“Museum as a non-formal education environment”

The Yerevan History Museum presented a report at the conference of young museologists the theme of which was “The museum as an environment for informal education” and which was held for the first time within the frames of the international Day of Museums. The e-version of the report is given below.

Within the 82 years of its existence the YHM educated and brought up many generations. Education programs corresponding with the requirements of time are worked out and implemented in the museum and their goal is to make children join cultural heritage, to form an aesthetic taste, to instill the culture of attending museums and certainly, to bring up worthy citizens.

The animation educational project “Unusual adventures of schoolchildren in YHM” The main aim is to familiarize the students with the history of the native city, to participate in the important events in the city. Within this program the children animate the samples embodying them.

“The dolls in the museum” exhibition. The duplicates of the museum samples were actively used within the educational program.

“The intellectual quiz competition “What? Where? When?” in which 11 schools of the capital participated at the same time. According to the decision of the Armenian Association of Connoisseurs and the staff of the YHN the questions related to the history of Yerevan to know the right answers to which the participants must have participated the YHM.

Such educational projects develop the knowledge and abilities of schoolchildren, as well as their social skills.

Game-excursions “Let’s discover the world of Armenian carpets”, “Recognize Yerevan”, “Know-all in YHM” and “The capture of Yerevan fortress» were worked out and performed in our museum. Unlike various educational projects which are implemented regularly, these game-excursions are of permanent and popular character and their main aim is to provide knowledge not by obliging but through a game. This method of holding excursions is more correct because children’s world is directly connected to playing games.

Let’s discover the world of Armenian carpets

We offer the pupils of high school, the first and second year students «a virtual walk» around old Yerevan. The aim of «Recognize Yerevan» quiz is to complete the school curriculum as the history of Yerevan is not taught at school as a special subject.

This quiz is held around the model of Yerevan situated in the museum. At the end of the game the children solve a crossword so that the knowledge gained during the quiz was mastered better.

Taking into account the circumstance that children’s interest in museums would be instilled at an early age, we pay special attention to kindergartens, to the children of pre-schooling age (4-5 years old). The game-excursion «Know-all in the YHM» has been worked out and is held especially for them. During the game the doll which becomes a guide shows the children around the exhibition halls, tell them about Erebuni-Yerevan.

Taking into consideration the importance of the theme “Accession of Eastern Armenia to Russia” and the fact that there are interesting samples highlighting this theme in the museum, it offers the schools the game-excursion “ The capture of Yerevan fortress”.

At the end of the quiz “the fortress keys” are handed to the children who won, who were able to capture the Yerevan fortress due to their knowledge gained during the game, and the most active pupils are awarded with medals “For Yerevan occupation”.

At the end of all the game-excursions the participants are given encouraging diplomas which point out the importance of the event.

The ceremony of taking the oath

Finishing the excursions with the ceremony of taking the oath has become a tradition in the YHM. After familiarizing themselves to the symbols of the city (the flag, coats of arms, anthem), the children take the oath to love, keep and make prosper the capital of all Armenians, Yerevan.

As the notion of spiritual culture development of schoolchildren in the conditions of museum-school cooperation means joint efforts of the modern museum and schools, the YHM and the Department of General Education of the Municipality of Yerevan implemented the program “Teachers at the museum”. Within the frames of this program teachers of 144 schools of Yerevan visited the YHM. This program benefited further raise of the level of museum visits.

The YHM carries out activities aimed at strengthening the ties between museums and establishments of higher education as well.

The students of the faculty of history of YSU, the faculty of museology of ASPU and different faculties of YSLU have their practical trainings at the museum. The students of the department of international tourism of YSLU are taught «Museum animation» subject in our museum.

At the end of the training the students perform the animation projects worked out by them: «Yerevan stories turned into statues», «Battle of brides», «A bridegroom from circus, or a bride from the north» and others.

Keeping steps with the requirements of time the YHM carries out active and efficient work within the frames of informal education due to strengthening the ties between the museum and kindergartens museum and schools, the museum and higher educational establishments.

The staff of the museum, showing pedagogical, psychological and artistic skills, develop the abilities, skills, knowledge of the visitors, form their investigation thought, aesthetic taste, their social abilities and ability to express their own opinions and certainly, their system of values; they strive to bring up patriotic citizens, appreciating the importance of historical and cultural heritage, evaluating and preserving it.

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