Art and other museums are often challenged to reflect on their roles in society and the relevance of their collections and programming. In this context, it is worth reflecting on why museum learning still matters. Pedagogical research has repeatedly demonstrated that art museums can be places in which rich learning, discovery and cognitive development happens, through direct engagement with original works of art in an immersive, participatory environment. Indeed, art education involves far more than simply exposing young people to art and visual culture, or boosting art appreciation. Learning in the art museum can leverage learning outside of the museum, equipping young people with a host of transferable skills that they can apply in other areas of school, work and future life. These include visual literacy and critical and conceptual thinking, among many others. At Wits Art Museum (WAM), which is a free-entrance museum, we have welcomed more than 125,000 visitors in the past five y...

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