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 […]
Abstract: “How and what adults learn in the context of a family visit to an aquarium is a valuable and important question to ask, given the significance of this demographic to institutions such as these. Based on a larger empirical work, this paper reports on the nature and character of adult learning within a family […]
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.
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.
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.
In this blog post, Marianna Adams posed several questions to her readers about family programs that she intended to explore during her residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She wanted to understand why programs in museums that are called “family programs” only engage the children and not the caregivers.
“Educators, docents, and interpreters are considered integral to the learning experiences at many museums. Although there is growing recognition that these staff members need professional development to effectively support visitor learning, there has been little research to describe their work or identify effective facilitation strategies.
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 […]
Observing families for a simple tracking and timing evaluation study is easy, informative, and objective. It requires minimal training so everyone from frontline staff to your board president can participate. All you need is a clipboard, a floorplan of your exhibition, and a watch.
Lynn Dierking identifies the characteristics of family learning and the four phases of family visits to museums. What Does Family Learning Look Like? by Lynn Dierking I would like to be able to say after working in the area of family learning for most of my 30-year career that I can tell you how to […]