Sharing and Learning
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Jamtli Foundation in Östersund, Sweden, is a museum organisation that focuses on lifelong learning. The main establishment is a museum that is also named Jamtli and has approx. 200 000 visits every year. There is an indoor museum with exhibitions and a big open air museum with old buildings, parks, and animals - for example horses, cows and sheep. In the summer the outdoor museum is transformed into a successful theme park, where the old buildings are animated with actors who roleplay through first person interpretation the actual people who have lived in the houses. The roleplay is Jamtli´s signature method for learning for the school programmes and familiy activities throughout the year. Jamtli also runs historical farming, has a large collection of historical items, arts and photographs. Jamtli Foundation also provides the services of building curators and archaeologists and is the general owner of three joint-stock companies based on cultural heritage in other parts of the Region Jämtland Härjedalen. The Foundation is also general owner of NCK, The Nordic Centre for Heritage Learning and Creativity, their remit is research on cultural heritage activities across Europe.
For about a decade, there has been contacts between Region Jämtland Härjedalen and Welsh Government and also between the museum organisations in the regions. Through this relationship it became apparent that we could learn a lot from each organisation and this led to the idea of a mobility pilot project between the two regions. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed and National Museum Wales and Jamtli Foundation agreed to send staff on job shadowing and exchanges for five years. With this project, Sharing and Learning, we are applying for funding support for the first two years of staff exchanges. Our focus is on increasing the number of learning experiences and opportunities within our two museums.
In both museum organisations, there are occupational groups that traditionally don´t work with learning. It´s groups like receptionists, janitors and household technicians, people who work with the collections, animal keepers, photographers and marketing staff. However these groups do have contact with the visitors, and we would like to make better use of those contacts. Through job shadowing we want to make it possible for Jamtli staff to visit colleagues at National Museum Wales and identify a number of situations where they actually meet and interact with visitors. How can they transform these moments, that may be limited to a tender stroke of a horseneck or a brief question about where the nearest park bench is into a learning situation?
During the project time of 24 months we want to perform 15 mobilities at four different occasions, with the occupational groups mentioned above. We want the line manager closest to the employees , together with the leader of the project, to decide which employees could be most adequate for a staff exchange. We would contact the National Museum Wales at least four months in advance of a proposed visit and they let Jamtli know if they can welcome colleauges at the proposed date. Then the employees make contact with eachother by e-mail or phone, and raise common questions. What kind of opportunities with visitors will be available?
During the visit, the Jamtli staff write a diary and also follow up on the common questions. Together, the staff from Wales and Jämtland discuss how meetings with visitors can be transformed into learning situations. How can the tasks be communicated to different groups of visitors - children, old, disabled, people who speak another language? Can you invite visitors to take part in the work tasks? When the staff returns home, they go through the diaries with their line manager, a learning officer and the project leader. Together they agree upon a few learning activities that can be tested at Jamtli. These test activities will be evaluated within 2-3 months and if the results are good, the activity will become a permanent learning activity and part of our programme. The results of the exchange will also become a part of a report and a presentation given of the project. The presentation is published on Jamtli´s website and is also presented to Region Jämtland Härjedalen and the owners of NCK.
There are several impacts and long term benefits of the project. The most important effect is that learning become a vital part of other museum departments not only of the learning department. The visitor should not be forced to take a guided tour to come across new knowledge - the learning should be found all over the museum, and every employee should be able to feel self secure, proud and happy to share his or her knowledge with others. Another effect of the project is that the pedagogical focus of National Museum Wales and Jamtli Foundation will make the two institutions more well-known, which will lead to more visitors and through that - more learning.
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