THE MUSEUM TEACHES AND ENTERTAINS. THE EDUCATIONAL TASKS OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM IN SZCZECIN (Muzeum uczy i bawi. Dzialania edukacyjne Muzeum Narodowego w Szczecinie)
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The authoress mentioned the assorted new tasks fulfilled by the museum alongside its traditional undertakings: the creation of collections and their conservation, scientific studies and popularisation; they entail rendering possible an active 'reconstruction', experiencing and study of history, i.e. the functioning of a museum as a modern education centre. Emphasis is placed on the awareness of the museum staff and the duty of educating a generation of visitors sensitive to art and culture. The didactic-educational role at present played by museums grants them a prominent place in the educational-cultural system of society. The prime intention of the Education Department at the National Museum in Szczecin is to develop knowledge about the history and culture of the region within the context of national and European values. The authoress discusses museum lessons (about 800 annually) initiated by the Education Department and encompassing 75 themes concerning the past of the town of Szczecin and the region, as well as the history and patronage of the ducal dynasty of the Gryfici, demonstrating that Western Pomerania comprised an essential fragment of Europe. Additional undertakings include such projects as: 'A visit to a museum', realised by school students from Gryfice, a literary-visual arts competition addressed to the students of Szczecin schools: 'The seven wonders of Szczecin', which ended with an exhibition of the awarded works. The authoress stresses the significance of the development of assorted skills, such as the planning, organisation and assessment of progress, a creative solution of problems, effective communication, cooperation within a group, and the use of different sources of information. Keeping this in mind, the staff of the Education Department proposes for children in the 4-12 years-old group Museum Workshops for the youngest visitors, Tots and Juniors Academies, and art classes entitled 'Children draw in museums'. The young visitors are invited to examine the albums of the first Polish residents of Szczecin, and to take a trip to Africa, Arctic or the Far East. Other noteworthy projects include the photographic workshops 'I am a trace', the Music Academy classes addressed to persons fascinated with art and its history, the 'Reading cultural texts' programme, Academic Art Workshops co-organised with Szczecin University, School Holidays in a Museum, 'The Vacation Music Academy' intended for children and young people spending their holidays in Szczecin and its environs, and, finally, 'Easter in the Polish tradition' - open to all residents of Szczecin. Successive proposals are: 'The Night of Museums', a historical impression entitled 'Siberia - recollections of the inhabitants of an inhuman land', and 'Music in a museum' - concerts of compositions from past centuries. While formulating an answer to the question: 'Art for education, or education for art?' the authoress asserts that the best solution is an equilibrium between the two domains.
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