Examining Museum Education Kits Using a Cultural Capital Lens: The Positioning of Visual Arts Teachers and their Students Within Museum Education Kits

By Karolina Novak and Marianne Hulsbosch.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Museum education kits are designed to assist schoolteachers in connecting their students with museum collections and exhibitions. They provide curriculum-friendly accounts of museum programming, often with syllabus-referenced activities allowing the teacher to make rich, rigorous and meaningful use of these community institutions.

However, we rarely question whether the institutions producing them have further-reaching agendas than to enrich and enlighten our students. How critically are we using these resources? Are we considering how they frame what we see? Or how they prompt us to view an exhibition?

The education kit as a passport to the museum collection has the capacity to empower teachers and students alike. But do they indeed do so?

This small-scale study examines two recent publicly available education kits from prominent Australian museums using a lens based on Bourdieu's theories of social reproduction and cultural capital. It discusses the positioning of the teacher and the student within the resource, and the power dynamic set up surrounding the capital in question.

Keywords: Art Education, Cultural Capital, Museum Education, Educational Resources, Museum-school Partnerships, Schools, Museums, Visual Arts Teachers, Visual Arts Students

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.37-49. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 437.383KB).

Karolina Novak

Graduate Student, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Karolina Novak studied Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, where she completed her Master of Fine Arts with a specialisation in printmaking. She was a practicing artist for some time, with a conceptual interest in memory and perception. She was awarded a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2008, and has worked as an assistant to children’s book author Jeannie Baker. Karolina recently consolidated her interests in art, artmaking and working with young people by entering the field of art education. She now works part time in Sydney high schools. This project has been part of her Master of Teaching Honours research at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Marianne Hulsbosch

Senior Lecturer Visual Art & Design Education, Faculty of Education & Social Work, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Marianne Hulsbosch has extensive experience in lecturing in visual arts, design, technology and textiles education at national and international levels. Having completed undergraduate degrees in the Netherlands in education and textile design, Marianne taught in the Netherlands, Germany and New Zealand before settling in Australia, where she received her PhD in Creative Arts. She is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Art and Design Education at the Faculty of Education & Social Work, University of Sydney. Marianne's current research focuses on developing multiliteracies, visual arts education and arts-based learning and teaching in multicultural contexts.

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