|Hattie Kimberley in the Museum © Pitt Rivers Museum|
Not only has everyone working in the Education Department been welcoming and friendly, they have also been more than ready to share their expertise. Becca McVean, Primary School Education Officer, has been particularly generous with her time, working out a timetable for me and allowing me to watch various presentations from Extreme Environments to History Detectives, and Aboriginal Art to Take One Tahitian MournersCostume. Andy McLellan, the Head of Education, has offered a great deal of welcome practical advice.
|Andy McLellan © Pitt Rivers Museum|
I have helped Katherine Rose with Adult Handling Sessions, Beth McDougall with the VERVE-funded Langtree Amulet Project, and Carly Smith-Huggins with Under 5 events themed on Hats and Feathers, and half-term Family Activities based on the Haida totem pole. I have also shadowed some of the museum’s inspirational learning volunteers as they guided children round various themed trails. All participants, whether child, teenager or adult, have been both engaged and entertained, listening to presentations and learning more when exploring the museum independently.
|Katherine Rose © Pitt Rivers Museum|
The Education Department’s handling collection is nearly as exciting as the contents of the museum itself. Each time I walk into the office another strange and wonderful object is sitting on the table waiting to be used in a session. The whole office is looking particularly organised just now following the sterling work of Rachael Utting who has been cataloguing the entire education collection and storing all the objects in carefully labelled boxes so that when someone needs to lay their hands on an African shield, a headrest, a flywhisk, a fish trap or a Naga spear, it can be done in an instant!
I will miss my newfound friends and colleagues very much when I return to London, not to mention my lunchtime strolls round the streets and alleyways of Oxford. I have been so impressed by this department’s professionalism, dedication and commitment to learning for all – the museum is lucky to have them! I know that my time here has been a really positive addition to my MA learning, and I very much hope to put much of what I have learned into practice in the near future. Thank you everyone!
MA Student in Museums and Galleries in Education, UCL