University of Mons (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 3246-3252
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0895
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Work of remembrance requires a good knowledge of tragic historical facts as well as a good capacity to analyze them in a search for collective well-being (Gensburger & Lefranc, 2017). In the French-speaking part of Belgium, remembrance is integrated into priority missions of basic education by a specific decree (2019). Primary school teachers, therefore, play an important role in this transmission. The lack of training, the complicated relationship between history and memory as well as the difficulty of addressing wars with children can make their task very uncomfortable (Corbel & Falaize, 2004). Among the actions carried out, school visits to places of remembrance offer pupils the opportunity to have a concrete and authentic experience related to historical facts (Corbel & Falaize, 2004; Wadbled 2014, 2018). Our research focuses on the integration of the school visit to the Mons Memorial Museum (MMM) into the pedagogical work of primary school teachers. The MMM is an important place for the social memory of the inhabitants of Mons during the successive wars that the city experienced. It has multiple facets: museum, interpretation, and questioning center, ...

The subject being little studied, an exploratory study was chosen to describe and understand the motivations and practices of primary teachers at the different key moments of the visit (preparation, visit, extension) as well as their perception of the success of the visit. Data were collected from 30 primary teachers through a survey questionnaire designed for the research. Based on these initial results, semi-directive interviews with three primary school teachers and three cultural animators provided additional explanations.

Our results show the priorities of the teachers at each stage of the visit and try to explain the factors for a successful visit. In the preparation phase, they ensure that pupils are enough informed about the memorial site (70%). During the activity, they make sure that pupils answer questions, look and listen (83.33%). They are also attentive to active their participation (73.33%). The appropriate attitude of the pupils in the museum during the visit is underlined by 53.33% of the respondents. During the extension phase, they ensure that the pupils share their discoveries and learnings (73.33%) as well as their experiences, feelings, and emotions (53.33%). After the visit, 86.67% of the teachers used the information gathered at the museum as a resource for their teaching and 70% integrated the visit into their lessons. The success of the visit is based on the pupils’ awareness of the concreteness of the events for 53.33% of our respondents. A combination of three factors contributes to this success: the guide and his pedagogical approach, the quality of the exhibition, and the teaching materials. Through these results, we highlight a complementarity between specific approaches of the school and the museum.
Primary Teachers, School Visits, Work of Remembrance, Mons Memorial Museum.