Friday, March 4, 2011

Small children have empty heads...

So my mum was in Canberra this week on school camp. She's moved campuses this year, so it was a combined grade 5/6 camp. As per usual, they came to the museum. Mum asked me to come and give them a 5-10 minute spiel about gallery development and why museums change. That was all fine, because there's usually a visitor services host to give them an introduction to the museum and its various galleries.

But this time, they didn't book a visitor services host for whatever reason. Which I found out when I got over to the main hall and was confronted with 50-60 small children... O-kay. Fine, I'll just add in some stuff about why we don't have dinosaurs...

So I gave them the spiel that I'd planned out. Which included a description of how we're using objects to tell the stories of places as well as people. And I used John Batman as an example. Now, *I* spent very little time at primary school in Australia, but during the 18 months that I *did* do here, there was a decent chunk of time (like, a term?) in which we studied the foundation of Melbourne and John Batman and the Henty family.

I foolishly assumed that because I'd studied it in grade 3 or 4, that by grades 5 and 6 they would have too. Instead it went like this:
Me: So, one of the objects going into the new gallery is the Batman land deed. Have you guys learnt about John Batman and the founding of Melbourne?
60 small children: [blank looks]
Me: [looks around at teachers]
Teacher: Um. I don't think so. No...
Me: Oh. O-kay... *awkward pause*

I bet they were all thinking of something like this:

Cos that's TOTALLY how Melbourne was founded... Honestly, the youth of today! *sigh*

K xx


  1. You should have a dinosaur exhibit. Like this one:
    And also A Batman exhibit.
    ...I'm just saying.

  2. Wait, I'm confused... I thought that *was* how Melbourne was founded...

    Seriously, I think I learned about it in around Grade 3. Our camp that year was to Melbourne (country bumpkins!), so I think the two things coincided.

  3. Lauren - that would be totally awesome. Personally, I think we should have dinosaurs. But considering we're a social history museum not a natural history museum, I don't think the director would go for it :(

    Kat - SERIOUSLY!! Do small children learn history at ALL now??? :S Also, John Batman would be so much cooler if he DID look like that. Alas, the most exciting thing about him was that he had no nose when he died...

  4. Haha, Awesome. Imagine living in the city that Batman built?! COOLEST CITY EVER. (Yes, I am a closet 8 year old.)


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