Learning in the Museum examines major issues and shows how research in visitor studies and the philosophy of education can be applied to facilitate a meaningful educational experience in museums. Hein combines a brief history of education in public museums, with a rigorous examination of how the educational theories of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky and subsequent theorists relate to learning in the museum. Surveying a wide range of research methods employed in visitor studies is illustrated with examples taken from museums around the world, Hein explores how visitors can best learn from exhibitions which are physically, socially, and intellectually accessible to every single visitor. He shows how museums can adapt to create this kind of environment, to provide what he calls the 'constructivist museum'. Providing essential theoretical analysis for students, this volume also serves as a practical guide for all museum professionals on how to adapt their museums to maximize the educational experience of every visitor.
Grounded in the solid strengths of its first edition, this updated and revised second edition, collates recent and important articles that address the relationships of museums and galleries to their audiences. The Educational Role of the Museumhas been entirely restructured and new papers have been added which make this an up-to-date presentation of front-running theory and practice. Covering broad themes relevant to providing for all museum visitors, and also focusing specifically on educational groups, the book is set in four sections which sequentially: chart the development of museum communication relate constructivist learning theory to specific audiences with different learning needs apply this learning theory to the development of museum exhibitions pose questions about the way museums conceptualize audiences. For any student of museum studies, and for professionals too, this book fuses theory with practice in a way that can only serve to enhance their knowledge of the field.
In Learning at the Museum Frontiers, Viv Golding argues that the museum has the potential to function as a frontier - a zone where learning is created, new identities are forged and new connections made between disparate groups and their own histories. She draws on a range of theoretical perspectives including Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics, Foucauldian discourse on space and power, and postcolonial and Black feminist theory, as well as her own professional experience in museum education over a ten-year period, applying these ideas to a wide range of museum contexts. The book offers an important theoretical and empirical contribution to the debate on the value of museums and what they can contribute to society. The author reveals the radical potential for museums to tackle injustice and social exclusion, challenge racism, enhance knowledge and promote truth.
In the second edition of their 2000 book, John H. Falk and Lynn D. Dierking offer an updated version of the Contextual Model of Learning, as well as present the latest advances in museum research, theory, and practice in order to provide readers an inside view of how and why people learn from their museum experiences.
The science museum field has made tremendous advances in understanding museum learning, but little has been done to consolidate and synethesize these findings to encourage widespread improvements in practice. By clearly presenting the most current knowledge of museum learning, In Principle, In Practice aims to promote effective programs and exhibitions, identify promising approaches for future research, and develop strategies for implementing and sustaining connections between research and practice in the museum community.
How to connect museum visitors to artwork and objects has been an ongoing experiment for museum educators during the past one hundred years. The result has included a wide array of interpretive techniques in the formal gallery and classroom setting. However, creating leisure learning experiences for the museum visitor within places of casual relaxation, the café as example, has not been fully explored. My research investigates the following questions: Can the café space within art museums be a platform for education departments to broaden their reach to visitors? Can this social and comfortable space be a portal for visitors to engage with the museum? If educational programming were brought into the café, would there be less disconnection between learning and comfort for the art museum visitor? My study aims to further expand our understanding of how leisure and comfort affects learning within museums. During this study, I used phenomenological research methods to observe and interview art museum visitors who visited the café space during their time at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visitors that used the cafe spaces in these museums participated in my research through a short questionnaire. Through these interactions with the visitors, I gained perspective on how they perceived the café space in relation to the museum. I also interviewed a café manager within the Art Institute of Chicago to become familiar with the café space's relationship to the museum and the visitors. Finally, I interviewed a museum educator to consider possibilities for learning within the café through educational activities and displays. A key aspect to the café is the positive social environment that fosters the sharing of ideas and opinions in a comfortable environment. A visitor's leisure learning experience can be enriched with consistent exposure to exhibited content through accommodating, meaningful, and compelling educational features within the museum café. For the education department to connect with these café visitors, I found that the educational components must reflect the same comfort, rejuvenation, and approachability for which the café is known. Leisure learning within the café has the potential to enhance the visitor's entire museum experience and allow the visitor to learn in comfort.
Originating in a recent NSF conference held at the University of Michigan, this book examines the latest ideas about how children interact with objects and through that interaction acquire new understandings, attitudes, and feelings. Although museum education provides the primary setting within which object-centered learning is explored, the analyses apply to a wide range of learning environments. Despite the demonstrated importance of object-centered learning for both academic and life-long learning, until now there has been little psychological research on the topic. Key features of this outstanding new book include: *Cross-disciplinary Focus--This is the first book to examine object-centered learning using the perspectives of such diverse fields as science, history, literacy, and art. *Museum Focus--The explosion of interest in museums of all kinds provides a natural launching pad for conceptual and practical discussions of object-based learning and informal learning environments. Vignettes--In order to ground the conceptual analyses, each chapter includes vignettes describing people actively engaged with objects in a specific setting. This volume is appropriate for advanced students and researchers in educational psychology, cognitive psychology, science education, and persons directly involved in museum education.