Freelance Opportunity: My Primary School is at the Museum

Research brief

At the heart of the My Primary School is at the Museum concept is a symbiotic strategy to place school classes within museums and galleries for extended periods, potentially leading to co-location. An innovative project was developed by King’s College London to test the hypothesis that there may be beneficial learning, social and cultural outcomes for primary school children and their families when a significant portion of their learning takes place in a museum setting, as well as demonstrating the benefits for museums. Groups of pupils from two primary schools and a nursery, from Tyne & Wear, Swansea and Liverpool, were based at their local museum for up to a term between January and June 2016. Further information on the project is available here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/SchoolsinMuseums.

In order to build on these initial pilots and move the concept forwards, we are looking for a researcher to support us in the following work to gather evidence in support of the education and community benefits of museum/arts based learning, as well as the potential economic benefits of co-location of a whole school and a museum or gallery.

Part I. Desk-based research

  • Identify sources of information (policy reports, sector publications, published research studies) that address aspects related to museum-school partnerships with a particular focus on the benefits of extended exposure to museums and cultural experiences; and also address the innovative delivery of broad aspects of the school curriculum in museum settings.
  • Gather relevant and robust case studies (published articles, or evaluation reports, also known as ‘grey’ literature) from the above review.
  • Compile potential ‘arguments’ to support greater museum-school partnerships. Such arguments may be in the form of research evidence indicating cognitive or social/behavioural gains on the part of the audience; financial reports indicating cost efficacies of co-location; etc.

The emphasis for the above is very much on ‘mapping’ and identifying what sorts and sources of information are available (or equally, unavailable).

Estimated time frame: 5 days.

Part II. Analysis of case studies

  Following the identification of case studies as part of the scoping exercise, this task involves synthesising the findings/experiences of various initiatives into a coherent whole such that insights and recommendations may be drawn out.

  • Collate and summarise case studies and gather more information if necessary to build complete data set which collectively encompasses the impacts of formal curriculum delivery in a museum setting (we currently envisage around 8 – 12 case studies).
  • Compare and contrast experiences and lessons learnt.
  • Develop recommendations/insights for the broader field, and for the development of the project, My primary school is at the Museum.

Estimated time frame: 5 days

We envisage the same researcher taking on both parts I and II.

Timeframe: the work is to be completed by 1 September 2017.

Reporting to: Dr Heather King, School of Education, Communication & Society, King’s College London and Kate Measures, Heritage Insider Ltd.

Fee: The role will be remunerated at £120/day for doctoral students or £140/day for post-docs, including London weighting.

Apply by: CV and cover email to Steven McEvoy, Innovation Coordinator, Cultural Institute at King’s College London, steven.mcevoy@kcl.ac.uk, by Monday 10 July.

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