1 Learning Lab Denmark, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University
Life of Science, edited by Lykke Margot Ricard and Robin Engelhardt. Learning Lab Denmark, Copenhagen, pages 63-69. 2003 Short description: In Boulogne-sur-Mer, a leading fishing port in the north of France, there is a place where school children and families come to learn about the sea. This place is called Nausicaä just like the heroine in Homer?s Odyssey. Abstract: How do we as adults actually know whether the children are getting anything out of such learning activities at a sea centre or museum? In my opinion it is very important that the children feel welcome at a museum, and are not constantly reminded of how noisy, dirty, clumsy and uncultured they are. To create a stimulating learning environment for children, a visit to a museum should not be like a visit to an old aunt, where you are made to sit on a towel on the sofa and must not touch any of her bric-a-brac, as the mere thought of clumsy child fingers on the fine china would cause a heart attack. Children are stimulated only if they are both seen and heard, otherwise a visit to a museum will have quite the opposite effect. I don?t have enough fingers to list the many bad and boring experiences I had at museums when I was a child. Everything smelled of dust and dead socks and the biggest impression did the many "do not touch" signs, rather than the things actually displayed.