Museums are venturing into the worlds of social networking as they aspire to be more participatory and inclusive of children and young people. However, there are challenges in presenting the grittiness of social reality in online exhibition spaces. On the one hand, museums face political pressures about what are deemed to be accepted narratives for public education; on the other hand, they appear to be constrained by preconceptions about what is appropriate material for children. This paper discusses such tensions with reference to museum websites, particularly those focussing on one of the iconic topics of the Australian school curriculum, the gold rushes of the nineteenth century. The paper reports initial and ongoing research of museum websites for children. The findings and associated discussion are significant in the current climate of debate about the teaching of history in Australia and what these debates mean for the inclusive museum.
|Keywords:||Museum Education, Children Online, Teaching History|
Lecturer in Education, School of Education, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
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