P r o j e c t   s u m m a r y
WORLD STORIES:  NATURE  FROM TEN DIFFIRENT  CULTURAL  PERSPECTIVES

Management
1 Project name
Wereldverhalen, tien culturen over natuur ('World Stories: Nature From Ten Different Cultural Perspectives')
2 Contact
Eltine de Young-Peterse, Head of the Visitors' and Education Department, Natural History Museum of Groningen: tel. +31 (0)50-3676170;
e-mail: e.de.young@natuurmuseum.groningen.nl.
3 Partner organisation
Reitdiep College (Els Zaalberg) and the Alfa College Regional Training Centre [ROC] (Anneke Bronsema). The participants consisted of a selection of students from these educational institutions. Wereldverhalen was based on the project launched at the Municipal Museum of The Hague, which was consulted on fundamental aspects. The Humanitas Association of Groningen was also involved in these discussions.
4 Partner organisation type
Museum.

Medium
Workshops and an exhibition and catalogue. The young people participating also created a work of art (‘collection piece’) to accompany their story. Landscape and art objects.

Project
1 Aims / objectives
- To allow the museum to look at the collection in a new way and to shed new light on the subject of nature.
- To reach a wide audience.
- To reach members of ethnic minorities.
- To receive more visitors aged between 12 and 18.
- To strengthen collaborative efforts with secondary education schools.
2 Who it was for
The general public, with an emphasis on members of ethnic minorities, in addition to cultural institutions,members of the same age group (12-18) and pupils in primary and secondary education as part of educational activities.
Young people worked with the collection in an innovative way; the museum learned to look at its collection in a different way, and the public was presented with a new interpretation of the collection.
3 What learning was involved
Social and psychological skills were called upon during the telling and writing of stories, and participants had to use motor skills when creating works of art.
4 Which methodologies used
The narrative aspect was essential to the finished product. Participants told their own stories using museum objects. Creating works of art, photographs and videos in workshops, participants adopted a highly experimental approach in developing their narratives.
5 Where/when it was
The exhibition was held at the Natural History Museum of Groningen [Natuurmuseum Groningen]. 12 January 2000 to 6 May 2002.
6 Planning / preliminary work
There was prior consultation with the parties involved: Reitdiep College , Alfa College , the Humanitas Association [Vereniging Humanitas] and the Municipal Museum of The Hague [Haags Gemeentemuseum].
7 Any exhibition / art / artefacts involved
Objects from the museum collection.
8 Any follow-up / longer-term contact with the target group
Although there is a will to continue the exhibition, organisational delays are currently hindering this effort.
9 Involvement of other partner organisation
Close cooperation was undertaken with the participants' educational institutions.

Type of project
Looking closely at the objects, reading the texts, and the tactile organs were all involved, although the exhibition itself was fairly ‘passive'.
Website : www.natuurmuseum.org

Roughly how many people were involved?
1 As direct participants
Direct participants: eleven pupils. Young people from the surrounding area with a dual cultural background, aged between 12 and 18.
2 As indirect beneficiaries
Between 12 January 2001 and 12 August 2001, 16,580 people visited the exhibition. In all, 495 young people visited the museum as part of a school activity. These included groups from mainstream secondary education (195 pupils), groups of asylum seekers (125 students) and students enrolled in teacher-training colleges for primary education [PABO] (175 students in connection with Dutch as a second language).
3 Others
In 2001, 107 copies of the catalogue were sold. The museum website displayed the objects and stories of the exhibition. The site was visited an average of 1,200 times a month in 2001.

Participants' ages
15–18 years old.

Disadvantage due to social or economic factors, discrimination or disability
1 Economic disadvantage
The young people from the refugee camp were relatively disadvantaged economically.
2 Social disadvantage
An asylum-seeker status carries its own social disadvantages. All participants belonged to an ethnic/cultural minority.
3 Migration / Immigration issues
The participants originally came from Angola , Slovakia , Rwanda , Sudan , Turkey , Indonesia , Zaire , Australia , Uganda and Afghanistan . They were enrolled in school. Most of them were staying at a nearby asylum seekers' residence centre.

Participants' needs
They were involved in developing the finished product, but the project plan had already been determined.

Outcomes and lessons learned
1 Participants' benefits and outcomes:
An evaluation showed that having their stories presented in a serious forum to the general public and published in a catalogue had a positive, encouraging effect on the young people participating. No official evaluation was made with the visiting youngsters of their experiences during the programme. Afterwards, they were asked orally what they thought of the visit.
2 Evaluation process
An evaluation of the project was published internally in 2001.
3 Overall learning pointsCollaboration between organisations: During the preparation, and throughout the implementation, of the project, good contacts were established between the Natural History Museum of Groningen, the schools and various civil society organisations involved with these ethnic minority target groups. Thanks to these contacts and newly gained experience, a subsequent project could easily be launched.
Through this project, the Natural History Museum of Groningen has become more well known to secondary education schools. The museum now has a better chance of attracting school visits and collaborating with schools on projects in the future.
The evaluation of Reitdiep College, which worked with the museum, indicated an unexpectedly large demand for such themes among the students. The school offered exemptions, but the students decided to carry out this project in addition to other projects.

> Download pdf 'World Stories: Nature From Ten Different Cultural Perspectives'

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