Janneke van Lookeren
Fundraising & marketing
INTERACTIVE EXHIBITIONS FOR CHILDREN. The Methodology of Tropenmuseum Junior (Amsterdam)
Tropenmuseum Junior has made interactive exhibitions for children aged 6 to 13, since 1975, about diverse contemporary cultures around the world and addressing adequate global issues. The exhibitions always had a strong educational focus, but the majority of the children visit the museum in their leisure time with different expectations and needs than when visiting with their school class. The children’s museum is renowned for its unique working method, adopted by many professionals in the museological field. The current methodology is analysed in detail, in order to develop a theoretical framework including current views on museum learning. The key question is how does Tropenmuseum Junior create a meaningful experience for the different target groups, what are the pedagogical and educational principles, how does the museum accommodate for different learning styles and what are the criteria for the exhibition design? “Children learn best when their bodies are immersed in physical experiences which engage their feelings and emotions and allow their minds to open up to new ideas.” (Hooper- Greenhill, 2007) Tropenmuseum Junior offers immersive experiences, with active participation. Children are inspired by the staff to use their physical, social and intellectual skills and involve all their senses. Children are encouraged to become curious, tolerant and respectful global citizens.