Faughart Community National School visit for new school tours October 2019

Building an intercultural programme for schools

10 October, 2019

The Chester Beatty’s Learning and Education Department offers a wide range of ways to learn about and engage with our collections. Through our vibrant and exciting programme of events and professional training for teachers, educators and creatives, we offer opportunities to explore world cultures, as found in Chester’s Beatty’s Islamic, East Asian and European collections. Intercultural dialogue and learning plays a key role in the museum’s mission and fosters dialogue with the communities as represented in the collections.

The Learning and Education Department has worked for several years exploring ways to engage primary, post-primary schools and teachers with this unique collection and has initiated an 18 month project to research, develop and build its first Intercultural Museum programme for schools (2018-2020). As part of this process, the Chester Beatty has invited the largest teaching college in Ireland, Mary Immaculate, Limerick, Maynooth University, the Intercultural Education Service (Education Authority of Northern Ireland) and UK Heritec Education Consultancy to partner and develop the programme.

2018-2020 Key outputs will include :

Revision and design of tours for primary and post-primary schools: special thanks to Community National Schools Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon, Faughart CNS, Scoil Chormaic CNS Ballbriggan, City West & Saggart CNS and Ashbourne CNS for working with us on our pilot tours.

Training of guides and facilitators in visual thinking strategies and object-based learning

Development of content for gallery trails for schools

Development and delivery of continuous professional development for teachers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Research and Development – how to build an intercultural museum programme for schools

Launch in March 2020

Continuous Professional Development for Teachers and Educators

We held two training sessions in 2019: one in Northern Ireland in October and one in the Chester Beatty in November.

Teachers and educators were introduced to the project and looked at: the role of national and local museums in supporting intercultural education; the offer of digital and other resources available for use in schools; introduced to the Chester Beatty, Mary Immaculate College, Maynooth University, Intercultural Education Services (Education Authority Northern Ireland), Heritec LTD and other groups; participants were provided the opportunity to network with colleagues from other schools and share ideas.

By the end of the CPD participants now:

Have a clearer idea of how schools might collaborate with museums and others to explore history, culture, language and identity with children and young people

Have explored visual thinking strategies and object based learning as creative tools for the classroom and museum

Have been introduced to multi-lingualism and how museums and objects can be used to facilitate learning and languages

Have learned about support and resources available

Have explored potential opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from other schools

Further Resources

The Enquiring Classroom project, Mary Immaculate College & Maynooth University (Irish partners): This project supports teachers and students in engaging in difficult ethical conversations about identity, religions and beliefs, democratic values, diversity, belonging and violence, in order to establish a firm foundation for inclusive and tolerant schools and classrooms.

Intercultural Education Services, Education Authority, Northern Ireland: This is a support service for schools in Northern Ireland with focus on Newcomer pupils; pre-school, primary school, special school, post-primary school, Ways of Seeing I & II online resources for teachers see Toolkit for Diversity

Heritec LTD: is a small heritage education consultancy, providing services to the heritage sector specifically around the areas of audience development, public engagement, co-curated exhibitions, training and evaluation. See English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as an example of their work.

Permission to Wonder: Dublin City Arts Office. The project revolves around visual arts learning. It aims to support educators from local arts and education communities to test the Visual Thinking Strategies method to enhance learning with visual arts.

Mother Tongues Ireland: is a non-for profit organisation aimed at promoting multilingualism in Ireland. They work with schools, families, community groups and artists through a range of activities that allow children to experience language in new and exciting ways outside the home environment. See Language Explorers for examples of their work.






Training in visual thinking strategies and object-based learning for guides and facilitators with Heritec Ltd in the Chester Beatty

Ways of Seeing II interfaith learning resource working with the Chester Beatty and Ulster Museum collections for schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Teachers and educators exploring object-based learning Chester Beatty training session 2017

The project is funded by Creative Ireland and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

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Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92