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My Workplace - a Castle

Claudia Glashauser studied Sociology and Education Studies at TU Chemnitz and now teaches children and young adults in the historical walls of Augustusburg Hunting Lodge

  • Claudia Glashauser leads a class of pupils through the rooms of the hunting lodge of Augustusburg. Photo: Richard Großer

Old castles, museums and palaces have always fascinated Claudia Glashauser. Now she can define Augustusburg Hunting Lodge (German: Schloss Augustusburg) as her working place. In August 2014, she replaced her conventional desk against the nearly 450-year-old walls of the former hunting and summer residence in Saxony`s Augustusburg and since then participates in fascinating projects. She wants to give mainly younger visitors an understanding of the exhibition contents and historical background of the castle in a children-friendly manner. The 27-year-old acquired methodological and didactic know-how during her period of study in Sociology and Education Studies at Technische Universität Chemnitz. Already during the studies she combined her personal preference with university engagement. Thus, the alumni of TU Chemnitz specialized thematically during her undergraduate studies on Labor and Industrial Sociology and built further her interest in Museum Education during a voluntary internship in Chemnitz Industriemuseum. However, the end of the internship was not the end of her collaboration in the museum. For five years she has organized and led guided tours and project days as a freelancer for school classes from Chemnitz and the surrounding area. Due to her work in the Industriemuseum she received the opportunity to establish contacts outside Europe. „Everything went hand in hand. There was a special exhibition at the Industriemuseum. When this has been established, the lending institutions from the United States traveled to Chemnitz. A little later I had an internship contract for the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Pittsburgh in the pocket“, recalls Glashauser. What followed next was a six-month internship at the Art Museum of the State of Pennsylvania. There, Glashauser was involved in the design and implementation of a so-called “Art-Camp“. She developed an extensive holiday program for children, which included field trips and project days on various topics from nature and environment.

By submitting her Master’s thesis in 2012, Glashauser realized during the job search that the job market in the field of Museum Education is also highly competitive. Some time and several applications later, she began to work as a training consultant for a Saxon educational provider in Schneeberg. At the beginning of 2014 she stumbled upon a vacancy for museum pedagogical activities at Schloss Augustusburg. „I had nothing to lose and wrote an application. Two months later there was still no answer and I had given up hope“, says Glashauser. However, things were not to remain so, as a short time later she received a position as a training consultant and began her dream job as a museum educator at Augustusburg Hunting Lodge.

Now her field of activity includes mainly the treatment of complex contents of museum landscape. „Our young visitors should have fun and learn something too. In the foreground stands trying out new things and playful understanding. I try to adapt the offers to the subjects taught, so that they become pedagogically valuable and concomitantly fit in the Saxon curriculum“, explains Glashauser. The first results of her conceptual work have already been proved. Since October, Glashauser leads the visitors through the dungeon of Augustusburg Hunting Lodge under the title “Put on the Rack“, and shed a light on the history of torture methods. Children may even try their hand at production of a witch’s potion. At the same time, at full speed are running the preparations for the new special exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci, which will be on display from April 2015. For this, Glashauser developed a suitable accompaniment program that is intended to bring pupils of all grade levels closer to the inventions and science of da Vinci. „I like my job very much, and it shows me that one should never stop working on the realization of his/her greatest dream. It is particularly difficult to gain a foothold in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. Although, giving up comes not into question, because, after all, nothing is impossible“, sums up Glashauser.

(Author: Katharina Preuß, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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