July 4. Expert meeting at the GUM /
The morning /
// Knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied //
The afternoon /
The afternoon was dedicated to informing the expert group about the Erasmus+ project and to exchanging thoughts in a 'World Cafe'. The World Cafe consists of a set of standing tables, each with its own theme to discuss and moderators. The experts rotate and share their views at each table, while the moderators are tasked to bring the results of the discussions together on paper. Outcomes were diverse, and the takeaways will inspire the next steps in our project.
// Walking among three people,
I find my teacher among them //
Things that were brought to the tables, regardless of theme: we need a sustainable and expandable online infrastructure to share good practices. Also, we reached a consensus on the fact that we need to acknowledge that with Object-Based Teaching, 'one size fits all' is the exception, not the rule. Therefore, moving forward in this project, we should stay away from prescriptive frameworks and focus on being a trustworthy hub for the exchange of knowledge.
Another aspect that kept returning to the table was the need to pay attention to all the actors involved in object-based teaching. Currently, the weight of our knowledge in this field is on the teacher's narrative. Very little is known about the student's side. Moreover, in many cases, object-based teaching involves other actors, most crucially the people involved in the curation, education, storing, and overseeing of the collections. The consensus amongst our attendees is that the whole process should be represented in the to-be-built hub, all actors included.
Further, all attendees agreed that teaching with objects can come with big investments of resources; in time, staffing, as well as in capital. That should not stop the field from continuing to advance into new methods and tooling. On the contrary, it should encourage us to make adequate assessments about the when, how, and why of teaching with objects; when it is good enough to do things online and low tech, and when we need the full breadth of on-site staff and facilities.