to your school website, please do let us know.
Here is a lovely post from Charlestown Primary School about their visit to study Egyptians. There are some super images of their trip and some of the objects they were able to handle, plus they link to some of the digitial information they have found about the topics they are working on in school.
Its not just primary schools who blog about us on their websites, here is a great post from Saint Paul’s catholic High School about their visit facilitated by Cat from the learning team.
Sometimes its not the pupils blogging, but one of the accompanying adults, like Lucy Harvey’s blog post about her recent trip the Museum with some Year 8′s to see Darwin. The section about the trip is towards the bottom of the blog post.
Finally, here is a bit of an older post (from 2007) from The Queen’s Lower School about their visit to do Dinosaurs and one last one from The Deans Primary visit to look at Egyptians.
Over the past two years, we have hosted an A-Level Study Day called Genes to Phenotypes which was developed with scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research in the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester.
On the 5th and 22nd February 2010, 60 A-Level students from The Manchester College, Ashton Sixth Form College, Crompton House School and Xaverian College participated in the 3 hour-workshop (10am-1pm) at The Manchester Museum. The workshop was split into two distinct activities: a hands-on practical session entitled ‘CSI Matrix’ and an interactive meet-the-scientist event, ‘Matrix has got Talent’.
CSI Matrix’ involved the students working through a range of teamwork, problem-solving and analytical activities all based on techniques routinely used in laboratories, ranging from measuring bone lengths to identifying mutations in a DNA sequence, and provided the students with an insight into how to tackle research problems.
‘Matrix has got Talent’ saw five of the Centre’s research scientists, from PhD students to principal investigators, pitch their research to the audience and the students vote for their favourite pitch. Afterwards, the groups of students met each of the scientists to learn about their research interests, and questioned them on a very informal basis about their work and career. The students then cast a second vote, having met the scientists one-by-one, and an overall winner was decided.
Both days were fully booked well in advance, with schools and colleges jumping at the opportunity for their students to interact with research scientists and participate in scientific practical problems.
Overall feedback from both days from the students was great, with 98% of students having a better understanding of science, and 85% are more likely to continue studying science as a direct result of the visit.
Some of the student’s feedback from the day is shown below:
‘It was very interesting to see what careers there are in science’
‘I really enjoyed the study day, it was very interesting. I especially enjoyed having an opportunity to talk to scientists of a field I know little about and learn how specific diseases are diagnosed’
‘Today was very informative and enjoyable and I feel more motivated to learn science now’
‘I learned a lot about what science research is about’
‘ I found out a lot more about the careers you can get into with a degree in Biology and also talking to the scientists helped me find out about what their day to day life is like.’
The scientists also found the day really enjoyable. The thoughts from one of the scientist’s are shown below:
“Working with the A-level students was not only great fun, but really helped me think about and discuss my research in a wider context. Some of the questions the students had were both insightful and challenging, and I could certainly use their imaginations and ideas from time to time!”
Upcoming A-Level Study days includes ‘What Darwin Didn’t Know’ on 17th March 2010 and a Stem Cell Debate Day ‘The hard cell: considerations for stem cell treatments’ on 9th June 2010.
Further dates for Darwin’s Legacy A-Level Study Days in the summer term will be announced shortly. If you would like to book places on any of these study days or would like further information on then please contact email@example.com or 0161 3061764.
We (Louise and I) recently submitted a workshop proposal for the 16th International Learning Conference in July on how to teach controversial issues using museum collections. This 60 minute session has now been accepted and will look at how the Learning Team at The Manchester Museum have explored multiple concepts within our programming and how this can assist teachers in presenting controversial topics to their students.
For Secondary and Post-16 Humanities we will be using case studies such as our debate days investigating public attitude to display of human remains, the KS3 workshop Myth, Media and Modern Times which examined slavery and racism issues and KS3 Citizen of the City which focuses on the tricky concept of what it means to be a citizen in both past and present society. (See our KS3 programming here)
In the upcoming months we will also be working on a session linked to the Science and R.S curricula regarding Darwin and the theory of evolution. This will examine the multiple concept of truth including how individuals can believe different things and the importance of recognising and respecting these varying, often conflicting, views.
Our experiences in designing and practicing these workshops form a major part of our research for the paper we will be presenting in July. Therefore, if your school has participated in one of these workshops, or you have been a part of any event at the Museum which you think is relevant, we would love to hear from you!
This term come to The Manchester Museum and raise your classes’ enthusiasm for rocks. Our Rocks Revealed KS 2 session gets children moving through the rock cycle, playing games and investigating rock types. The 2 hour session will introduce them to the fantastic variety of rocks on earth and how each type is formed in different ways.
The session will engage a range of learners through the use of varied activities including handling, word banks, movement, games and scientific investigation.
Spaces are limited so please book early.
A new DVD is available free of charge from Places Matter! entitled ‘Places of Learning’. It features 5 films from creative projects with early years to KS3 groups including ‘Imagine Their Shadows’ a collaborative project between Manchester Museum, Places Matter, Horse and Bamboo theatre Co, MEP/ Surestart Creative Collaborators project and Rusholme Children’s Centre
Contact: Annie Atkins Programme Manager
Unit 101 the Tea Factory
82 Wood St