Featuring examples from the field, this report from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a great resource for libraries looking for inspiration for their child and family programs. Holmes, Paula. Curiosity Creates: Innovative Library Programming for Children. Association for Library Service to Children, 2016.
The Newton Free Library in Newton, MA offers several programs for kids and families with a focus on books and literacy. The programs are free but adults do have to register ahead of time. Book Bunch is a book club for 1st and 2nd graders and their adults that takes place for about an hour, […]
The Attleboro Public Library in Attleboro, MA has been running a book club for kids in grades 2-4 and their adult since 2011. The goal of the program is to get a discussion started between kids and their peers, as well as with their adults. Group members read the same title (adults too) then meet […]
The Attleboro Public Library offers an hour-long science program for kids ages 3 through kindergarten one Saturday morning a month from October to June. The goal of the program is to encourage children and their caregivers to learn and discover together. Younger siblings under 3 are encouraged not to attend so that the adult can […]
Invisible Pedagogies: the messages we send, sometimes without even knowing it, by how we craft our environment, by the words we use, and through our actions. What are Invisible Pedagogies? Andrea De Pascual helps us understand the concept of invisible pedagogy by asking the following questions: “What do our students in class, the participants in […]
Developed by the Nova Scotia Interpretive Working Group as an “introduction, a personal development tool, a training tool, a resource, or a point of inspiration” for the 28 Nova Scotia Museum sites, the toolbox is a comprehensive resource with many applications for program design and facilitation. Copyright Nova Scotia Museum. Sections include: Activities are Object-Based “Good Questions” […]
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 […]
Research Summary Adult caregivers seek out fun and enjoyable experiences for their family to experience together. In addition, research proves that a child’s play leads directly to positive social, cultural, and educational growth. Parent and adult involvement in a child’s play increases the efficacy of that play. However, parents are not always comfortable or don’t […]
Research Summary Research shows that social interaction within families leads to overall enjoyment and learning because it helps families develop a shared knowledge, better understanding of each other, and family memories. Tips & Takeaways Get people talking to you and, more importantly, each other. Design discussion prompts into the program Add opportunities for problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, […]
Research Summary Your program’s environment and set up can complement the multigenerational nature of your program or hinder it. Program spaces should be comfortable and inviting to families, as well as accessible and flexible, in order to fit the needs of diverse families. Tips & Takeaways Adding appropriate context to your environment can help family […]
Think about not only hands-on, but also minds-on (intellectual and emotional) engagement. Active participation is more than simply a “do.” Hands-on elements should be used to get participants thinking and understanding your content.
The “Impress with a Quill Pen” program was always popular with families, but facilitators at the USS Constitution Museum thought it had potential for more variety, deeper content, and greater intergenerational participation. With simple changes like relocating the program, introducing new elements, and adjusting the setup, they were able to design a better intergenerational family experience.
Throughout this section, you’ll find design strategies that can help you build a successful multigenerational program, as well as tips and tricks, examples, and relevant research. This is not a checklist. You don’t have to tick every box. Not every strategy will be applicable to every program. Use these ideas as guides and conversation starters. How might […]
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 […]
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 […]
Michael Michalko, an internationally acclaimed creative thinking expert and author, developed a method called SCAMPER to guide people through the process of generating ideas. Designers and facilitators can try this method as a way to prototype solutions to small problems or as a quick way to try to improve an aspect of an exhibit or […]
Harvard Professor Howard Gardner argues that there are five points from which learners can enter into a topic: The Aesthetic, Narrative, Logical/Quantitative, Foundational, and Experiential. Using this theory can help program and exhibit designers offer visitors a variety of ways to access our content and activities. This concept comes directly from his work on Multiple Intelligences […]
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.
Well-known for their intensive audience research, prototyping, and evaluation processes for both programs and exhibits, this page contains numerous project reports and papers.
Invisible pedagogies, according to author Andrea de Pascual, “is a concept that already existed before the collective, exploring education beyond the boundaries of the curriculum and considering pedagogical elements that hadn’t been addressed in the learning-teaching experience until now. Invisible pedagogies is the reflection upon the non-explicit micro-discourses that all-together form the macro-discourse that is […]