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Networks for site-based education

There are many organisations which work with site-based education specialists. Much of the work that is carried out, research, conferences, training programmes and resources may be applicable and useful for botanic garden educators, as the methodologies and theory are very similar from site-to-site, even if messaging and outcomes are not. Several of the key UK / European based groups are below – if you know of others in different countries, please submit them for inclusion.

GEM: Group for Education in Museums

  • promotes education as a core function of museums
  • encourages the exchange of information, ideas and research relating to the practice of museum education
  • fosters the highest standard of educational practice
  • promotes the role of museums in formal and informal learning
  • promotes professionalism in the educational work of museums

In addition to running training courses and conferences, GEM also produces publications:

  • GEM News - a quarterly magazine
  • JEM - the annual Journal of Education in Museums
  • Museum Education Bibliography – very useful for anyone conducting research in site-based education.

Ecsite
The European Network for Science Centres & Museums - is the Europe-wide network organisation that links science centres and museums, natural history museums, zoos, aquariums, universities and research organisations in Europe as active members. The common thread uniting these institutions is a commitment to public engagement to communicating science through accessible, interactive exhibits and programmes. Ecsite is an expanding network of more than 335 member institutions located in 30 different European countries

 

Xplora
Xplora is the European gateway to science education. It is aimed at teachers, pupils, scientists, science communicators and science educators.

• Read science education news, pedagogical tips, ideas for teachers
• Search the database of websites and digital learning resources for science education
• Register to use our tools for creating online communities and join online discussions
• Get insight into innovative practical science approaches and projects
• Obtain guidance on freely available Open Source tools for science education
• Find out about the Pencil and Nucleus projects that support the Xplora portal

 

Engage:
engage promotes access to, enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts through 'gallery education' - projects and programmes which help schoolchildren and the wider community become confident in their understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts and galleries. Engage supports gallery education through professional development, action research programmes and advocacy.

engage has a growing role supporting professionals working in gallery education and cultural mediation internationally, with members in countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, USA. In Europe engage is collaborating with leading museums and galleries on the Collect & Share lifelong learning programme (see www.collectandshare.eu.com).

 

Curiosity & Imagination: the national network for children's hands-on learning
The Curiosity & Imagination network is made up of people who are developing exciting learning opportunities for children and young people in all kinds of settings across the UK. These settings include museums, galleries and historic sites, nurseries, youth clubs and play settings, science, arts and environmental centres, schools and out-of-school clubs, libraries, health centres, and mobile and outreach projects, as well as dedicated 'Centres for Curiosity & Imagination'.