Educational Research Group

Educators and curators involved in education programs at art museums formed this working group in 1993. The current name of the group was adopted in fiscal 2004. Members and outside specialists present informational reports, exchange information and arrange study visits at project sites. The group also holds meetings twice a year in order for members to deepen their awareness of art educational issues through discussions and to consider educational activities from diverse vantage points. Museum educators from overseas museums visiting Japan are invited to give lectures and opportunities are created for the exchange of opinions and information.
The Education Working Group Activity Report No. 1, “Educational Activities at Art Museums: Ideals and Reality,” published in 1997, reports on the group’s activities up through their 10th meeting, and covers the basic issues and challenges of those involved in educational activities. On the basis of this information the JCAM general meeting in 1998 held a special public discussion session entitled “Education, Today.”
In 2002 the group was responsible for the 15th Curatorial Study Meeting, “Art Museums: The Foresight of Educational Activities at Museums.” The workshops held during this session fostered discussions between members of the working group involved in educational matters, curators from newly opened art museums and younger curators in general.
The group continued to organize Curatorial Study Meetings, such as the 19th Curatorial Study Meeting, “Reconsidering Education: To Connecting Visitors and the Museum Mission,” the 22nd Curatorial Study Meeting, “The Present State and Idea of Volunteers” and the 26th Curatorial Study meeting “History and Theory of Social Education – In Terms of Considering Education at Art Museums.” Discussions were fostered and participants considered the issues and problems within each respective theme.
In 2008, the Educational Research Group cooperated overall with the forum and series of public interviews entitled “Recognizing and Reexamining the Workshop Activities of the Art Museum—Its Early Stage in Retrospective”, organized by the Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo. This event provided an irregularly scheduled set of interviews of those people who had played an important role in the nascent period of art museum educational activities in Japan. Hopefully the interviews recorded as part of this event will be published in the future on member museum websites.
The solicitation of rescue fund donations by JCAM in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 provided an opportunity for people involved in the cultural properties rescue work to expand their activities in the form of “indirect support.”
Among all the various activities conducted by art museums, educational activities have the greatest interface with our visitors. We plan to foster our understanding of both the issues facing art museums today and in the future and the various situations occurring in our society and how they interact, along with considering how educational programs should be conducted in art museums.

Seike Misato
December 2, 2015
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