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Grundtvig Learning Partnership

What it is about:
EXARC and a number of its members applied in 2010 for a Grundtvig Learning Partnership. Grundtvig is a part of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLLP) of the European Union which among others involves Leonardo and Erasmus. The Grundtvig Programme is focussed on adult education and in our case involves several museums, open air museums, universities and high schools.
We work with our partners from across Europe to share practice, discuss problems and compare solutions on our particular topics. Obviously our project will be about non-formal learning in different aspects, the plans were developed between the partners.

While writting an application two projects have been formed: Didarchtik and Zeitgeist.

All applicants are members of a International network of archaeological open air museums involving in interpretation and education; we also have universities, schools and other organisations working in this field both in our network as well as in this Grundtvig Learning Partnership.

Our type of education and interpretation is very much about hands on experience – the objects and buildings we use are reconstructions; three-dimensional witnesses of local and national heritage which are part of our common European culture. Our type of museums offer a low threshold and therefore we reach all layers of society.

A special tool we have in our education is based on experimental archaeology; showing ancient crafts and letting people try it out themselves engaging them in a very direct manner. This way, history reaches all senses – the ideal starting point for informal learning. Our method is anchored in using staff telling the stories of our items more than written signs and machines. This is a very labour intensive approach, but it is highly appreciated and offers good quality.

Several of our partners already have experience with EU cooperation, we had for example a Culture 2000 project (Delphi, House of Questions), focusing on what people were interested to find out when they visited our museums. We know from our long running visitor surveys that, we have (1) a higher percentage of return visitors (25-30%) and (2) people generally spend more time in our museums than they do in other kinds of museums (2-3 hours). These two challenges offers opportunities which so far are not or little used. Repeat visitors have requirements which we need to explore. This will allow us to develop fitting formats of interpretative activities involving staff and media before, during and after their visit. We for example think of using innovative cross media.

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