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Successful collaboration between schools and museums requires that students are offered activities and tasks which they perform together with others, and which can only be carried out at the museum (Bamberger & Tal 2006:93). Furthermore, if the visit to the museum is closely linked to the school curriculum – with preliminary and complementary coursework – students will manage their own learning, and relate new knowledge to previous experience and knowledge. In Norway, visits to museums have not been performed this way. (Frøyland & Langholm, 2009:92). The Norwegian inquiry shows that a visit to the museum is an isolated event, without any preliminary or complementary work, and with little variation in the methods of teaching. The collaboration between the schools and museums was very limited and not begun until the day of the visit. Evaluation of the value for the students was rarely carried out. We wanted to investigate whether this way of working could be altered, and if “Teaching for Understanding” (Blyth,T 1998) might work as a fertile educational framework. Briefly, Teaching for Understanding focuses on finding crucial educational topics which appeal to both teachers and students, which feature clear-cut targets for understanding and seek different activities which promote understanding by the student. In addition, the method includes ongoing assessment as well as formative assessment and evaluation. We invited 20 teachers and museum educators to participate in an action research programme to alter the established practice. Previous practice was known through a preliminary study (Frøyland and Langholm 2009). Findings show that the way of working has changed in the course of the research. Based on our research, we concluded that together the teachers and museum educators developed a system which put focus on the students’ learning dividends and which also revealed definite learning by the students. In addition, this research indicates that it is possible for the teacher and museum educator to cooperate regarding the whole of the educational scheme, and that “Teaching for Understanding” ensures a solid framework for this process of collaboration.
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