n Africa Education Review - Memory and critical education : approaches in the District Six Museum : research article

Volume 3, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1814-6627



This article begins with the argument that education has become an important site of activity in museums around the world. This development has been of crucial significance for South Africa where many new museums have come into being and where old museums are now taking new courses. The challenge that these museums are having to confront is how to deal with the question of their public education responsibilities with respect to issues such as race, identity, nation and nation-building. How does the museum tell its story in ways that are inclusive and at the same time critical? How these challenges play themselves out in a museum such as the District Six Museum is important to talk about. What this discussion about the District Six Museum reveals is how little attention is paid to forms of public education in institutions outside of the school in South Africa. It is significant that the museum, which has come to play such a significant role in the reimagination of South Africa and is assuming in the intentions of the new government such a pivotal role in teaching South Africans about their pasts, is understood so poorly. The article uses the District Six Museum example to look critically at what a new museum educational practice might consist of.

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