Museum education

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School group in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris

The Museumspädagogik or museum teaching is the teaching of the switching of the collection material of a museum. It develops independent methodological and didactic concepts to introduce museum visitors to exhibition objects and to bring them closer to them.


Terminologically, the concept of museum education is not without controversy, as it is often shortened and only applied to the care of children and young museum visitors. In fact, today's museum education is dedicated to all groups of museum visitors. In addition, terms such as education and teaching are associated with pedagogy. For many museums, children are still an important target group for education and mediation, but certain offers are also aimed at certain adult groups, such as teachers and senior citizens.

Anchoring in the museums

Against the background of this debate, the positioning of museum education differs greatly from house to house. In addition to museums with a classic museum education department, there are museums that only have a communications department that handles all external communication (public relations, mediation work, etc.) of the respective museum, as well as museums that offer a visitor service. Elsewhere people consciously only speak of “cultural mediator” and have completely abandoned the term museum educator.

In large cities, in addition to the “normal” museum educational departments, there are often higher-level museum educational services that offer their own mediation services together with the museums.

The involvement of museum education departments in the planning of the exhibition is, in addition to the "normal" communication work, another important area of ​​work for museum educators. However, it is often neglected in practice.

Comparison of school and museum education

Compared to school education , museum education (if one understands more than guiding school classes through the museum) has a fundamentally different approach. If the long-term transfer of knowledge is in the foreground in school pedagogy against the background of the general obligation to (attend) school, museum pedagogy can assume a basically voluntary visit of the museum visitors and thus also a generally more open-minded public. The focus is on the current examination of the museum's exhibits, their history and the resulting interactions with the visitor's personal wealth of experience. The frequent short-term contact with visitors is problematic for museum education, a situation that the museums try to counteract through various activities to attract visitors. In addition to the approach of binding children and young people to the respective “house” beyond the traditional groups of visitors through museum passes and support associations, the Internet is likely to become an increasingly important medium in this context.


Integrative offers for people with intellectual disabilities, such as those offered by the museum educational services at the Überseemuseum Bremen and Cologne museums, can be considered an example of museum educational offers . Topics are often worked out in a project-like manner in an action-oriented form.

Initial and continuing education

The profession of museum educator cannot be acquired through classic school or company training. However, there are different ways to qualify for the profession. The courses in museum studies (bachelor) and museum management and communication (consecutive master) at the HTW Berlin (FH), museology (bachelor) and museum education (advanced master) at the HTWK Leipzig (FH), museology and material culture (bachelor) and museum studies (master’s) at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg and cultural education . It is also possible to qualify with basic training through further training, such as the supplementary course "Museum and Exhibition (MA)" at the University of Oldenburg . Usually, a usually also leads. two-year academic traineeship in this profession.

Arnold Vogt Prize for research in museum education

The University of Technology, Economics and Culture Leipzig, Faculty of Media, has been awarding the Arnold Vogt Prize for Museum Education, endowed with 1000 euros, annually since 2006 as an award for practical, innovative research results in this field. The sponsorship award is aimed at all graduates from universities and technical colleges in the German-speaking area whose theses or qualifications deal with museum education - understood as personal communication, educational work in museums or memorials for a wide variety of target groups. Diploma, master’s and doctoral theses, bachelor’s and master’s theses are equally eligible, provided that they are not published.

Institutions and associations (selection)

  • Federal Association of Museum Education with the affiliated state and regional associations and specialist groups
    • Regional Association for Museum Education North e. V.
    • Regional Association for Museum Education East e. V.
    • State Association of Museum Education NRW e. V.
    • Regional Association for Museum Education Southwest e. V.
    • Association for Museum Education Baden-Württemberg e. V.
    • Bavarian Museum Education Association V.
    • Section for Accessible Museums and Inclusion
    • Generation 60plus specialist group
    • International Section
    • Specialized group for children and young people in the museum
    • Section for digital education and communication in museums
  • Museum Service Cologne
  • Bavarian Museum Academy
  • Museum Education Center Munich (MPZ)
  • Art and cultural education center of the museums in Nuremberg (KPZ)

Important museum educators

See also


  • Beatrix Commandeur, Hannelore Kunz-Ott, Karin Schad (eds.): Handbook of Museum Education. Cultural education in museums. Kopaed, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-86736-451-5 .
  • Beatrix Commandeur, Dorothee Dennert (Ed.): Event draws - content binds. Visitor orientation of museums in new ways. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-89942-253-8 .
  • Claudia Cremer, Michael Drechsler, Claus Mischon, Anna Spall: Window on Art. Ideas for creative museum visits. Berlin / Milow 1996, ISBN 3-928878-32-8 .
  • Alfred Czech, Josef Kirmeier, Brigitte Sgoff (eds.): Museum pedagogy. A manual. Basics and aids for practice. Schwalbach / Ts. 2014, ISBN 978-3-89974-886-4 .
  • Uwe Christian Dech: Learning to see in the museum - a concept for perceiving and presenting exhibits. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-89942-132-9 .
  • Doris Jacobs: Intercultural Museum Education. International efforts of museum education in their relevance for foreign preschool children. Deutscher Studien Verlag, Weinheim 1989.
  • Sabine Jung (ed.): New ways of museum education. ASKI, Bonn 2003, ISBN 3-930370-06-9 .
  • Gabriele Kindler: MuseumsTheater - theatrical productions in exhibition practice. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2001, ISBN 3-933127-70-X .
  • Alexander Klein: EXPOSITUM - On the relationship between exhibition and reality. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-89942-174-4 .
  • Brigitte Klesse, Günther Ott (ed.): Lessons in the museum. Cologne 1974.
  • Aida Kruze, Dieter Schulz, Arnold Vogt (eds.): Change in learning cultures in schools and museums. Paradigm shift between school and museum education. (= Series of publications by the Center for Teacher Education and School Research (ZLS ). At the University of Leipzig. Volume 7). Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-86583-249-8 .
  • Museum Education Center (Ed.): Museum Education for Kindergartens. Basics, content, methods. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-934554-17-2 .
  • New museum studies. Theory and practice of museum work. Volume 15. 2/72. German Science Publishing House, Berlin 1972.
  • Noschka-Roos, Hagedorn-Saupe u. a .: Museum Education in Figures, survey year 1988. (= materials from the Institute for Museum Studies, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Issue 27). Institute for Museum Studies, Berlin 1989, DNB 900818247 .
  • Project Pedagogical Practice (Ed.): Pedagogical fields of work - facilities, tasks, possibilities. Orientation aid for pupils and students, teachers and other educators. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1981.
  • Adolf Reichwein: School and Museum. Berlin 1941, OCLC 551884735 .
  • schnittpunkt, Beatrice Jaschke, Charlotte Martinz-Turek, Nora Sternfeld (eds.): Who speaks? Authority and Authority in Exhibitions. (= exhibition theory & practice. 1). Turia + Kant, Vienna 2005.
  • Jana Scholze: Medium exhibition. Readings on museum design in Oxford, Leipzig, Amsterdam and Berlin. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-89942-192-2 .
  • School and museum in the uniform socialist education system of the GDR. Booklet 11: On the theory and methodology of education and training in museums. Museum Education Working Group, Berlin 1976.
  • Arnold Vogt: Literature on museum education. An overview from a museological point of view. In: Information from the Saxon Museum Association e. V. Issue 17, December 1998, pp. 45-68.
  • Klaus Weschenfelder, Wolfgang Zacharias: Handbook of Museum Education. Orientations and methods for practice. (= Schwann manual ). 1st edition. Pedagogical Publishing House Schwann, Düsseldorf 1981.
  • Timothy Ambrose (Ed.): Education in Museums. Museums in Education. HMSO / Scottish Museums Council, Edinburgh 1987.
  • Christiane Schrübbers (ed.): Moderation in the museum. Theory and practice of dialogical visitor guidance. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2013, ISBN 978-3-8376-2161-7 .

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