Using museums and heritage as a teaching and learning resource

SMILE stands for Schools Museums Internet Learning Education.

SMILE provides schools with a resource that enables them to investigate Europe and what it means to be a European through visits to museums and heritage sites. More specifically it is concerned with enabling learners to explore a number of aspects of their identities and to compare the various identities expressed by other Europeans. The method was established in 1999 and has become a flexible way of using museums and cultural heritage in education. Museums and the built environment are used as a source for looking at identity and citizenship issues.

The SMILE course puts the emphasis on scenario-based, transferable skills that can be used directly in teaching and learning situations. The course explores some basic museum interpretation skills and concepts and helps participants to understand museums as complex and multi-layered, linear, ordered or random collections of artefacts, images, sounds and words.

We ask:

  • Who ‘wrote’ the museum?
  • Who did they ‘write’ it for?
  • Why did they ‘write’ it?
  • Who ‘reads’ it now?

A proportion of the course is dedicated to exploring practical eLearning solutions for use in the classroom. The course also makes use of mobile eLearning methods to take learning outside the classroom.

Learning outcomes include an exploration of:

  • European Citizenship and Identity
  • Museum Interpretation skills and competencies
  • Basic eLearning for use in museums and heritage sites
  • Outdoor education
  • Cooperation between schools and museums
  • Validation and assessment
  • Barrier-free access for minority groups
  • Building lasting relationships with colleagues throughout Europe
  • A greater understanding of European education

The courses comply fully with the Erasmus+ (Erasmus Plus) European criteria for mobility grants. We provide full modules for preparation, monitoring and validation.

Find out more about who can apply or apply now

If you would like to speak to one of the team you can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course dates

You can Apply Now for you and your colleagues to participate in these SMILE courses:

21-27 July 2024: Stockholm, Sweden

Course Information

Click below to download the activity and fee guide.

SMILE: Stockholm, Sweden

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