At the tail end of the nineteen seventies, Genoa was among the first Italian cities to develop the educational mission of its city’s museums, actively participating in the lively debate of those years, with a clear vision of a cultural system that integrated with its educational aspirations.
We put the individual at the centre of our efforts, understanding them and what their needs are, to organize activities that are attentive to the specificity of each museum and its collections.
We set out to build a relationship between museums and a constantly developing public, our goal being to encourage participation on a regular basis, to raise awareness of our shared heritage within the community as a keystone of our common “identity”, to educate citizens in a culture of respect and protection.
We believe that it is fundamental that museums work with other local cultural institutions, establishing equal relationships. We are working to create museums that are inclusive, close to the public, helpful and welcoming, places of heritage but also of free expression, to be experienced calmly and at leisure; distinguished by unhurried appreciation. We choose slow over fast because it takes time to properly process emotions and thoughts.
Working with the teachers we plan how to make sure visits to the museum are an integral part of their educational activity, not simply an opportunity to escape from the routine of lessons but rather a chance for the students’ knowledge to grow and develop. In this way, the museum experience needs, alongside an interdisciplinary cognitive approach also an active “laboratory” dimension, which can have an element of “play” characterised by a sense of leisure, enhanced by the urban and environmental context that are often typical of museums.
Through the establishment of school / work rapport, today consolidated into PCTO (Pathways for transversal skills and orientation) we collaborate with the various visiting classes on projects and experiences of active citizenship.
We offer selective and thematic visits, which are designed to be compatible with the students’ attention spans. Conducting museum visits, we adopt a dialogic approach, which “establishes” the basic content, but develops the ability of the students to autonomously “read” the information, thereby developing their observation skills and approach to “real” world. Adapting, as necessary, the language and level of information provided to our audience.
We constantly work to improve the accessibility of museums, providing a welcoming environment, free of cultural barriers and prejudices.
Aware of the value of the direct relationship with the collections, we ensure that the museum is experienced through the conscious “appropriation” of the physical exhibition space, where the areas dedicated to workshops are integrated with the visit and are not interpreted as environments in which to "contain" young people’s exuberance and vivacity. These are sections of the museums designed for communication and activities, for “play” in the noblest sense of the term, and for creativity, able of offer suggestions, to encourage curiosity and the desire to find answers by direct experience, to captivate the public regardless of age, to make children "feel grown up" and grown feel “children” again.