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"Paolo and Ornella Ricca" School Museum

The "Paolo and Ornella Ricca" School Museum, directed by professor Anna Ascenzi, aims at being a place of collective memory at the service of new generations, by telling a century of history of education.  The museum officially opened in February 2010 and it hosts many collections of school materials from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. These collections are composed of a rich variety of documents and objects, for instance: textbooks, reading books, notebooks, diaries, children's magazines, writing tools, drawing and colouring books, maps, educational boards, teaching aids, educational games and a suggestive collection of vintage photos. The Museum tells the public about the school of the past with a look to the future: lectures for university students, guided tours with thematic in-depth analysis, as well as, educational workshops for primary, lower, secondary and upper school students take place in an environment that hosts an entire classroom from the 1930s, together with multimedia devices that allow younger people to interact with educational games and older ones to explore virtual paths. The opening to the public of "Paolo and Ornella Ricca" School Museum (in June 2012) marked the start of a new stage characterized by the willing to combine both research and teaching related to the historical-educational field, with the enhancement of museum collections, particularly through a wide range of activities, such as: research dissemination within the academic community; permanent training for both university students and trainee and in service teachers; museum educational programs, specifically through public initiatives; temporary exhibitions and events; guided tours and various laboratory activities, as well as, teaching projects aimed at conveying transversal and cross-curricular skills to the younger generations, together with a deep awareness of cultural heritage. As a direct emanation of the university and research centre (Centre for Documentation and Research on the history of schoolbooks and children’s literature), the "Paolo e Ornella Ricca" School Museum has therefore laid the basis for acting more and more as an important instrument of social impact for the human sciences and, in short, as a real laboratory in which university research and teaching programs meet the third mission. This involves enhancing and transferring - for the benefit of the territory and in close collaboration with local businesses, institutions, bodies and associations - the results of scientific research, which in this case involves not only historical and educational research, but also teaching, museum, tourism and cultural related research.

Museums should have a bit of a “wow” factor inside – Jake MC Gowan-Lowe, 11 years-old

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