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Learning Policy

Learning Policy 2019-2023

Policy No: NMI-POL-ACC-004 Version No: 2020-04-09-v6-FINAL
Date Approved: 16 April 2020 Approved By: Board
Number of Pages: 3 Signature:
Review Period: 5 Years Division Responsible: Education & Outreach
Implementation Date: 16-4-2020 Review Date: 21-6-2023

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) is committed to learning as an organisation-wide principle that is fundamental to our role and purpose. Our vision at NMI is to be is to be democratic, inclusive and relevant. We aim to engage with the widest range of people in meaningful learning experiences that stimulate their imagination and curiosity, using the collections and exhibitions as inspiration.

These values reflect those outlined in the NMI Strategic Plan 2018-2022.

Exhibitions of museum heritage objects are covered under NMI Exhibitions Policy. Research is covered under the NMI Research Policy. Publications are covered under NMI Publications Policy.

Legislative Basis

The core responsibility of NMI in the diffusion of knowledge is outlined in section 11 (1) of the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. This states that: 11.— (1) The principal functions of the Board of the Museum shall be to maintain, manage, control, protect, preserve, record, research and enlarge the collection of museum heritage objects for the benefit of the public and to increase and diffuse in and outside the State knowledge of human life in Ireland, of the natural history of Ireland and of the relations of Ireland in these respects with other countries. The role of the NMI Board is further specified in section 11 (2) of the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. This states that: 11. — (2) The Board shall have all such powers as it considers necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions under this Act including, but without prejudice to the foregoing, the following powers: (e) to promote research and scholarship, (f) to disseminate and promote the dissemination of literature and information relating to the collection of the Museum, (g) to foster and promote contacts with other museums and educational establishments, NMI has a role under the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997, to interpret the museum collections and make them accessible to the public. This Learning Strategy is directed to supporting that role.


2.1 Policy Aims – NMI endeavours to:
1. Improve our knowledge of who our audiences are, both existing and potential
2. Improve our communication with the public.
3. Develop learning programmes that engage, inspire and meet the diverse learning needs of a wide range of people including those with additional needs.
4. Create the right conditions for learning to ensure that the learning experience is meaningful, accessible inclusive and relevant.
5. Embed research, evaluation and reflective practice into our learning programmes
6. Augment and care for the Handling Collections and maximise the potential of this invaluable resource
7. Develop sustainable relationships with communities
8. Create opportunities for people to reflect on and respond to what they see in the galleries, online, or in an outreach setting and use this data to inform and shape future programming.
9. Ensure the audience is at the centre of our design, development, and evaluation of exhibitions.
10. Collaborate and consult with individuals and organisations across a range of education, youth, health, environmental, scientific, arts and cultural heritage sectors, including local authorities, to meet the NMI’s strategic aims and objectives related to public engagement.
11. Explore models of cultural participation that involve collaborating with communities as cocreators and co-producers and provide platforms to share findings with relevant audiences.

View a PDF version of this policy

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