“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 […]
Family Gallery Tours at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT are designed to provide families (with children aged six and up) with an interactive museum experience. Tours are discussion-based and led heavily with open-ended questions. The tours are held almost every Sunday, run about 45 minutes, are free with Museum admission, and require no advanced […]
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 […]
Designed for museum educators and informal science education professionals without formal training in evaluation, this guide explains team-based inquiry (TBI) and how it can be used as a tool for developing or improving educational experiences in museums such as programs and exhibits. TBI consists of a continuous cycle with four main phases: question, investigate, reflect, […]
Published by a group of informal science centers known as PISEC (which includes museums, a zoo and an aquarium), this handbook is intended for museum practitioners and visitor behavior researchers. It details the group’s three-phase investigation into the learning that occurs among families in museums. The handbook includes a literature review, and explains the group’s […]
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.
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.
Resources and activities for museum and library professionals to help promote literacy, brain-building, kindergarten readiness, and STEM at their sites.
This article is the product of research done by the FEAST (Facilitating Engagement of Adults in Science and Technology) consortium of European science museums and science centers. The report, designed to assist museum educators in supporting parents and caregivers in educating children in informal science institutions, explains how museums can help caregivers become more involved […]
Abstract: “We describe a study of programs to deepen families’ scientific inquiry practices in a science museum setting. The programs incorporated research-based learning principles from formal and informal educational environments. In a randomized experimental design, two versions of the programs, called Inquiry Games, were compared to two control conditions. Inquiry behaviors were videotaped and compared […]
“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.
Check out The Discovery Museums special programming, Especially for Me, for families with children who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired, and children with autism. Their Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Friendly Afternoons have been a huge hit and result in increased visitation.
An introduction to the 7 characteristics of family-friendly exhibits as defined by “The Family Science Learning Research Project” also referred to as PISEC.