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It's Our Museum Too!

This collaborative action research project builds on the 2017 UCM Nursery in Residency to work with Playlanders, a local community playgroup. The project explores how young children experience the museum and develop meaningful connections through a series of visits over the course of the Spring Term 2020. This was subsequently revised to four visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of the museum and the playgroup.

Educators from the museum and the playgroup worked together to plan, deliver, and document what happened during these visits and beyond. As part of this process they considered how best to support young children visiting the museum to pursue their own interests and respond in a variety of ways.

The research develops and tests methodologies for practitioner research with young children in museums, and supports professional learning and community engagement. The project team are currently writing up our findings for publication. 

Funded by Cambridge Humanities Research Grant Scheme

Project information

  • Principal Investigator: Kate Noble
  • Co-Investigator: Nicola Wallis
  • Project start date: Sunday 01st September 2019
  • Project end date: Thursday 01st October 2020

Related publications

Noble, K. and Wallis, N. (2021), "It's our museum too: co-producing research in a university museum through a nursery residency programme", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi-org.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/10.1108/QRJ-01-2021-0009

Wallis, N. and Noble, K. (forthcoming) Leave only footprints: how children communicate a sense of ownership and belonging in an art gallery, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal

Project team

The staff, children and families of Playlanders playgroup 

Alison Ayres, Nathan Huxtable and Miranda Stearn from the Fitzwilliam Museum

Project Advisory Group: Susan Lister, Margaret Winchcomb, Gemma Spence, Jo Vine, Ros McLellan and the late David Whitebread.

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