School Rules!

Permanent exhibition School rules!

Education in Slovenia over the years

On the occasion of the opening of the new permanent exhibition in the renovated premises of the Slovenian School Museum

For over 120 years the Slovenian School Museum has been taking care of school heritage that is closely interconnected with the wider cultural, social, and historical events on the territory of present-day Slovenia. Using innovative approaches and new means of expression, the curators and other employees have been striving to address the public at the new permanent exhibition. Since permanent exhibitions are the central project of every museum, our entire professional knowledge, in line with modern museological trends and the latest findings in the history of pedagogy, has been invested in its creation.

The permanent exhibition School rules! presents visitors with education in Slovenia by periods, from pre-historic times to the present. Particularly from enlightened absolutism onwards, the content of school lessons and the whole school system has been governed by state school legislation. Empress Maria Theresa nationalized schools and promulgated the first primary school law (1774) which, among other things, introduced obligatory school attendance for all children between 6 and 12 years old. Since school also means a constant flow of knowledge and numerous experiences, it is now an indispensable part of people’s experience, particularly youngsters, and in their everyday language school really does rule.

From the fundamental characteristics of education, collected in the visual field of visitors, the exhibition leads to interactive research and a more specific search for information and additional deepening of knowledge at the concealed levels of exhibition content. The three-dimensional depictions of school scenes, illustrations of everyday life, toys, sounds and music, pedagogical thoughts, models, and the ambiance revive the spirit of the time and the pulse of schools in each period.

The basic formal concept of the exhibition is based on a big, long blackboard, opposite which stands a long school desk. However, the blackboard is not an ordinary one but, as in a magic cupboard, there are flaps, big and small doors, and drawers that open on it, leading to numerous facts and attractive stories, from archived materials and documents to interesting objects from the school past in Slovenia. Alongside the old educational methods and the then learning materials, the exhibition content comes most alive at live school lessons; these have a tradition spanning over more than 20 years and take place in an old classroom with a live enactment of history, providing a direct experience of lessons in the past.

School-age is at the same time also the age of childhood, youth and growing up. A visit to the new exhibition at the Slovenian School Museum is thus also a journey to the visitors’ youth and school memories, which are unique and unrepeatable for every person.

The exhibition is the result of teamwork by curators employed at the Slovenian School Museum and outside contributors: architects, designers and other museum exhibition experts, as well as craftsmen, who each in their own way contributed to its content, form, and spatial and audio-visual image.

The creation of the permanent exhibition School rules! was made possible by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

You are warmly invited and welcomed to view the new permanent exhibition at the Slovenian School Museum!

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