The International Scientific-Practical Conference “Education in Museums: New Global and National Strategies in the 21st century” will be held in Samarkand on 16 May 2016. Following the conference, the Practical Training “Museums and Education in the 21st century: New Practices and Prospect of Development” will be conducted from 17 to 18 May 2016.
These meetings are co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the UNESCO Office in Tashkent and the Regional Government of Samarkand Province with support from the French Embassy in Uzbekistan, the Goethe Institute in Tashkent and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation) on the occasion of the International Museum Day, which is celebrated internationally on 18 May.
Over the past two decades, the role and perception of museums in society has changed dramatically. Museums are no longer perceived merely as ‘collections of objects’ and ‘historic sites’ for people to visit. They are recognized as complex and multi-dimensional organizations with a seminal and critical educational role to play. Museums recognize that education is their core mission and central to society’s perception of the modern museum. Museums no longer confine themselves only to preservation, scholarship and exhibitions.
They have become progressively outward looking and are increasingly responsive to the social context in which they function and to their constituencies needs and ambitions. They have come to realize that they can best contribute to the society by reaching out and building social networks, attracting tourism, and being sensitive to the expectations of their constituencies – local, national and international.
Embracing this public dimension of their mission has led museums to focus on education as a public service, which includes exploration, study, observation, critical thinking, contemplation and social dialogue - areas that traditionally have not necessarily been associated with museums. The modern museum aspires to become a vehicle for discovery and encouraging talent. It is an anchor for the community and a forum for representing cultural identities and diversity, competing histories, contested certainties, and cultural differences.
The main purpose of the meetings is an international exchange of experience among the leading specialists from Uzbekistan and abroad in the field of museum education as well as training of young professionals on new international practice in the field of education in museums. Also, it is planned to elaborate a number of recommendations aimed at extension and increasing the museums; activity in Uzbekistan in the field of non-formal education.