Museum champions have what it takes to keep them interested

6th June 2008 at 01:00
It is a popular belief these days that children "just can't concentrate" because of excessive time spent playing computer games and watching television, writes Deedee Cuddihy
It is a popular belief these days that children "just can't concentrate" because of excessive time spent playing computer games and watching television, writes Deedee Cuddihy

But according to Christine Mulgrew, a teacher at Lorne Street Primary in Glasgow, that isn't so.

Christine was speaking at a recent meeting of the Museum Champions group, set up at the start of the year by Glasgow Museums' education department to "make and sustain relationships" with the city's primary schools.

Primary schools were invited to nominate one teacher each as a Museum Champion, who would be the museums' principle contact and disseminate their information to colleagues.

The meeting at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was attended by more than 40 teachers, who were given helpful hints by Glasgow's Creative Links officer, Lesley Dunlop, on how to make a successful bid for Arts Initiative funding. They also met representatives from all Glasgow's museums and galleries, including John Paul Sumner from the Centre of New Enlightenment, a glitzy, high-tech room at Kelvingrove with handheld computers for 10 to 14-year-olds to interact with quizzes and games. It opens in July.

Speaking about her school's use of museums, Christine, who is in charge of the art room at Lorne Street, said pupils loved taking part in events such as the annual art competition at Kelvingrove.

"They particularly enjoy drawing the animals in the Natural History gallery," she said.

"Even the young ones have no problem concentrating on that kind of activity, provided they have had practice in observing things beforehand."

As the Museum Champions are discovering, there are material perks that go with the job, such as environmentally-friendly goody bags and invitations to exhibition openings.

T 0141 276 9505.

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