Future of Museums: Learning and Engagement

Museums Association

Organiser:Museums Association
Venue:National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Event cost:£55-£195

Putting learning and engagement at the heart of museums

This one-day conference will look at the latest understanding of how adults and children learn, examine historical perspectives on the pedagogical role of museums and assess how museum learning might work in the future.


Twenty years after the publication of the influential A Common Wealth: Museums in the Learning Age, how has museum learning developed and how are museums responding to demographic, economic and societal change? How can museums reach out to their communities most effectively given this context?


Advances in pedagogy, the progression of digital innovation and capital investment, and developments in socially engaged practice have all had significant impacts on cultural learning in the last two decades. This conference will consider how museums can respond to these opportunities, as well as asking:


  • What new models of practice can museums learn from?
  • Do we need to decolonise museum learning to take into account different cultural models?
  • What do communities, teachers and educators want and need from museums?
  • How can we make learning and engagement central to our museums?


A diverse range of speakers will present new ideas and perspectives on the future of museum learning and ask challenging questions about how museum learning can contribute to a social justice and cultural rights agenda.


This conference is part of the Museums Association’s Future of Museums series, and will offer an opportunity to debate these issues, discuss what the future holds, and explore how museums can make a positive difference in society.


The event also features the launch of a Museums Association research project into the future of museum learning and engagement. The aim of the research will be to understand what audiences and communities need from museum and to share what innovative learning practice looks like and how it might be applied.


Speakers include:

Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland

Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes, National Museums Scotland

David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museums Wales

Sharon Heal, Director, Museums Association

Dhikshana Pering, Young People’s Producer, London Borough of Culture 2020

Mark O’Neill, Museum Consultant

Colleen Watters, Head of Learning and Partnerships, Ulster Museum

Dominique Bouchard, Head of Learning and Interpretation, English Heritage

Wendy Gallagher, Head of Learning and Engagement, Manchester Museum

Siobhan McConnachie, Head of Education, National Galleries Scotland

Lorna Cruickshank, Independent Museums Support Officer, High Life Highland

Kate Fellows, Lifelong Learning Manager, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services, University of Edinburgh

Charlotte Morgan, Museum Manager, Cynon Valley Museum


Click here for a timetable of the day


Click here for a location map of the venue
Delegates should go to the Lothian Street entrance



Museums Association members
Individual, Corporate or Institutional member - £125      
Individual member: prospective AMA member - £95
Individual member: student, retired, volunteer or unwaged - £55
Non-members - £195


Book online


The day will run from 0930 - 1700.


Follow this event on Twitter: #MALearning #MAMuseumsFuture


Contact:Lorraine O'Leary
42 Clerkenwell Close
United Kingdom

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