Letter From America
Forging links between Queen Street, Germany and the Netherlands.
Professor Fletcher Du Bois, a long-standing friend of Queen Street School and a leading education specialist of the National-Louis University, Chicago and Heidelberg, has for many years appreciated the importance of Wilderspin and the significance of Barton’s Queen Street School. Professor Du Bois visited the School last year, furthering his research on the great educational pioneer, before travelling to the National School Museum in the Netherlands and the Froebel Museum in Germany.
“ Since I have received several enquiries regarding my recent travels to make connections for the Queen Street School project with other, already established, school museums, I want to give a brief account of what I saw, how it went and what we can hope for”, reports Professor Du Bois. “ Not to keep you all in suspense, I will say outright that the interim director of the National School Museum in the Netherlands (in Rotterdam) was very positive in his reaction to what we intend to do. He said – this is more or less a direct quote – “if we had a building like that in Holland we would be very, very happy”. In other words we can look to creating a good relationship with that museum in some form or other.
people I spoke to in the Froebel Bad Blankenburg Museum (in Germany)
were likewise enthused
I shared about
as I was about what I heard from them. I think we can
expect a good supportive reciprocal relationship with
for a few details: The National Museum of Education is quite big – it is the largest
school museum I have ever visited. It has a number of reconstructed classrooms;
it has special exhibits
and a great deal of archive material. The interim director,
Mr. Van Huiten was very welcoming and very knowledgeable. He has some
great ideas for things he wants to do in the museum.
One idea that
particularly caught my attention was to create rooms
where visitors can write or share their own school experiences – not
just the positive ones but also what they hated about
school. I believe
accepting that people also can have very unhappy memories
of their own schooling and dealing with that somehow
will make more
interested in attending a school museum since it shows
that it is connecting with real lived lives. Going
through the different
reconstructed classrooms from the middle ages on up
was a wonderful way of experiencing the history of education.
I recommend this
museum to any of you who happen to be in Rotterdam.
The link for this museum is www.schoolmuseum.nl/start.htm.