“Researching the Value of Educator Actions for Learning (REVEAL) was a three-year, National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research study carried out by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) between 2013 and 2017. In collaboration with TERC and Oregon State University, the team explored the role of museum educators in deepening and extending family engagement and […]
In her Museum 2.0 blog, Nina Simon asks, “How do we find the RIGHT questions for visitor participation?” She discusses what are the “right” and “wrong” questions to ask, how to develop the “right” questions, and offers three concrete examples from various institutions. The discussion in the comments section is quite useful as well. Read […]
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 […]
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 […]
In preparation for the Family Learning in Interactive Galleries (FLING) project, the principal researchers gathered all available literature on family learning in museums. This comprehensive review, circa 2010, covers the changing definitions of family, facilitation, audience motivations, social interaction, audience goals and values, parent behaviors, as well as describing the life-cycle of a family’s visit […]
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.
The Brain Building in Progress website includes numerous resources for educators and parents to help their children, birth to 5 years old, learn and progress. The “site provides exciting, engaging media-rich learning opportunities for educators, parents, and caregivers of children. From detailed lesson plans to simple, everyday activities, you will find everything you need to […]
With funding from an IMLS National Leadership Grant, the USS Constitution Museum turned their attention to identifying strategies of design and facilitation that result in successful intergenerational engagement and learning in museum and library programs. This PowerPoint presentation is a summary of findings from the first summer of prototyping and testing two new programs and redesigning […]
The USS Constitution Museum Team took an existing craft program, designing a model ship out of aluminum foil, popsicle sticks, and masking tape, and transformed it into an intergenerational program that results in fun, active collaboration among family members. Overview: USS Constitution was built in the 1790s to out gun enemy vessels of the same size […]
The USS Constitution Museum Team took a new look at an existing program, an interactive demonstration of caulking (waterproofing) a ship’s planking. By taking a step back, thinking creatively, and doing intensive observation and prototyping, we turned a fun but mostly kids activity into a truly intergenerational program that actively engages adults and kids together […]
Eric White describes how Old Sturbridge Village assessed their family audience and how they interacted with museum’s offerings. They then responded by developing exhibits and activities that attracted, entertained, and educated their family audience.
This set of guidelines published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Dublin, Ireland, provides adults with examples of good interactions to have with children that promote the children’s learning and development. It provides strategies for positive and successful interactions such as building relationships, facilitating, organizing and directing which promotes a balance of […]
The Adult Child Interaction Inventory (ACII) was the product of a three-year NSF-funded research project that aimed to better understand the non-verbal and verbal interactions between adults and preschool children in museums during STEM programs.
From the Art Museum Teaching blog: “Recently, the use of questions in art museum teaching has been questioned. In their book, Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience, Rika Burnham and Elliot Kai-Kee wonder ‘why we ask questions at all.’
This article focuses on the important role that adult family members play in unstructured interactions with museum staff. Scott A. Pattison and Lynn D. Dierking conducted a qualitative study to explore the patterns and themes that emerge in staff-visitor interactions in museums and science centers.
In this post from the Art Museum Teaching blog, Mike Murawski emphasizes the importance of conversation for visitor engagement and cooperative learning in museums.
Created by Boston Children’s Museum and Chicago Children’s Museum, this staff training curriculum was designed for other museums to train their front-line staff to successfully facilitate family experiences that engage both children and adults. The curriculum features over 200 pages of activities and resources that support the ten “Standards of Engagement” which were developed and […]