Ahead of the National Museum of Qatar’s (NMoQ) opening in March, the museum’s Education Team has announced plans for comprehensive education programming designed to enable teachers in Qatar to involve the new institution in their class curriculum.
“Educating the public about a range of topics related to culture and history and which complement the national curriculum is a major focus for the National Museum of Qatar. It is a ‘wrap-around’ educational institute, which will engage, explore and inspire curiosity among children in Qatar," said Fatima al-Kuwari, head of the learning and outreach section at NMoQ.
"The museum itself can be used as a learning space, while targeted programmes will support class-based teaching. The entire
team at NMoQ is looking forward to working with teachers and students in Qatar to unveil the country’s rich history and inspire a new generation of active cultural participants,” she added.
Plans are under way to develop units of study on Qatar and its history for international schools and build in unique opportunities for state schools to incorporate the NMoQ in their curriculum, according to a press statement. The NMoQ is also making use of extensive online learning programmes to assist in visit pre-planning for teachers, as well as suggestions for post-visit learning in the classroom using hands-on teaching materials.
Pre-visit planning will include comprehensive teachers’ guidebooks, class video call sessions with NMoQ educators, comprehensive online resources and special induction days for teachers to get to know the museum; while post-visit materials will offer students and opportunity to take what they learned at the NMoQ into the classroom.
Within the museum itself, teachers will have an array of tours and programming to choose from, including introductory tours to the museum and its gardens and public artworks, as well as more in-depth programmes ranging from native plant knowledge, the history of pearling, the discovery of oil, and Qatar’s globally interconnected history.
There are also six indoor, purpose-built intergenerational learning spaces at the NMoQ, allowing students to uncover everything from ancient objects to exploring life on board a pearling dhow through interactive installations. The NMoQ will also be able to host various school events, from plays to away-days, in co-ordination with the NMoQ staff.
Set to open to the public on March 28, the immersive and experiential museum tells the story of the people and the land of Qatar from earliest times to today, giving voice to the country’s rich heritage and culture and expressing a vibrant community’s aspirations for the future, the statement notes.
The NMoQ will be organised in three 'chapters' — Beginnings, Life in Qatar, and Building the Nation — presented in 11 galleries. The visitor’s chronological journey, which extends through more than 1.5km of experiences, will start in the geological period long before the peninsula was inhabited by humans and continues to the present day.
Each gallery is an all-encompassing environment, which tells its part of the grand story through a creative combination of elements such as music, storytelling, archival images, oral histories and evocative aromas. Designed as distinctive experiences, these environmental galleries also contextualise an impressive array of archaeological and heritage objects, manuscripts, documents, photographs, jewellery and costumes.