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Object Handling

Students who interact with museums objects as part of their learning show improvements in their exam marks.

The measure

Pupils who interact with museums objects as part of their learning show improvements in their exam marks.

The research

Research from the Glasgow Museums ‘Open Museum’ programme demonstrates that object handing programmes run for school groups, whether in a museum, or in a classroom through a handling box or outreach programme, has a positive impact on exam results. Dodd has written about the ‘concrete outcomes’ of object-based learning, indicating that the use of museum objects led not only to higher levels of interest and motivation, but also improved exam marks and better-quality written work. (Dodd et al 2002: 37)

Museums and object handling

Most of Scotland’s museums work with primary and secondary school groups, and object handling is an important part of programming both within museums, and in schools. Exams remain one of the ways in which student performance is monitored, both for individuals, and for schools as a whole; this research demonstrates the positive impact museums are making on the education of our young people.

Collecting your evidence

When sharing this information, we would encourage museums to indicate how their learning programming will have made this sort of tangible impact on young learners, including numbers of school visits involving handling sessions, or the numbers of pupils who work with handling boxes as part of outreach programming.

Reference

Jocelyn Dodd (et al), A Catalyst for Change: The Social Impact of the Open Museum (2002) 

What to do next

Please explore our advocacy materials to better understand how you can effectively use this information within your wider organisational advocacy approach.