The changing and evolving relationship between museums and communities, Indigenous, ethnic and marginalized, has been a primary point of discussion in the heritage sector in recent years. Questions of official and unofficial heritage, whose artefacts to collect and exhibit and why, have informed and influenced museum practice. Developing from this, a key issue is whether it is possible to raise awareness of differing cultural perspectives, values and beliefs and incorporate this into the education and training of heritage professionals, with the aim of making 'cultural awareness' an integrated and sustainable core part of future heritage training and practice. This book discusses perceptions of values and ethics, authenticity and significance, and documents the historical, heritage and education context in North America, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, with a particular emphasis on Aotearoa New Zealand. The author explores whether it is possible to learn respect for differing cultural perspectives through the undertaking of educational programmes, identifies various approaches that could complement the development of students and professionals in the cultural heritage and preservation sectors, and offers a means of actively engaging with cultural and professional values through a Taxonomy for Respecting Heritage and Values.
Jeanette Atkinson is an Associate Tutor at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK.
’As someone involved in the education of heritage professionals, and only too aware of the gulf between museums and indigenous people, I have been looking for guidance on including cultural values and awareness into university courses. This book is the answer. I recommend it to anyone wanting to engage with communities by seeing things as they do.’ Conal McCarthy, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand ’The relationship between museum/heritage professionals and communities and other interest groups has produced in recent times a critical literature. Education, Values and Ethics in International Heritage offers a challenge to the fields of both museum and heritage studies to put those insights into practice, particularly through the arena of student education and professional development. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the educational taxonomy developed by Jeanette Atkinson, the book nonetheless focuses attention on the need to consider and debate the ways in which critical and reflexive insights into the political nature of heritage may be put into considered and effective practice.’ Laurajane Smith, The Australian National University, Australia; editor of International Journal of Heritage Studies 'Atkinson’s book provides a vital and insightÂful view of the nature and processes of cultural engagement with indigenous, ethnic and marginalized people. The value of this study is not restricted to those at work or volunteering in museums, but is important for the underÂstanding of anyone seeking to better perceive and respect the heritage of people from communities outside their own.' New Zealand and Pacific Studies