In conclusion a good museum must 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.
One of the many benefits of the Imperial War
Museum is the access arrangements that have been put in place for people to access
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
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 assessable 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).
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 time slots 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.
Outside of formal schooling, museums are one on the main functions of
education within the United Kingdom (Teachernet, 2004). However, instead of
challenging education, they provide resource for both informal and formal education.
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
solider; and pressing buttons to make lightning streaks across the screen. The stations
prompt the visitors if they do not do the appropriate actions, for instance, it
may display and say, “press me” if 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.
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). The main aim of these action
stations in IWM, is to give children entertainment and education at the same
time. For the thought of these stations, learning can be defined as how people
taking part can understand the information they are presented with (Falk &
Dierking 2000). Look at this, people may interact with an exhibit which is showing
voice over and pictures to telling a true story. If this visitor is then able
to note that the war was full of conflict and be able to retell the story, then
learning has taken place. Falk and Dierking also de?ned entertainment in terms
of the exhibit being 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.