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May 2022

Bitesize: How to Define your Personal Facilitator Style

BITESIZE: HOW TO DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL FACILITATOR STYLE I’ve recently taught a course in my membership programme about developing your personal facilitation style. We’ve had 4 classes over the last 4 months and we’ve covered a range of subjects in our time together. In the very first classes we explored what our personal facilitation style is and how we might define it. BUT, before I share the exercise with you, let's look at what a personal facilitation style is and why it's important.  WHAT IS A PERSONAL FACILITATION

From Good to Great: Personal Growth & Development for Museum Educators

FROM GOOD TO GREAT: PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR MUSEUM EDUCATORS A willingness to continue growing and developing is at the heart of our practice as museum educators, teachers and guides. We are never ‘done’ with learning. There is always a strong desire to keep honing our craft. Personal development keeps us motivated and pushes us out of our comfort zone. It helps us to keep innovating, experimenting and being creative. But, what are the best ways that we can grow and develop personally? Today I'm sharing 8 different ways museum educators

What is Visible Thinking in the Museum?

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WHAT IS VISIBLE THINKING IN THE MUSEUM (AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME TO ENGAGE MY AUDIENCE?) Way back in 2011, I discovered the magic of thinking routines and Visible Thinking whilst working at a museum in Amsterdam. It was at this point that I started developing a new approach for educators, what became Visible Thinking in the Museum or VTM for short. Visible Thinking in the Museum is an easy-to-follow method that allows educators like you to confidently design and lead engaging inquiry-led sessions with art, objects and ideas for any

April 2022

Pictures of Practice with Gabrielle Grime

PICTURES OF PRACTICE WITH GABRIELLE GRIME INTRODUCTION  Today on our 50th episode, I'm launching a new series of episodes all about 'pictures of practice'. I'm really interested is in finding out how other museum educators around the world engage their audiences with art and objects. What are some of the practices that are really important to them? How might they use thinking routines, or slow looking, questioning or facilitation? For our very first Pictures of Practice, I'm talking today to Gabrielle Grime is a Heritage Education Officer at Wanneroo Regional Museum in Australia. Gabrielle read about the

Inspiring Creative Writing through Art with Mary Hall Surface

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INSPIRING CREATIVE WRITING THROUGH ART WITH MARY HALL SURFACE INTRODUCTION  Today I’m delighted to be talking to playwright, theatre director, teaching artist and museum educator Mary Hall Surface about her work. We’re talking all things creative and reflective writing through art. As a museum educator, Mary Hall uses both theatre and creative writing to expand perspective, uncover complexity and deepen understanding. She is the founding instructor of National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon in Washington DC, and a six-summer faculty member of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.  Her plays have been produced at major professional theatres, museums, and

‘Bad’ questions: 10 types of questions you should never ask

'BAD' QUESTIONS: 10 TYPES OF QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK I’m back with a new episode today all about my favourite subject - I'm talking about 'bad' questions, and specifically, 10 types of questions you should never ask (or at least try to avoid!). Good questions can be many things: clear, simple and purposeful but also relevant, concise and perhaps, even powerful. But is there such a thing as a 'bad' question? And if so, what types of questions are 'bad'? Why types of questions should we be avoiding on our museum tours and programmes? To find

Throwback Thursday: 4 thinking routines for perspective-taking

THROWBACK THURSDAY: 4 THINKING ROUTINES FOR PERSPECTIVE-TAKING As you may or may not know, I’ve recently had Covid (and you can probably hear it in my voice) I’m taking some time to recover. So as we’re approaching 50 episodes, I thought I would take the time today to revisit an episode from the back catalogue. Today we’re revisiting an episode all about thinking routines that you can use for perspective-taking. This episode first aired in July 2021. It takes a deep dive into what perspective-taking is, and why it matters. Then I look at 4 essential perspective-taking

March 2022

What is Slow Art Day?

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WHAT IS SLOW ART DAY? Slow Art Day is an international event celebrating looking at art in a different way. This year Slow Art Day is taking place on Saturday 2 April 2022 in nearly 150 venues around the world (and counting…). So, what is Slow Art Day all about? Here’s what you need to know. HOW DID SLOW ART DAY START? In 2008 Phyl Terry visited The Jewish Museum in New York and instead of trying to see everything, he found a select few pieces to focus on: just 2 paintings: Hans Hoffman’s

What we can learn from improv with Samantha Boffin

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM IMPROV WITH SAMANTHA BOFFIN INTRODUCTION  You may remember Samantha Boffin as she was my first guest on the show (Episode 21) and now she is the first guest to come back for a second episode. Besides being a voiceover artist, Sam is also an actor.  Sam also does an improv class every week and believes that we are all expert improvisers - we just don’t realise we are. In this episode, Sam is sharing what improv is and how it can help us as educators in our own practice and when we’re with

The 4 elements of a great introduction

THE 4 ELEMENTS OF A GREAT INTRODUCTION A good introduction is essential to foster a great group dynamic. An introduction is crucial on any type of programme - whether you’re leading a guided tour, an educational programme, a 15 minute in-gallery conversation or an online session. At this stage, group participants are learning what to do, how the tour or programme is going to operate, what is expected and what is acceptable. It’s your role to give them the orientation they need. And more than that, a good introduction is about about placing connection before content -

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