In this presentation from a seminar sponsored by ARKEN Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), Professor of Free-Choice Learning (Oregon State Univ.) and museum researcher John H. Falk discusses how identifying the motivations and identities of museum visitors can inform practice. This video includes the following topics: Indicators of learning Learning over time & memory (3:05-6:30) […]
There is no single definition of family in the 21st century. That said, research shows most families want similar things from their experience.
THE EVALUATION & PROTOTYPING SECTION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. CHECK BACK SOON. Like washing their hands and flossing their teeth, everyone says they do it, but … the best laid plans for prototyping and evaluation are often abandoned. We’ll convince you why trying things out and listening to your visitors will change the way you think about and design […]
Listen to your families. Evaluation is the only way to ensure you’re giving families what they want and producing the most successful product you can.
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 […]
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 booklet lays out the lessons that the Crocker Art Museum learned through their “All About Families” initiative. The staff at the Crocker traveled to several art museums around the country to explore how those museums successfully engage families. The Crocker staff found that fostering creativity is a key component of engagement and learning, and […]
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 article describes “a range of front-end research studies intended to develop more specific knowledge concerning parent beliefs about how and what their children might learn from a museum visit, and how parents might be involved in that learning…the team then developed and user-tested prototype signage for the new exhibit spaces.” Swatz, Mallary I. and […]
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.
“APE was a four-year Exploratorium project funded by the National Science Foundation. Both an exhibit development endeavor and a visitor research study, the primary aim of APE was to explore strategies and tactics to shift the role of visitors from passive recipient of information to active participant in the exhibit experience.”
This report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issues a call to action for everyone to utilize museums and libraries which provide quality and effective early learning opportunities for children. This publication focuses on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading which promotes reading proficiency for low-income students. The report provides examples and success […]
This UK publication is a resource for museum staff members who seek to develop family programming. Beginning with a definition of family learning, and some of the benefits of family engagement, author Clare Meade goes on to provide tools including graphs and charts for developing programs in museums. Meade gives examples of museums in the […]
Through her research, Marianna Adams discovered that although museum professionals want to create authentic and fun opportunities for intergenerational visitors to learn and participate together, there are many challenges to making this happen. Some challenges include a lack of resources and caregivers who don’t always want to actively participate. She provides examples of museums that […]
Below are links that explain Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and provide advice on incorporating it in your work.
This study, conducted at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, explores parents’ perceptions of play and their role in children’s museums.
“Abstract: Research demonstrates that children have vast potential to expand their knowledge base with simple supports from adults and older children.
D.D. Hilke of the Smithsonian Institution considered what resources families bring to the museum visit. The author observes some strategies family use while exploring traditional and hands-on exhibits in a large natural history museum to better understand the dynamics of museum-going families.
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 […]