Museums as Social Learning Spaces (article and video presentation), by Lynn Dierking, describes the socio-cultural context of museums (and learning!), advocates for museums as places of social interaction and meaning-making for visitors, and argues that museums see themselves as valuable in supporting social outcomes for individuals and groups. She wonders how museums can support the cultural and social identities and motivations of groups of visitors. She also wonders if museums can be valuable to visitors by relating the museum’s activities to people’s lives.
Dierking also raises the following questions:
1. How can museums support the socio-cultural resources, identities and motivations that groups bring to the experience?
2. Can museums learn to be of value to individuals, groups and society by framing their activities within the fabric of people’s lives, needs, and community?
Dierking, Lynn D. “Museums as Social Learning Spaces.” Museums – Social Learning Spaces and Knowledge Producing Processes. Ed. Ida Braendholt Lundgaard and Jacob Thorek Jensen. Copenhagen: Kulturstyrelsen – Danish Agency for Culture, 2013. 198-219.