We are happy to announce we have signed a book contract with Routledge for an edited book called Working with young children in museums; weaving theory and practice. The editors of the book will be Abigail Hackett, Rachel Holmes and Christina MacRae. We have some free slots available for case studies on working with young children in museums – so this is a call for proposals to write a case study.

 

The aim of the book is to address a significant gap in the guidance available to museum practitioners with regards to working with very young children (0-8 years) in museums, galleries and heritage sites. Research looking at the experience of young children in museum is in its infancy, whilst across the UK museum sector, there is an increasing interest in working with these audiences. Through our research, and events we organized for museum sector (in May 2017 in Manchester and in May 2016 in Sheffield), we are aware there are exciting possibilities for putting new theories and ideas to work in museums in order to further develop and support the excellent work already taking place for young children in museums and galleries.

 

This book will diverge from the dominant socio-cultural learning models that are generally employed in museum learning literature. These models, which have in the past tended to focus on talk as evidence of cognitive learning within family groups, are ill-suited to conceptualizing the experiences of very young children in museums. This is because, for a baby, or a 2 year old, or a 5 year old, museums are intensely sensory, embodied experiences. Different approaches to thinking through the experiences of young children in museums, with a focus on the body, movement, experience of spaces are beginning to emerge in the research literature, but have not yet been widely shared with the museum sector or explicitly connected to practice. This book will outline these theories and their usefulness for conceptualizing young children in museums in an accessible way for a practitioner audience, as well as connecting these theories to practical examples of programming in a range of museum, gallery and heritage sites, through a series of contributed case studies.

 

Call for case study book chapters

The book will include a number of case studies from museums, galleries and heritage sites working with children under fives years.

  • We are interested in practical examples of work in this area that focuses on bodily experience, sensory experience, movement, the experience of being in different spaces, and on how the experiences of young children visiting museums are different from those of older children or adults.
  • We would particularly like to identify more case studies of museums working with diverse audiences, including young children with disabilities, and young children from different cultural backgrounds (not just White middle class families).
  • The case studies need to be around 2500 words long.
  • The final case studies are due 1st October 2018.
  • If you are interested in being involved, please contact a.hackett@mmu.ac.uk to discuss your idea, by 31st July 2018.

 

 

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