Conference Alert: Action, Interaction and Reflection

From H-Museum:

6th Conference of Hands On! Europe

Action, Interaction and Reflection
Children’s museums in the 21st century
Akademie der Künste, Berlin (Germany)
November 6th to 9th, 2007

For more than 30 years, children’s museums in Europe have been providing hands-on exhibits and programmes that help to deepen children’s understanding of themselves and of the world.

As society changes, children’s museums must keep pace, reflecting contemporary social, cultural, economic, and educational trends. This is extremely challenging within the context of an increasingly diverse society, where people from different backgrounds are living with conflict but striving to co-exist in harmony.

On top of this, our information society gives rise to ever-increasing expectations for children’s museums to be innovative and progressive in the development and execution of their programmes. With more and more »traditional« museums setting up interactive elements and a range of other facilities offering children’s museum types of experiences, it is necessary to reflect on the position of children’s museum in the broader informal learning sector. This conference examines the key aspects of the role of children’s museum in the areas of education policy and politics, social and cultural change and museological standards.

Conception & Organisation
The Hands On! Europe Conference 2007 is organised by the European Children’s Museums Association Hands On! Europe and the Bundesverband Deutscher Kinder-und Jugendmuseen. They are supported in their work by a Programme Group, whose members include representatives of the Board of the Bundesverband, the Board of Hands On! Europe and numerous persons and organisations. In addition, the services of expert mentors have been obtained for providing assistance in the selection and contacting of the speakers.


Tuesday, 6th November 2007

4.00 p.m. Opening of the conference registration

6.30 p.m. Opening address
Nele Hertling, Vice-President of Akademie der Künste

6.40 p.m. Welcoming note
Bernd Neumann, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor, Germany
Thomas Krüger, President of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany
Leigh-Anne Stradeski, President of Hands On! Europe
Michael Popp, Chairman of German Association of Children’s and Youth Museums, Germany

7.00 p.m. Key note speech
Die Echtheit: Finding a Sound Place for Children’s Museums in a Contentious World
Elaine Heumann Gurian, museum consultant, Arlington, US

8.00 p.m. Welcome drink and snack

Wednesday, 7th November 2007

8.00 a.m. Registration

9.00 a.m. – 9.30 a.m. Opening ceremony of the conference

Moderation of the day: Claudia Henne, journalist, Germany

Leigh-Anne Stradeski, President of Hands On! Europe

Welcoming note
Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Secretary General of the Cultural Foundation of the German Laender, Germany
Udo Gößwald, President of ICOM Europe

9.30 – 12.00 a.m. Session 1: The museums in the 21st century – challenges and perspectives

Until recently, action and interaction were the unique characteristics that distinguished European children’s museums from traditional museums and other educational experiences. At the turn of the 21st century children’s museums have lost this exclusivity as many of their best ideas and approaches have been adopted by other facilities, thereby giving the visiting public and schools much more choice in hands-on, quality experiences. The significant role of children’s museums within this context, changing policy and values within the formal education sector, and the demands of the knowledge society are factors which affect the position of children’s museums and necessitate a re-examination of their role. This requires a rethinking of the positioning of the children’s museum, a review of the conceptual framework and a discussion of contemporary perspectives and experiences on an european level.

Rethinking the museum?
Presentation by Volker Rodekamp, Director, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, Germany

Museum, education and entertainment
Presentation by Paul M.L. van Vlijmen, Director, Spoorwegmuseum Utrecht, Netherlands

Is »hands on« enough?
Some reflections on education in children’s museums
Presentation by Yvonne Leonard, Director, Neues Universum, Berlin, Germany

Panel and open discussion

12.00 a.m. Lunch break

1.30 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. Session 2: The knowledge society – what kind of knowledge is needed in the 21st century?

The 21st century knowledge society, where knowledge continuously increases and simultaneously non-knowledge rises, imposes new demands, claims and aspirations in the areas of education and development. Over the last decade a children’s »knowledge culture« has developed which encompasses organisations like Children Universities and Labs, providing opportunities for learning across many disciplines using methods previously unique to Children’s Museums. This session offers an exemplary framework for discussions about education policies and politics – it looks at the Children’s Museum as a place for educational policy discussions, controversy and examples, as a place of creativity, innovation and development and as an arena for the negotiation of cultural and appropriate educational standards.

Science Centres and museums between experience and knowledge
Presentation by Asger Høeg, Past-President of ECSITE and Executive Director, Experimentarium, Copenhagen, Denmark

The need of cultural education
Presentation by Pamela Rosenberg, General Manager of Berliner Philharmoniker, Germany

Panel and open discussion

3.30 p.m. Coffee break

4.00 p.m. Excursion Afternoon
Visit of 4 children’s museums in Berlin (organized bus tours)

Tour I: Labyrinth Kindermuseum & MACHmit! Museum
Tour II: Jugend Museum Schöneberg & Juniormuseum Dahlem

8.00 p.m. Social Event – Evening
Reception at the Bode-Museum and dinner

Thursday, 8th November 2007

9.00 a.m. Session 3: Social fragmentation, ethnic conflicts and poverty – children’s and youth museums between the lines of social conflicts

Moderation: Claudia Henne, journalist, Germany

During the last several decades, many children´s museums in Europe and North America have established their role as places of cultural and intercultural dialogue and experience. They developed methods to approach children and young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, initially to present the various cultures of immigrant children, and later to facilitate their adjustment to a contemporary western societal context. As the context of our »multicultural society« continues to change, children’s museums need to look more carefully at how they can help children and families from many different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds live in harmony.

Urban development and cultural diversity – challenges for the 21st century
Anne Querrien, sociologist, urbanist, editor of Annales de la Recherche Urbaine, Paris, France

Social affairs and their impact on (children’s) museums, community arts and education programs
Presentation by Mindy Duitz, President, Learning Leaders (a 50 year old volunteer program serving NYC public schools); museum consultant; and former Director of the Staten Island and Brooklyn Children’s Museums, US

Children’s and youth museums between community and museum demand
Presentation by Petra Zwaka, Director, Jugend Museum Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany

Panel and open discussion

11.00 a.m. Coffee break and snack

11.30 a.m. Talking Circles – statements and discussions
Introduction by Gail Dexter Lord, museums planner, President of LORD Cultural Resources, Toronto, Canada

Concepts of education – how to make knowledge a best seller?
Moderator: Paul M.L. van Vlijmen, Spoorwegmuseum, Utrecht, Netherlands
Speakers: Alberecht Beutelspacher, Mathematikum, Gießen, Germany; Michiel Buchel, Amsterdam Science Centre New Metropolis, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Peter van Roden, Sesame Workshop, New York, US

Eyes on – Hands on – Minds on! Art in children's museums or children in art museums?
Moderator: Nurit Shilo-Cohen, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Speakers: Cornelia Brüninghaus-Knubel, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Elisabeth Cederstrøm, Statens Museums for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark

The catch phrase »creativity« as a main focus of education – which approaches to convey creativity are there?
Moderator: Gabriele König, Kinderakademie Fulda, Germany
Speakers: Veronica Sekules, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; Fred Wartna, Villa Zebra, Rotterdam, Netherlands

New media – new challenges for children’s museums: information and promotion of creativity and interactivity
Moderator: Asger Høeg
Speakers: Claudia Haas, museum consultant, Austria; Christopher Lindinger, Ars Electronica FutureLab, Linz, Austria

Is science a topic of children's museums? Different methods in science mediation in children's museums, science museums, children's universities and UniLabs
Moderator: Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Eureka! The Museum for Children, Halifax, UK
Speakers: Jiri Zeman, National Technical Museum, Prague, Czech Republic; Xavier Limagne, Exhibition Division of La Cité des Sciences, Paris, France

Can children’s museums be places of examination on difficult and painful issues?
Moderator: Tanja Grönke, Jewish Museum Berlin, Germany
Speakers: Noa Barbara Mkayton, The International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel; Petra Katzenstein, department of education and children’s museum within the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands; Elisabeth Menasse-Wiesbauer, Kindermuseum Zoom, Vienna, Austria

(Inter-) Cultural projects in social melting-pots and trouble areas – examples and perspectives
Moderator: Mindy Duitz, Learning Leaders, US
Speakers: Marion Neumann, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany; Karmit Zysman, Discovery Center for interactive learning, Pristina, Kosovo

2.30 p.m. Excursion Afternoon
Visit of 4 children’s museums in Berlin (organized bus tour)

Tour III: Kindermuseum im FEZ & Neues Universum
Tour IV: optional – according to interest

Packed lunches in the bus

7.00 p.m. Trip by ship
start: Neues Universum, Oberschöneweide

Cruise to party location
(please note: the trip is not included in conference fees, per Person: 23 €)

8.00 p.m. Social Event – Evening
Party with evening meal

Friday, 9th November 2007

10.00 a.m. General Assembly Hands On! Europe
For members only

11.00 a.m. Children’s museums in the 21st century – a positioning
Panel discussion (moderators of the Talking Circles)

12.00 a.m. Coffee break

12.30 p.m. Closing speech
Moderation: Leigh-Anne Stradeski

The science of well-being – some recommendations for children’s museums
Presentation by Nick Baylis, Psycologist and Well-being Scientist, Cambridge University, Times columnist, UK

1.30 p.m. Saying Goodbye!

8.00 p.m. Post-conference evening

For all who want: organisation of meeting points in town.


Conference Venue:
Akademie der Künste
Hanseatenweg 10
10557 Berlin-Tiergarten

For further informations (registration, early bird registration, conference fees, etc.) see the conference flyer:

Bundesverband Deutscher Kinder- und Jugendmuseen e. V.
Elisabeth Limmer
Michael-Ende-Straße 17
90439 Nürnberg
Tel. 0049 + (0)9116105535
Fax 0049 + (0)9116105536

Hands On! Europe
via Matteo Bandello,16
20123 Milano, Italy
Tel. 0039 + 24981480
Fax 0039 + 243993466


Popular Posts