“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 […]
From 2007-2011, three major art institutions, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, High Museum of Art, and The Speed, participated in a study examining “families’ value and use of interactive galleries in art museums and their motivations for visiting the spaces.” The Family Learning in Interactive Galleries website includes multiple resources related to the project, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Science museums often seek to create open-ended, interactive exhibits designed to support visitors in conducting scientific inquiry. Visitors, however, do not always have the skills or previous knowledge needed to perform in-depth investigations to answer certain scientific questions.
Abstract: “Three years after the Detroit Institute of Arts opened with all new, ‘visitor-centered’ galleries, the museum’s executive director of learning and interpretation shares the processes, successes, and lessons learned at an institution that embraced an array of hands-on learning models.
Regan Forrest, an exhibit design consultant and founder of Interactivate, writes about a personal experience at an art museum in Australia where the “real nuggets” interpreting the artwork were “relegated to the ‘For Kids’ text”. She writes, “To me that’s not kids’ text, that’s interpretation – and it works for all ages!”
Cathy Donnelly recounts a multi-year initiative from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to study what families do in museums and how they interact with each other and with exhibits during their visit. They came up with three ways to create family-friendly experiences: selecting objects, designing interactives, and writing labels. Fun for the Whole Family: New […]
“Young children are active learners. They learn while doing and they play while learning. Experiential exhibition environments can become catalysts and supports for this mode of engagement.”
Minda Borun’s article about the museum as an informal learning space and how an individual’s experience is informed by the other members of their visiting group.
Certain exhibit concepts or stories that are important to the museum may be difficult for visitors to grasp. We might have few if any artifacts or images to support these concepts. If we do have a great artifact our visitors may find it difficult to appreciate. These concepts many be perfect candidates for interactives. In […]