I’m very fortunate in that, a few months ago, I was accepted on to the Professional Development Programme (PDP) at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Museology. This opportunity (funded by Renaissance North West) has come at a good point in my career, giving me the opportunity to reflect on my and others’ practice and to look for ways in which I can develop my skills.
The PDP is structured so that I have a lot of control over how my learning plan is organised, leading up to a research project at the end.
One of my key aims has been to speak to a wide variety of colleagues in learning teams about how programmes are devised, how (where appropriate) object-centred learning is incorporated, how programmes are evaluated and how adult helpers are given a role in visits.
I decided not to restrict myself only to museums and galleries, so in the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to speak to colleagues at Trafford Ecology Park and the Royal Exchange theatre, both of whom gave me a lot of food for thought.
On top of that, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days in London recently. I’m really grateful for the time that colleagues were generously able to give me at the Horniman Museum, the Serpentine Gallery and the Natural History Museum.
These were busy people who were happy to share time, ideas and spaces with me – and they really got my head spinning! In a good way, of course. While I still haven’t pinned down all my butterfly thoughts from my conversations, I have already begun to consider how some of the ideas I’ve heard might affect our learning programmes, advocacy and teacher resources.
It’s good to share – there’s no point us reinventing the wheel when someone’s already got there first!