Visiting Curator/Archivist, Francesca Franchi, represented the Montserrat National Trust at a museum workshop in Barbados from June 17-19, 2015 . Museum Education in the Caribbean was organised by the Commonwealth Association of Museums, the International Council of Museums Barbados Group, the Museums Association of the Caribbean and ICTOP, the training committee of ICOM, and hosted by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society in the Garrison UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delegates came from Canada, Jamaica, Grenada, Belize, Barbados and Montserrat, and engaged in three days of seminars and workshops covering aspects of learning, program planning, curriculum-based and informal learning.
Practical sessions were held in the BMHS, at the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum, the Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery, where delegates considered and appraised gallery content, layout and effectiveness, as well as different communication styles of tour guides. There was plenty of time for discussion about education programs in the delegates’ museums as well as their experiences as educators and as learners.
There were further sessions looking at professional development for museum staff, and work on a draft Declaration to be presented at the Commonwealth Ministers of Education meeting being held in the Bahamas in late June, to ensure that the educational value of museums is enshrined in discussions about education. The workshop ended with a group visit to Oistins Bay Gardens fish fry on the Friday evening, a fitting end to a stimulating three days of discussions, round-tables and group exercises.