Connecting Jordan’s youth with heritage

There is an increasing gap between young people and their pasts in Jordan. Poor engagement with multicultural heritage, both in formal education and at tourist heritage sites (such as museums) is increasing this gap.

A team of Newton-Khalidi funded researchers, have teamed up with architects and young people to reduce this gap.

The “Learning from Multicultural Amman: Engaging Jordan’s Youth” project aims to identify Jordan’s best practices in museum education and create effective partnerships with educational institutions. This will generate better opportunities for young people to engage with their heritage, learn about their diverse cultural pasts and shape their future identities as Jordanian citizens.

A tailor-made educational training programme was developed for museum staff, teachers, and university lecturers. Resources included a set of educational activities covering the use of museum collections and software that presents historical locations in Jordan as 3D models.

This training, alongside activities and events, led to the creation of museum guidelines to share the benefit of museums and cultural heritage community engagement with policy and key decision makers. The guidelines were produced in Arabic and English and will be published through the Department of Antiquities and Heritage in Jordan.

Short, accessible films that tell stories about museum objects were also produced and shared with schools. The project team worked with partner company, Sela, to produce a toy archaeological excavation kit, information sheet, and an activity booklet, as additional educational resources.

Evaluation of the museum educational training programmes both in Jordan and Durham (in the Northeast of the UK) has confirmed that trainees gained knowledge and skills related to communication and interpretation of museum exhibits, as well as knowledge in education, research, and marketing in museums.

"I think we have started with a solid base to establish a new culture for the Jordanian museums to be centres for education, culture and learning … Thank you for letting us be a part of changing." The Senior Education and Outreach Specialist at the Jordan Museum

Find out more about this project and see some of the 3D visualisations in this video.

Learning from Multicultural Amman: Engaging Jordan’s Youth

Project Leads: Robin Skeates, Durham University, UK and Shatha Abu Khafajah, The Hashemite University, Jordan

Project Partners: Jordan University, Sela for Training and Protection of Cultural Heritage and Department of Antiquities, The Jordan Museum, Jordan