“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 […]
Anne Grimes Rand, President of the USS Constitution Museum, outlines key achievements from the Family Learning Project – a long-term initiative at the USS Constitution Museum to engage a family audience through innovations in exhibit design. Filmed at the USS Constitution Museum’s workshop, Engage Families – Developing and Facilitating Intergenerational Programs in Museums and Libraries (March […]
Watch as renowned author and Professor of Free-Choice Learning, Lynn Dierking, discusses how families interact with museums and libraries and how we can facilitate free-choice learning. She identifies the family as a learning institution and details the implications for programming in museums and libraries along with exemplars of how other institutions have taken steps to improve family […]
Members of the USS Constitution Museum’s Engage Families Project recount the program design, prototyping, and evaluation process that’s uncovering the conditions necessary for family programs that engage both children and adults in museums and libraries. Find out what worked, what didn’t, and what to consider when designing and/or facilitating your own programs.
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, […]
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.
Resources and activities for museum and library professionals to help promote literacy, brain-building, kindergarten readiness, and STEM at their sites.
Created by Boston Children’s Museum and Chicago Children’s Museum, this staff training curriculum was designed for other museums to train their front-line staff to successfully facilitate family experiences that engage both children and adults. The curriculum features over 200 pages of activities and resources that support the ten “Standards of Engagement” which were developed and […]
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 […]
“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.
Families of all shapes and sizes are visiting our institutions in record numbers. “Family” programs are all the rage. All too often, these become programs for kids while adults talk on their cell phones or simply take photos. How can we attract adults, maintain their interest, and include them as equal participants in our family programs? What […]
Between 2009 and 2011, the USS Constitution Museum’s Family Learning Project team traveled to Nashville, Columbus, St. Paul, Portland, Seattle, and Jacksonville to share tested techniques and successful strategies to engage families in exhibits and programs with fellow museum professionals. Bring the workshop to your desktop. Download the presentations today!
In 2009, the USS Constitution Museum hosted a FREE workshop to explore how museum professionals measure the impact of family learning on families, our institutions, and ourselves. Watch the featured presentations from Reach Advisors, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Boston Children’s Museum, and the Institute for Learning Innovation. You’ll learn simple and effective techniques and come away with low-cost replicable ideas to help […]
In 2011, the USS Constitution Museum hosted a free workshop for museum professionals to get advice, ideas, models, and inspiration for creating engaging exhibits for an intergenerational audience. Watch the featured presentations by Lynn Dierking, Judy Rand, D. Lynn McRainey, John Russick, and Anne Grimes Rand. You’ll learn simple and effective techniques and come away with low-cost […]
Ellen Thompson, Director of Visitor Education and Programs at Boston Children’s Museum, provides tips and techniques for training museum staff interacting with younger families.
On June 14, 2005, the USS Constitution Museum collaborated with the New England Museum Association to host Family Learning Roundtable: Successful Strategies for Engaging Families. Funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, over 125 participants traveled from seven states to attend the day-long workshop featuring national learning specialists and reports from the field […]
These books and articles were helpful to the USS Constitution Museum Team in our project on learning more about designing family-friendly exhibits.
Judy Rand, Director of Rand and Associates, speaks about the history and development of her label writing process for exhibits, outlining specific techniques and focus points along the way. Watch as she takes you step by step through her process for writing effective and engaging exhibit labels.