The Educational Programs for Seniors in Egyptian Museums between Theory and Practice

Document Type : Academic peer-reviewed articles


In spite of the large number of Egyptian museums, in addition to the importance of non-formal education in museums, it has been found that the programs of the museums are mostly addressed to the other age clusters, especially school children. On the other hand, seniors’ programs (for those over the age of 60 years, and in urgent need of attention) have been neglected although a lot of benefits can be gained from their experiences. Therefore, Egyptian museums urgently need to develop a systematic plan for the educational programs addressed to seniors and also provide several proposals for educational programs, based on the study of the interests, motives and desires of the visitor.
The importance of the research lies mainly in the age cluster addressed by museum programs and the privileges granted to seniors through these programs. In this regard, the researcher uses educational programs designed for seniors in Egyptian museums and their effectiveness as a case study for more elaboration.


Museums have always had educational aspects, but it is only in the last few years great attention has been given to the museum as an educational center. Public museums improved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but still as center to collect and maintain artifacts.1
The era of information began in the middle of the twentieth century and resumed till the end of the millennium. This era brought new light onto the demand for knowledge and new awarenessthe significance of who holds the information. During this era, a large change in thinking has taken place and the museum was suggested as a learning center. Museums were no longer guardians of artifacts but they have become guardians of knowledge.2
The main function of the museum is to educate and raise cultural and heritage awareness. Therefore, Egyptian museums pay attention to the educational programs offered to children, especially school children, and aims at linking the educational curriculum with the educational programs in museums. However, the educational programs offered to seniors suffer from severe shortage and lack of attention despite the big number of visitors who belong to this age cluster