On the ground floor of M+, Hong Kong’s new museum for visual culture that is opening to the public on November 12, there’s a sprawling gallery, a cinema and—taking up an enormous 1,200 sq m (nearly 13,000 sq ft)—its Learning Hub.
The Learning Hub will host a variety of programmes, including workshops, talks, performances, and pop-up events for visitors of all ages. M+ has had an active educational outreach programme for years but Stella Fong, lead curator of learning and interpretation, is looking forward to welcoming visitors into the museum's permanent home.
Below, Fong explains why she prefers the word “learning” over the term “education” and discusses M+’s plan to engage students from kindergarten age right up to university and beyond.
M+ uses the word “learning” rather than the word “education”. Why?
We decided to replace the term “education” with “learning”—especially in the Chinese term it embeds the meaning that “teaching and learning go hand in hand”. From our many conversations with peers and colleagues in this region, it became clear that “education” gives a perception of formal education and a top-down teaching approach, while learning is a lifelong necessity.
M+ wants to learn with our audiences, and we believe learning should evolve accordingly. We regard M+ as an open learning platform that does more than just provide information; we embrace the exchange of ideas among curators, creators, and audiences irrespective of identity, aiming for mutual reinforcement between teaching and learning.