By Oliwia Mańka, Foundation ARTeria
Exhibitions are an innovative educational method, which is getting more and more popular. Is there any better way to learn than to combine time spent outside the school building with fun? In this article, I would like to explore the benefits of using exhibitions in education.
Trust Greek philosophers!
Firstly, learning through experience is a method that has been known for centuries. One of the greatest philosophers, Aristotle, was an advocate for experiential learning, saying “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. Is there any better evidence to convince your students to try it out? Multiple studies have proven that one learns faster by getting to know given concepts in practice. However, it requires involvement from the students themselves, so they need to understand the need for using experiential learning, and be motivated enough to participate.
The power of technology
Technology is a very useful tool when it comes to exhibitions. There are so many possibilities to take advantage of it. Nowadays, interactive exhibitions are in demand – they can be created by using audiovisual techniques, playing films, incorporating objects that are responsive to contact. A great example of that is Centrum Nauki Kopernik (Copernicus Science Centre) in Warsaw, which exhibitions are based on combining technology with experiential learning. For example, the visitors can get to know facts related to astronomy, chemistry, physics, or biology. When it comes to the examples of using interactive objects, their anatomy section includes an opportunity for one to realise how long human bowels are by dragging a long pipe.
Another experiment concerning the benefits of using technology while exploring exhibitions involved students in taking pictures and notes during their visit. Afterwards, they were asked to prepare presentations using the materials they have gathered. The results of the study showed that the students have remembered a considerable amount of information, and were engaged in the post-presentation discussion.
Shake things up!
Another fact is that changing the environment is also a huge factor in learning improvement. Students spend most of their time at school in the same classrooms and corridors on a daily basis. Do you remember the excitement when the teacher announced that today you are going to watch a film, instead of reading textbooks and doing exercises? School trips are even more thrilling, and using the time outside of the classroom to visit an exhibition and learn something new can be a more enriching experience. It is advised to switch your study methods once in a while, no matter whether you are a teacher, or a person who studies on your own.
Become a curator yourself!
As we have established, experiential learning is one of the best study methods. Why not take it one step further? The VX Designers project offers a unique set of experiences – providing competencies such as planning and problem-solving. The aim of the initiative is to allow students to co-create their own virtual exhibition and make the most of it during the process. The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and implemented with international partners from Poland, Spain, Cyprus, France, Greece and Belgium.