The Making Museum – creativity is alive and kicking & House of European History Learning Resources – a review


The Making Museum project 2017-2019

The Creative Museum team is delighted to continue its creative endeavours with a new EU-funded project, the Making Museum. It will build on the success of the Creative Museum project (2014-2017) as well as extend and further develop training opportunities re: Museomix and Maker-in-Residence. The Making Museum project will provide a sustainable platform for the dissemination of the Toolkits through a range of activities (workshops conferences, etc.). It will offer the opportunity to share the lessons learnt and skills acquired. The first meeting took place in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin 2-3 November 2017.

Project partners Radiona Makerspace Zagreb visited Dublin in late November 2017. Using the Creative Museum project Toolkit, Deborah Hustic, Marina Petrovic and Damir Prizmic explored the Chester Beatty Library’s collections and look at how best museums and makers can collaborate together to engage with audiences.  Supported by the Creative Museum and Making Museum projects.

The four key elements of the Creative Museum project are:

To collect and analyse: Identify, compare, analyse creative practices in Europe; to produce recommendations for museum professionals

To discover and learn: To explore ways to bridge the gap between participatory web culture and cultural institutions through peer-to-peer training programmes

To experiment: A Maker-in-Residence programme to connect makers and digital talents with museums

To evaluate and share: Be inspired by start-up approaches based on iteration and align with maker culture to share ideas and knowledge as freely as possible

Twitter @CreativeMuseum0 and website 

Project reference: EU-funded project No 2017-1-FR01-KA202-037487

Implementation: 1 September 2017 – 28 February 2019 EU flag-Erasmus+_vect_POS


House of European History, Brussels – check out their learning resources

There is a very insightful  learning resource created for the House of European History, Brussels by Alan Kirwan and the Education Team. These were designed prior to the opening of this new museum in May 2017. So what are they?

  • a series of activities designed for the classroom
  • they address European history as reflected in the permanent exhibitions on display
  • the topics range from migration, conflict, information technologies, human rights and identity
  • some of these were trialed at a conference The Role of National Museums in (Re) Negotiating National Identity, Chester Beatty Library in 2016, see workshop: Collective Conversations: Exploring a Kaleidoscope of Irish Identities at Irish Museums
  • the subjects are very timely and relevant to current issues in Europe and offer practical tools for teachers when working with pupils in the classroom or in the museum

Let’s take Borders and Bridges – Migration as an example.

It is in Dutch, German, French and English. The subject explores the current crisis Europe faces today: migrants swiftly moving in to Europe from the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and beyond while at the same time young Europeans are moving internationally to find employment.

The resource opens up the conversation around the language and terminology used to describe migrants and refugees and draws definitions provided by the UN as well as key learning competencies drawn up by the EU. In a way, this is a living history topic, i.e. this is happening right here, right now and we are all aware of the current migration crises in Europe. Yet, we have very few tools in the education system to address it.

This resource provides teachers and pupils questions and asks why people migrate, come to Europe or within Europe and the difficulties they face along the way. Video clips illustrate these stories. A number of classroom activities are available to promote debate, storytelling on the history of European migration, the use of language to describe migrants and refugees as well as the freedom of movement for European migrants within Europe (Bolkenstein Directive). Quotes from well-known political leaders in Europe regarding migration are included to promote discussion and debate. Collection items such as photographs and prints illustrate the historical story of migration; the role of the media past and present; audio transcripts; paraphernalia linked with migration.

This is just one example of a well thought-out series of resources that address difficult topics, require time and reflection as well as positive debate for teachers and pupils.