S. Savva

University of Leicester (UNITED KINGDOM)
Nowadays dramatic changes take place in terms of rapidly emerging modes of communication, technologies, increased cultural diversity, evolving workplaces cultures, new challenges for equitable education and the varying and changing identities of students everywhere. Museums as cultural institutions that nurture learning must challenge their existing practices and adopt new models of learning approaches to address the 21st century needs.

Bearing the previous in mind, this presentation argues of the need for museums to respond to global trends by investigating the potential of multiliteracies theory and pedagogy to facilitate guided learning at the museum. Drawing from a doctoral research this presentation will address: How does engagement with multiliteracies during a museum educational programme, impacts pupils’ learning experiences in a museum? What sort of “multiliteracies pedagogy” approach would empower museum visiting for learning 21st century skills?

Briefly reporting on a series of extensive literature reviews and qualitative data analysis including semi-structured interviews with teachers, museum educators and focus group interviews with pupils, observations of museum visits, documentary analysis and collection of physical artefacts in Cyprus, the core of this presentation is a theoretical framework developed for a multiliteracies pedagogy specifically designed to address learning at the museum for 21st century skills. The learning approach developed is “Museum-based Multiliteracies-Conscious Approach” (MMCA) and an example of a case study will be used to explain implementation practices and how the model can apply to a global context for museums. As there is no similar model of approach for teaching and learning in and through multiliteracies at the museum it is considered that addressing the knowledge, skills and attitudes for museum-based multiliteracies will have significant implications for learning in museums, and particularly for museum/school relationships, as it recognizes the particular demands of developing learning experiences in the museum setting that enable cultural participation. The long term aim of the research is to discuss a possible implementation of the MMCA in a formal learning context, eg. a school.