Mission / what is Pedaali?
The Finnish Association for Museum Education, Pedaali, was established on 1 March 2005. The purpose of the association is to promote museum education. The goal is also to provide information on the overall importance of museum and art education. Museum education is part of the museums' vital tasks of audience development and art education and is intended to promote cultural democracy and accessibility.
Museum education as a profession is new, and the field has until now remained unorganised. The association seeks to reinforce the identity of museum education as a profession and increase its appreciation, by assisting its members to network and by improving the expertise and training opportunities in the field. The goal of the association is to function as a forum for active and future museum educators, provide training, and work actively in the field to promote museum education.
The role of museum education is to represent the audience's perspective at museums and consider the needs of a variety of visitors. Museum education works in two directions, serving as a link between the museum and the audience.
The general mission of museum education
Museum education approaches the museum and the museum visit holistically, incorporating the content presented but also all that the visitor encounters at, and outside, the museum.
Museum education has three goals:
• to facilitate, encourage and support the experience of museum visitors and inspire personal interpretations and creativity
• to exchange information, enable deeper understanding and build knowledge
• to consider and throw light on the museum as an institution, space and place.
Another task of museum education is to have the entire museum organisation commit to acknowledging audiences and supporting the educational mission.
* The concept of museum education covers education, teaching and cultural services. Related, and partly overlapping, terms include art education and audience development.
The museum-specific mission
A museum-specific mission statement should include at least the following items:
Educational contents and values
• The purpose and goal of the museum in brief. The mission statement should answer the following questions: What? Why? For whom?
• The learning philosophy applied (what it means, how it shows)
• Accessibility (how it is understood, focus areas, persons responsible)
Operational focus areas
• The relationship of museum education to the museum's content and the organisation's mission statement (how it supports the museum as a whole, what contents are highlighted)
• The operational focus areas in museum education and their justification (what the focus areas are and why)
• Established modes of operation and how they reflect the principles, values and learning philosophies applied (why these particular modes of operation have been chosen, justifications in relation to the philosophy)
• Segmentation of audiences and visitors, prioritisation (what the target groups are, how their needs are considered)
The role and position of museum educators
• The position and role of museum educators in a museum's decision-making system (whether they are included in the management group or not, what the extent of their influence is, what their role in the organisation is)
• The position and role of museum educators in exhibition teams and collection development (forms of collaboration, the nature of their role)
• The relationship of museum educators and their tasks to other functions (for example, communications, audience service)