GEM/SMC GRASS ROOTS PROJECT
Grass Roots Mentoring
The opportunity for mentoring sessions is to be offered to selected staff in museums across Scotland.
It is intended that those who attend training days will have an opportunity to request a mentor (the Grass Roots Learning Development Officer or a specialist in a particular area) to assist with the development of learning resources inspired by the training day.
Grass Roots ran three training days designed for museum staff with limited educational expertise in Perth, Inverness and Paisley throughout October and November 2005. The intention was to examine learning in museums and the development of learning resources to boost the confidence of proficiency of museums who currently offer limited learning activities.
Those who attend one of these training days had the opportunity to request a mentor (the Grass Roots Learning Development Officer or a specialist in a particular area) to assist with the development of learning resources inspired by the training day. Each delegate pack included a form to apply for a mentored position.
Grass Roots also carried out an initial survey and consultation with a number of museums who were also able to request mentored opportunities.
During this coming year of the project, opportunities will be opened up to museums across Scotland to request a mentor on an enquiry basis and also from training days and events.
A mentoring session involves:
1. A pre-visit telephone contact from mentor to museum to arrange a suitable date to visit.
2. Visit to site. The Grass Roots Learning Development Officer or another appropriate mentor will spend between half a day and a full day on-site with contact person and establish needs and area(s) needing developed.
3. The mentor will then assist the person to develop an action plan of what they are going to do, the timetable, what the final result will be and any information/advice they wish the mentor to help with. This does not have to be a lengthy document, simple bullet points will suffice.
4. The mentor will then keep in regular e-mail and telephone contact with the person throughout the development time of the project. This may also involve a second site visit if necessary.
If you would like me to come and visit you at your museums either to discuss a particular project you are working towards or just to chat generally about the learning work which you do or would like to do, please contact me on 01382 523 635. Alternatively, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org including the following information:
• Job Title
• Area of interest (e.g. developing ICT resources)
• Details of current learning provision in museum
• Additional Information - whether you are a member of SMC, GEM or both
I hope to also create a ‘bank’ of mentors with expertise on a variety of subjects who I can ‘match up’ with particular museums to address your needs.
Would you be interested in adding to your CV and experience by offering your services as a mentor? I am looking for people who are interested to get involved with mentoring for Grass Roots. It would be on a voluntary basis with costs for travel and subsistence being provided at standard GEM rates. Please contact me by phone or e-mail giving brief details of experience, any particular areas of expertise and details of the available time which you would be willing to contribute.
Dunblane Museum is in the middle of an HLF funded project to renovate their building and re-design their exhibition and interpretation. They have organised a group of volunteers who will take forward their education and learning plans. The group has written a learning and access policy which was sent to the Grass Roots Learning Development Officer before they met. The session was run jointly by Rachel Hunter, HLF Project Monitor and Susan Galloway, Grass Roots Learning Development Officer, and looked at how Dunblane Museum can work towards implementing its Learning and Access policy.
The session was designed to lead the volunteer group to the point where they could work alone, in a subsequent meeting or meetings, to create a draft action plan, which Susan and Rachel, and any other relevant parties, would respond to.
During the session, there was a tour of the museum, overview of the HLF project, a review of the current situation, including the individual volunteers experience, expertise, skills, resources and contacts. There was then a review of the Access and Learning policy – how to deliver it, identification of gaps in skills and resources, advice on how to develop the service, and other sources of advice and information.
From this, the group could draw together conclusions which were developed at subsequent meetings to inform a draft action plan. It was agreed the draft action plan would be completed by museum access and learning working group and would be e-mailed to Susan and Rachel for comment.
• Support was offered from e-mail and telephone contact throughout January and February as required
• Information was sent to museum on various areas they needed to address, e.g. risk assessments, child protection guidelines
• Group participated in and used Inspiring Learning For All learning games and exercises after visit
• Group made use of Grass Roots guidelines and resources when developing work
• Contacts for other museums who might be able to offer advice were passed on by GRLDO
• Contact details for teacher placements to assist in later development of resources and activities were provided by GRLDO
• An action plan was to be completed in March
‘It was a very useful session – and all the information sent as follow up was relevant’ - Janice Ainslie, Dunblane Museum