The Finnish Museums Association has recently published The Magic Carpet of Technology Tales , described as an operational model for technological education designed for museum educators and early educators. The publication is available in English and can be downloaded from the Association’s website.
The operational model introduces a workshop called The Magic Carpet of Technology Tales. The workshop focuses on technological education in a museum environment and is designed for children aged six to eight. Furthermore, the operational model describes the workshop’s evolution, different applications and ideas behind it.
The purpose of the workshop is to inspire children in the pre-primary and early primary education stages (preschool and first and second year elementary) to observe and understand technology as a part of their everyday life. Children in this age group can, by the means of progressive inquiry, practice finding themes connected to technology and discuss these themes from their own perspective and their own developmental phase. These themes include e.g. the essence of technology, stages of invention and changes that have taken place in technological environments.
As a part of the project, researchers from the Learning Futures research group at the Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, designers and early educators designed and modified the carpet and its functions. They also tested, assessed and, when necessary, redesigned them. This interdisciplinary method, which requires close cooperation, is a new way to produce workshops and activities for children in the museum setting.
This multi-voiced project team, with the help of rigorous evaluation and development work, integrated the voices and ideas of the children not only into the operational model but to the development of the museum as a learning environment and its operations in general. As a result, the operational model presented in The Magic Carpet of Technology Tales offers a child-centered approach to planning and carrying out workshop activities – an approach, which is based on everyday life and technology.
The Magic Carpet of Technology tales is a part of The Pienten Paja (Kids, Museum and Technology programme) , funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Pienten Paja is a development project that the Museum of Technology put into practice in 2012-2015. The Finnish Museums Association was part of the steering committee of the project.
The Magic Carpet of Technology Tales was designed and produced by artists Outi Turpeinen and Sanna Majander.
The publication can be downloaded from http://www.museoliitto.fi/index.php?k=12121