Lately I´ve been on the arranging committee for 2 conferences in Sweden which has highlighted the importance of a professional discussion.
The first conference was arranged by the society for Swedish museum teachers and an organization called ”Forum for exhibitioners”, where we dissected the topic how technology is used and can be used in exhibitions today. The second conference was arranged together with the faculty for museum studies at Gothenburg University and highlighted the issue of norm critical perspectives from a curatorial and pedagogical point of view.
Both seminars received very good reviews in the evaluations, which in itself is enough to understand that they matter, but I also want to make a personal reflection about why I think a professional dialogue is essential for professional development
The exhibition medium is moving towards a more audience practice. This makes pedagogy a more and more important part of both the creation and the communication of exhibition content. This also means that the profession becomes more complex and complicated. It´s no longer about fitting an exhibition to a target group or a school class.
- It´s about having the target group in sight from the start in order to adapt the content, to have knowledge about different cognitive stages of development and learning capabilities.
- It´s about a knowledge of how methods and tools can be used based on the exhibition´s objectives and aims connected to target group.
- It´s about having knowledge of a spectra of accessibility aspects, both when it comes to function disabilities, both also for people without these.
- It´s about having knowledge of norm critical aspects in order not to maintain or amplify norms which discriminate.
All these perspectives are pedagogical and have to be on the table from the start in the process which will end in an exhibition. That´s why a pedagogical knowledge and expertise and a pedagogical eye who can guard over these issues in the process.
Because, how we twist and turn it is the audience who are our principals and recipients of exhibitions. An exhibition which doesn´t reach the recipient is not a good exhibition!