Museums are a real attraction

19th March 2004 at 00:00
Your report of the research into teachers' use of museums (TES, February 27) was misleading. The findings demonstrate how very enthusiastic teachers were about museum visits. More than 1,000 teachers completed questionnaires or took part in focus groups in three areas of England.

In the questionnaire, 96 per cent of the teachers stated that they were very satisfied (72 per cent) or satisfied (24 per cent) with the museum's provision. Teachers want museums to inspire their pupils to learn and 73 per cent considered it very likely that their pupils would increase their subject-related understanding.

Teachers who took part in discussions described graphically how pupils'

experience of seeing and doing unusual things in a resource-rich environment enhanced prior learning and triggered new questions.

For those with learning difficulties, we heard how museums were sometimes the only way to access the curriculum and to develop life-skills. More than 20,000 pupils also took part in the research, and their enthusiasm was extraordinary. At key stage 2, 94 per cent agreed they had enjoyed the visits, and 90 per cent agreed they had learned new things; at KS3 and above, 87 per cent agreed they had learned some interesting things, and 82 per cent thought museums were good places to learn in different ways from school.

Professor Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

Professor of Museum Studies University of Leicester

Letters on Careers Debate - FE Focus, Page 4

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