Heritage Education and Citizen Education in Chile

Heritage Education and Citizen Education in Chile

Carlos Enrique Muñoz, Nelson Vásquez Lara, Damaris Natalia Collao Donoso, Gabriela Alejandra Vásquez Leyton, Bastián Torres Durán, Carlos Muñoz Grandón, Elizabeth G. Montanares- Vargas, Karen B. Gutiérrez Cortés
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1978-3.ch013
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The chapter presents the results of an investigation carried out in ten Chilean museums, distributed in the regions of Valparaíso and Biobío, and whose objective is to describe and analyze the link between the museum and the school. For this, the following central questions were posed: What is learned and what can be learned in the museum? How do you learn? What is the focus and purpose of your training proposal? What links exist between the patrimony and the strengthening of the citizen education? The results are grouped into two broad categories. The first question refers to those aspects that are presented as positive and not imported. In the second part, those aspects that diminish the activity of the museums in the light of the international development in the area are grouped, and therefore a deep revision is required.
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The National Museum of Natural History of Santiago, created in 1830, it is the first museum ever to be founded in Chile. The French naturalist scholar Claudio Gay was its founder. He was hired by the government of the period to conduct a thorough study about the country and as a result of such create collection of Natural History to contain the main vegetable and mineral produce of the territory (National Museum of Natural History, n.d.)

Almost two centuries later there are 258 museums distributed along the country. Among the museum variety found in our country there are proper museums, exhibition rooms, house museums, site museums, community museums and heritage parks, being 48% of them public and the remaining 52%, private. Most of them are located in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago, then the Valparaiso Region and lastly the Biobio Region (Chilean Museum Registrar, n.d.)

The present research intended to study the existing museums in these las two regions (Valparaiso and Biobio), with a comprehensive and critical approach to the work they carry out on a daily basis in the light of the evolution that museography has had internationally, the assumptions which guide heritage education, the strengthening of the citizen education as well as the public policies promoted by the recently created Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage.

This research is part of an EPITEC1 project that in this part of the world has had the purpose of studying the contribution of the sampled museums to the constructions of the different identities that citizens have in the regions in question from a heritage perspective.

Heritage, in a wide, integral, holistic and complex view (Estepa, 2013), deals with the conjunction of diverse elements which placed temporally, spatially and culturally, provide sense and identity to each society. As an expression of several manifestations, heritage enables knowing, valuing and promoting integrally the identitarian structures, cultural symbols and peculiarities of current and past societies (Estepa & Cuenca, 2016; Martín, 2012; López Cruz, 2014).

Regarding heritage education, this research assumes that as far as heritage mirrors the life of society it should not be a boring issue at all. In the case of museums, from a pedagogical point of view, a correct organization and display of their objects can become a powerful leaning instruments and experiences for the community. They can also become valuable in promoting and disseminating the different analysis methods of the scientific disciplines involved in them (history, anthropology, archeology, ethnography, etc.)

The study of museographic heritage can also be an interesting mechanism to favour the curricular integration with a taxonomic complexity not frequently achieved at school. interesting to explore processes of learning, as well as unlearning, can be generated; there is potential a chance that visitors would come out knowing less than when they entered generating a virtuous circle of learning and “unlearning” that expands the boundaries of not only declarative knowledge but also procedural and attitudinal.

The main questions that have guided this research are: What is taught and what can be learnt at a museum? How is teaching done? What’s the approach and the purpose of their teaching proposal? And finally, what are the links between heritage and the strengthening of the citizen education? From the data gathered from these questions, improvement proposals to be implemented at schools as well as at the museums are put forward as these are related environments where heritage education can be developed

Key Terms in this Chapter

Heritage: Set of goods of diverse origins and characteristics that give meaning and identity to an individual or collective.

Museum: Space or building in which objects, vestiges or remains of natural or cultural origin of importance for a community are guarded and exposed.

Museology: Study of the role, organization, classification and relationship of museums with other institutions.

National Museum of Natural History of Chile: First museum founded in Chile (1830) AU75: The in-text citation "Chile (1830)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. and whose objective is to generate knowledge and valuation of the natural and cultural heritage of the country.

Heritage Education: Use, organization and exhibition of objects and heritage spaces as instruments, resources and learning experiences.

Citizen Education: Process that aims to integrate citizens into the society to which they belong in a participatory, purposeful and effective way, by learning a series of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Museography: Set of techniques and practices related to the operation of a museum.

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