The aim of this module is to build participants’ capacity in relation to working with current and new audiences. The participants will learn new skills, theories and approaches which will enable botanic gardens to engage a wider spectrum of society. It will support botanic gardens to improve their practice to make their sites and activities more accessible to people from a variety of backgrounds, who may otherwise perceive barriers to their participation, e.g. refugees or people with learning difficulties.
The module will look at and provide resources related to public engagement and participation, different pedagogical approaches and developing a strategy to support engagement work. Participants will be shown case studies and best practice of effective methods and activities for public engagement from both the botanic gardens and wider museum sectors. A strong focus of this module will be on how botanic gardens meet the needs of different target groups. Trainees will gain skills in the use of more participatory methods to engage with their publics. Participants will also develop skills on more practical aspects of running a public engagement programme including marketing.
Participants will be expected to work on their own action points and produce a portfolio of work through online activities which can be used to promote and increase their engagement work with diverse audiences. In addition this activity will be an opportunity to implement and test innovative practice in the field.