I’ve been asked to write this by Martyn who I met at the Butser Teachmeet event. It was great to meet such enthusiastic educators and to be able to continue the conversations since.
I have decided to write about the wonderful WW1 exhibition that was made through collaboration with local Guides and the Museum’s own teenage group, the HYPE team. The exhibition is the result of an HLF funded project and is an amazing affirmation of what young people can achieve given the opportunity.
The Guides researched aspects of WW1 which form the panels in the exhibition. They also curated the exhibition deciding on the layout etc. The HYPE team made a film based on local stories relating to WW1.
The learning that took place to create the exhibition was in itself noteworthy, especially as this was done entirely in the young people’s own free time. However, what has really blown me away is the network of learning that has grown around the exhibition.
Our Museum Explorers (workshops for 5-11yr olds) have looked at postcards, medals and trench art all because of the exhibition and had a great time making their own variations. Children even younger have enjoyed dressing up and colouring relating to WW1. The research into family members has led to intergenerational discussions and learning and even the gentleman who loaned us some trench art who is a true collector of militaria has been inspired to look into his aunt’s WW1 experience.
As educators I think we sometimes get bogged down in the teaching and don’t get the chance to see the other learning that happens around our input. This exhibition has given me that chance, and how wonderful and humbling it is. Sharing our learning can have many great unexpected outcomes, often unseen, but doesn’t that just make it even more important?