Research Summary Exposure to concepts through programs and activities develops our personal experience banks. We add to these throughout our lives and what we’ve experienced informs inform our understanding of ourselves, environment, history, and culture. Our accumulation of experiences equals that which we’ve learned during our lives. This means that we don’t need to teach everything […]
How do we design programs that tear adults away from their coffee and cell phones? Here are some ways to design and facilitate programs that actively engage both adults and children.
Research Summary Everyone is different, so design multiple entry points into your program so there’s something to appeal to everyone. Once you have everyone involved, flexibility is key. Plan ahead for all contingencies during the design process to ensure success for your facilitators. Designing for multi-modality, multi-user, multi-outcomes, and family agency and choice make a […]
Research Summary People find resonance in concepts and experiences they can relate to. Research shows that learning and memory-making are more likely to occur when people can connect their experiences with familiar ideas and events. Incorporating the reflective process into your program allows visitors the opportunity to digest and process what they experienced during the program. Tips & […]
Research Summary Without even meaning to, program designers can send cues to adults that their participation is not desirable. We must be aware of the invisible messages we send in our design and facilitation and insure we invite everyone to participation and make them comfortable doing so. Tips & Takeaways Explicitly invite adult participation at […]
The “Impress with a Quill Pen” program was always popular with families, but facilitators at the USS Constitution Museum thought it had potential for more variety, deeper content, and greater intergenerational participation. With simple changes like relocating the program, introducing new elements, and adjusting the setup, they were able to design a better intergenerational family experience.
Throughout this section, you’ll find design strategies that can help you build a successful multigenerational program, as well as tips and tricks, examples, and relevant research. This is not a checklist. You don’t have to tick every box. Not every strategy will be applicable to every program. Use these ideas as guides and conversation starters. How might […]
THE PROGRAMS SECTION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. CHECK BACK SOON. Design & Facilitation Web ToolkitThinking of designing or revising a multi-generational program? This toolkit offers strategies and considerations as you design, develop, and facilitate the program. The Engage Families Goal: A Multigenerational Audience There are many audiences you could design a program for – adults, seniors, children, students, families. […]
Put the family at the center of your family programs. How? Start by getting to know your multigenerational audience and then find ways for them to engage with and learn from your program. Actively Engaging All Ages How and why we design programs so everyone actively participates. Developing Content & Learning Goals What do you […]
Finding the Right Staff and Training Them for Family Engagement There’s no underestimating the power of great facilitation. It can transform a good program to a fabulous program, maximizing family engagement and ensuring every participant has a fun, memorable, and educational experience. Here are some resources and tips for finding the best staff and training them […]
From the first point of contact to that last, facilitators ensure maximum multigenerational engagement throughout your program. A great design can only take you so far. Facilitation can make your program a success. Use the ideas and tips in this section to help establish, maintain, and maximize family engagement during your program. Establishing Engagement The […]
Here are some simple, effective ideas that have helped us better engage families and may be applicable to your programs. Harnessing Invisible Pedagogies How is as important as what. Learn how Invisible Pedagogies may be affecting family engagement in your programs. Instructional Cards How to craft your how-tos for families audiences. Examples From the Field […]
This article explains the concept of “intent participation,” learning through observation and listening followed by active participation. The authors contrast this with “assembly-line instruction” in which experts simply transmit information, which is the normal practice in many US schools and still in some museum and library programs. The concept has implications for program design and facilitation as it encourages practitioners […]
Harvard Professor Howard Gardner argues that there are five points from which learners can enter into a topic: The Aesthetic, Narrative, Logical/Quantitative, Foundational, and Experiential. Using this theory can help program and exhibit designers offer visitors a variety of ways to access our content and activities. This concept comes directly from his work on Multiple Intelligences […]
This practical guide outlines various ways professionals can develop their programs, exhibits, and general museum atmosphere to best engage the public. Using examples mostly from the UK and Canada, Graham Black offers a synthesis of best practices and research to date, as well as case studies and infographics to illustrate his points.
This Incluseum blog post by exhibit designer Margaret Middleton discusses how to ensure your museum is inclusive, especially in it language and vocabulary, of the diverse 21st-century family. Includes a useful chart of Family-Inclusive Language.
The videos and resources on this page of the Brain Building in Progress website discuss how to engage 3 to 5-year-old children in meaningful conversation by building in opportunities to talk, modeling conversation, and using complex language and vocabulary. Includes a Facilitator’s Guide.
Invisible pedagogies, according to author Andrea de Pascual, “is a concept that already existed before the collective, exploring education beyond the boundaries of the curriculum and considering pedagogical elements that hadn’t been addressed in the learning-teaching experience until now. Invisible pedagogies is the reflection upon the non-explicit micro-discourses that all-together form the macro-discourse that is […]
Reach Advisors shares the results of a visitor survey at 13 outdoor history museums about how visitors to historic sites feel about “authenticity.” Is it just a buzz word? Do visitors have a sense of what is or isn’t authentic? What does that word mean to them?
This report, published by the Denver Art Museum, details the Museum’s process of creating new experiences for children and their caregivers by increasing the Museum’s relevance and providing opportunities for family participation.
Members of the USS Constitution Museum’s Engage Families Project recount the program design, prototyping, and evaluation process that’s uncovering the conditions necessary for family programs that engage both children and adults in museums and libraries. Find out what worked, what didn’t, and what to consider when designing and/or facilitating your own programs.