This special edition of the Journal of Artistic and Creative Education (JACE) brings together authors from across Australia discussing issues central to the ongoing development and importance of education within museums.

What are the distinctive characteristics and significance of museum education? How does learning occur in museums and what does it look like? Who is engaged in museum education and where does it take place? What are some of the benefits of museum education? This edition explores these broad questions through nine articles that individually address the role of museum learning as providing a transformative experience in a rich, ‘hands-on’ and diverse environment. The authors present a wide array of case studies and examples from their institutions and their research, providing practical and invigorating discussions on the purpose, pedagogy and practice of museum education.

At a time when there are significant cuts being made to education budgets in Australia, thereby often limiting excursions to museums and other cultural sites, it seems timely to publish a special edition that sheds light on the power of learning in museums and to make a case for museum learning. Moreover, museums are already producing effective learning experiences that are highly appreciated by their users, and these deserve to be celebrated. This celebration will hopefully lead to increased appreciation and understanding of the educational possibilities in museums and galleries, of why professionals have chosen to work in particular ways, and the outcomes of their work.

Published: 2018-04-11