Home' Teacher : September 2009 Contents 18 TEACHER SEPTEMBER 2009
the context of known historical facts. In
recreating the market place, the town and
the private residences, the exhibition con-
textualises the objects and facilitates an
interpretation of the story they tell about
the people who used them.
The study of material culture provides a
focus for the education materials presented
in all of the education kits. Twelve signa-
ture objects represent the key themes of the
exhibition. The objects can be used both
to introduce students to the themes of the
exhibition before they come, and to provide
a focus for viewing the exhibition, as well
as doing follow-up research once back at
school. The student materials use an enquiry
approach to learning with key questions
and suggested research opportunities. The
teacher support materials provide images of
the objects, information about where they
were found and notes on their significance.
Education programs at Museum Victoria
have been developed within the context of
the Victorian curriculum statements -- the
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
(VELS), and the 'Principles of Learning and
Teaching' from the Victorian Department
of Education's Blueprint for Government
Schools. VELS require that personal and
social learning be explicitly defined within the
school curriculum, and working together in
teams, community engagement and enquiry
learning have come to the fore as important
ways of facilitating this aspect of learning.
Education programs at Museum Victoria
attempt to pose questions that initiate dis-
cussion and are characterised by im mersive
hands-on experiences that engage students in
active, purposeful and tactile enquiry-based
learning in a place where they learn about
community through a process of being 'in
community' by interrogating shared expe-
rience. Hands-on activities, using interpre-
tive objects that reflect our material culture,
provide the opportunity for group discus-
sion and understanding: What is this object,
what is it used for, what does it tell us about
how people who used them lived?
All of the activities in the education kits
can be mapped against the VELS stand-
Museums offer a stimulating environ-
ment for cross- curriculum learning, inte-
grating Science, Humanities, English and
Languages other than English. 'A Day in
Pompeii' education programs and resources
are also provided in the Italian language.
The education program 'Esplora Pompei'
presents real objects from 2,000 years ago
that im merses students in the Italian lan-
guage while they reflect on the objects, ask-
ing the same questions -- what is the object,
what is it made of and who would have used
it? -- in Italian.
Students of Italian can also explore the
exhibition in the Italian language with an
audio tour that takes the learner through
a theatrical storytelling soundscape. An
inhabitant of Pompeii from 79AD takes the
students through the exhibition and explains
daily life in Pompeii, and introduces them to
other characters of the time. The audio tour
caters for a more advanced level of Italian
to suit students of Italian in Years 10 to 12.
The audio tour is also available in English
for students from Year 9 upwards.
The audio tour is a new development in
the education programs that aims to cater
for all learning styles and interests. The
'Experience the Spirit of Pompeii' audio
tour immerses students in the exhibition by
stimulating all of their senses and engaging
them with the story in the way a worksheet
Increasingly, museum education pro-
grams are encouraging students to learn
experientially, to use their senses, to reflect
on how they feel, what impact the experience
has on them, how they connect it to what
they already know, and what it contributes
to their understanding of the subject.
Learning beyond the classroom is about
engaging the student as much as possible
in learning that facilitates the development
of the skills and dispositions necessary for
independent lifelong learning. T
Liz Suda is the Program Coordin ator,
Humanities, at Melbour ne Museum.
Rosaria Zarro, is the Co.As.It Educ ation
Officer at Museum Victoria.
Pictured: page 14, garden fresco from 'A
Day in Pompeii,' courtesy of Melbourne
Muse um and Soprintende nza Speciale i
Be ni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei;
page 16, statue of Venus; page 18, garum
Melbourne Muse um's 'A Day in Pompeii,'
part of the 2009 Melbourne Winter
Masterpiece series, is open to the public
and school groups until 25 Octobe r.
For Muse um Victoria resources, visit
For references, visit http://teacher.acer.edu.au
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