The contribution of museums in education and in culture
Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some museums favour conservation over education, or vice versa. The first type of museum favours the aesthetic value of the objects displayed and function as institutions that primarily conserve and preserve collections of precious items, artifact and objects of historical, scientific, artistic and cultural value and secondarily display them while the latter function as institutions that primarily create and evolve knowledge assets for the public. Nevertheless, museums in general have a highly educational role to play within societies and should therefore be considered as major participants in the preservation of world’s cultural heritage. The fact that museums inspire powerful and identity-building learning both in children and adults is particularly highlighted by recent studies that pinpoint the great learning impact that a visit to a museum has for the community members. In this respect, the significant importance of local museums to inspire community members has nowadays been further acknowledged as this type of museum has in many cases become in the past few years the focal point for the development of local communities. Moreover, another type of museums, the university museums can also be regarded as major participants in the cultural life of local communities and are much credited in the present with the betterment of local communities, especially those situated in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to draw attention to the importance of educational function of museums in Greece, especially the major importance of educational function of local and university museums, but also to suggest a number of educational methods that are successfully implemented in foreign museums to enrich the visitors’ knowledge and could be put into use in the case of Greek museums to further enhance their educational function.