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News from Head of Secondary, Izabella Słoczyńska

08 May 2015

There is no doubt that a primary role of museums is to engage and educate. On 16 May, in Warsaw, 237 museums, galleries, workshops, embassies and public institutions open their doors for visitors throughout the night. There is free entry into places that are open to the public for just one night a year. This is known as ‘Noc Muzeow. ’

 Museum exhibits inspire interest in an area of study, item, time period, or an idea. Museums are examples of informal learning environments, which means they are devoted primarily to informal education — a lifelong process whereby individuals acquire attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience.

We all know that different people learn in different ways. This is also essentially what Howard Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is all about. In a nutshell, it states that people possess different kind of “intelligences” and are able to learn, remember, perform and understand the world in different ways.
Think about the people you know. Some people learn best from reading (verbal-linguistic), watching a video (visual-spatial), or simply doing the task themselves (bodily-kinesthetic).
At a museum, you get the best of all worlds because exhibits, programs and collections tap into these different ways of learning and understanding.

Museums offer visitors a variety of ways to learn, experience and understand which means they’re perfect for groups of people, families and even the single person looking for a new way to connect to the world around them. To lose yourself in a place, to see artefacts in context, to be surrounded by video and sound, or to walk through an underground sewer from World War 2 (Museum of the Warsaw Uprising) can have a profound effect on how we view the world today. A museum or gallery can engage  your senses. Computers are limited to sight and sound; photographs are limited to sight. The possibilities at a museum or gallery are endless.

Museums are also a great destination for families or groups because discussion is an essential part of teaching and learning. One of the best ways to learn is by teaching and this can take place between generations with older generations explaining text panels and younger generations demonstrating their knowledge through hands-on activities.

There is free transport on vintage buses between museums and a great atmosphere as all generations come together to bring Warsaw to life at night. There are queues at the more popular destinations, so take along snacks and be patient.

There are details on um.warszawa.pl/nocmuzeow . I have attached the guidebook with list of museums open across Warsaw from this site.