Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-s82fj Total loading time: 1.379 Render date: 2022-10-03T16:51:33.991Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

22 - Informal Learning in Museums

from Part IV - Learning Together

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2022

R. Keith Sawyer
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Get access

Summary

This chapter reviews research on learning in science centers, art museums, children’s museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and natural and cultural history museums. These are sometimes referred to as free choice learning environments because visitors are guided by their own interests, not by a predetermined curriculum. Museum learning is public and social, whether in peer groups or with families. Museums expand our definition of learning; they require learning scientists to account for forms of knowledge, behaviors, and interactions that are often different from those in school. This chapter identifies the key features of museums as unique learning environments; it reviews research on family learning in museums; and it reviews how museums are extending their educational mission by working together with schools, community organizations and networks, and citizen science initiatives.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Allen, S. (2004). Designs for learning: Studying science museum exhibits that do more than entertain. Science Education, 88(Suppl. 1) (July), S17S33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allwood, J., & Montgomery, B. (1989). Exhibition planning and design: A guide for exhibitors, designers and contractors. London, England: Batsford.Google Scholar
Anderson, D., Storksdieck, M., & Spock, M. (2007). The long-term impacts of museum experiences. In Falk, J., Dierking, L., & Foutz, S. (Eds.), In principle, in practice: New perspectives on museums as learning institutions (pp. 197215). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
Andre, L., Durksen, T., & Volman, M. L. (2017). Museums as avenues of learning for children: A decade of research. Learning Environments Research, 20(1), 4776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ash, D. (2004). How families use questions at dioramas: Ideas for exhibit design. Curator, 47(1), 8499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bakken, S. M., & Pierroux, P. (2015). Framing a topic: Mobile video tasks in museum learning. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 5, 5465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecology perspective. Human Development, 49(4), 193224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beale, K. (Ed.). (2011). Museums at play: Games, interaction and learning. Edinburgh, Scotland: MuseumsEtc.Google Scholar
Beer, V. (1987). Great expectations: Do museums know what visitors are doing? Curator, 30(3), 206215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bennett, T. (1995). The birth of the museum. London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Bitgood, S. (1988). A comparison of formal and informal learning. Technical Report No. 88-10. Jacksonville, AL: Center for Social Design.Google Scholar
Callanan, M., Martin, J., & Luce, M. (2016). Two decades of families learning in children’s museums. In Sobel, D. & Lipson, J. L. (Eds.), Cognitive development in museum settings (pp. 1535). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
Christidou, D., & Pierroux, P. (2019). Art, touch and meaning making: An analysis of multisensory interpretation in the museum. Museum Management and Curatorship, 34(1), 96115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Classen, C. (2017). The museum of the senses: Experiencing art and collections. London, England: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
Cone, C. A., & Kendall, K. (1978). Space, time, and family interaction: Visitor behavior at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Curator, 21(3), 245258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crowley, K., Callanan, M. A., Jipson, J., Galco, J., Topping, K., & Shrager, J. (2001). Shared scientific thinking in everyday parent-child activity. Science Education, 85(6), 712732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crowley, K., & Jacobs, M. (2002). Islands of expertise and the development of family scientific literacy. In Leinhardt, G., Crowley, K., & Knutson, K. (Eds.), Learning conversations in museums. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
Damşa, C., Nerland, M., & Andreadakis, Z. (2019). An ecological perspective on learner‐constructed learning spaces. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(5), 20752089. doi:10.1111/bjet.12855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeWitt, J., & Storksdieck, M. (2008). A short review of school field trips: Key findings from the past and implications for the future. Visitor Studies, 11(2), 181197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dierking, L. H., & Falk, J. H. (1994). Family behavior and learning in informal science settings: A review of the research. Science Education, 78(1), 5772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DiSalvo, B. (2016). Participatory design through a learning science lens. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Santa Clara, CA.Google Scholar
Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.). (2019). The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication. London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Ellenbogen, K. M., Luke, J. J., & Dierking, L. D. (2004). Family learning research in museums: An emerging disciplinary matrix? Science Education, 88(Suppl. 1), S48S58. doi:10.1002/sce.20015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Falk, J. H. (2005). Free‐choice environmental learning: Framing the discussion. Environmental Education Research, 11(3), 265280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The museum experience. Washington, DC: Whalesback Books.Google Scholar
Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (2010). The 95% solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science. American Scientist, 98, 486493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Falk, J. H., Koran, J., Dierking, L. H., & Dreblow, L. (1985). Predicting visitor behavior. Curator, 28(4), 249257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Falk, J., Mousouri, T., & Coulson, D. (1998). The effects of visitors’ agendas on museum learning. Curator, 41(2), 107120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fender, J. G., & Crowley, K. (2007). How parent explanation changes what children learn from everyday scientific thinking. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28(3), 189210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Furberg, A., & Arnseth, H. C. (2009). Reconsidering conceptual change from a socio-cultural perspective: Analyzing students’ meaning making in genetics in collaborative learning activities. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 157191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaskins, S. (2016). Collaboration is a two-way street. In Sobel, D. & Lipson, J. L. (Eds.), Cognitive development in museum settings: Relating research and practice (pp. 151170). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
Gleason, M. E., & Schauble, L. (1999). Parents’ assistance of their children’s scientific reasoning. Cognition and Instruction, 17(4), 343378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Greeno, J. G., Collins, A., & Resnick, L. (1996). Cognition and learning. In Berliner, D. C. & Calfee, R. C. (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 1546). New York, NY: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Griffin, J. (1999). Finding evidence of learning in museum settings. In Scanlon, E., Yates, S. J., & Whitelegg, E. (Eds.), Communicating science: Contexts and channels (pp. 110119). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Grinter, R. E., Aoki, P. M., Hurst, A., et al. (2002). Revisiting the visit: Understanding how technology can shape the museum visit. In Proceedings CSCW’02. New Orleans, LA: ACM.Google Scholar
Gutwill, J. P., & Allen, S. (2010). Facilitating family group inquiry at science museum exhibits. Science Education, 94(4), 710742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hatala, M., Tanenbaum, K., Wakkary, R., et al. (2009). Experience structuring factors affecting learning in family visits to museums. In Cress, U., Dimitrova, V., & Specht, M. (Eds.), Learning in the synergy of multiple disciplines, 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2009 Proceedings. Nice, France, September 29–October 2 (pp. 3752). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
Hauser, W., Noschka-Roos, A., Reussner, E., & Zahn, C. (2009). Design-based research on digital media in a museum environment. Visitor Studies, 12(2), 182198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heath, C., & vom Lehn, D. (2002). Misconstruing interaction. In Hinton, M. (Ed.), The proceedings of interactive learning in museums of art and design. London, England: Victoria and Albert Museum.Google Scholar
Hecht, M., & Crowley, K. (2020). Unpacking the learning ecosystems framework: Lessons from the adaptive management of biological ecosystems. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 29(2), 264284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hecht, M., Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2019). Becoming a naturalist: Interest development across the learning ecology. Science Education, 103(3), 691713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hein, G. E. (1998). Learning in the museum. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
Hetland, P., Pierroux, P., & Esborg, L. (Eds.). (2020). A history of participation in museums and archives: Traversing citizen science and citizen humanities. London, England: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1992). Museums and the shaping of knowledge. New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hornecker, E., & Ciolfi, L. (2019). Human-computer interactions in museums. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 12(2), i171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hsi, S. (2002). The electronic guidebook: A study of user experiences using mobile web content in a museum setting. In IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education (WMTE’02). Växjö, Sweden: IEEE.Google Scholar
Irwin, B., Pegram, E., & Gay, H. (2013). New directions, new relationships: The Smithsonian’s twenty-first century learning in natural history settings conference and the Natural History Museum, London. Curator, 56(2), 273278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jewitt, C., & Price, S. (2019). Family touch practices and learning experiences in the museum. The Senses and Society, 14(2), 221235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jornet, A., & Damşa, C. I. (2019). Unit of analysis from an ecological perspective: Beyond the individual/social dichotomy. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, s 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.100329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, J. E., LaBar, W., & Lynch, E. (Eds.). (2011). Creativity and technology: Social media, mobiles and museums. Edinburgh, Scotland: MuseumsEtc.Google Scholar
Kenderdine, S. (2020). Hemispheres: Transdisciplinary architectures and museum-university collaboration. In Lewi, H., Smith, W., vom Lehn, D., & Cooke, S. (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of new digital practices in galleries, libraries, archives, museums and heritage sites (pp. 305318). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Kidd, J. (2014). Museums in the new mediascape: Transmedia, participation, ethics. Farnham, England: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Kim, K. Y., & Crowley, K. (2010). Negotiating the goal of museum inquiry: How families engineer and experiment. In Stein, M. K. & Kucan, L. (Eds.), Instructional explanations in the disciplines. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
Kisiel, J. (2003). Teachers, museums and worksheets: A closer look at the learning experience. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 14(1), 321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kisiel, J. (2005). Understanding elementary teachers’ motivation for science fieldtrips. Science Education, 89(6), 936955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kisiel, J. (2006). Making field trips work. The Science Teacher, 73(1), 4648.Google Scholar
Kisiel, J., Rowe, S., Vartabedian, M. A., & Kopczak, C. (2012). Evidence for family engagement in scientific reasoning at interactive animal exhibits. Science Education, 96(6), 10471070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klopfer, E., Perry, J., Squire, K., Jan, M.-F., & Steinkuehler, C. (2005). Mystery at the Museum: A collaborative game for museum education. In Proceedings of the 2005 Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Learning 2005: The Next 10 Years! Taipei, Taiwan.Google Scholar
Knutson, K. (2019). Rethinking museum/community partnerships: Science and natural history museums and the challenges of communicating climate change. In Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication (pp. 101113). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2010). Connecting with art: How families talk about art in a museum setting. In Stein, M. K. & Kucan, L. (Eds.), Instructional explanations in the disciplines (pp. 189206). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krange, I., Silseth, K., & Pierroux, P. (2019). Peers, teachers and guides: A study of three conditions for scaffolding conceptual learning in science centers. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 15(1), 241263. doi:10.1007/s11422-018-9905-xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leinhardt, G., & Knutson, K. (2004). Listening in on museum conversations. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
Lewi, H., Smith, W., vom Lehn, D., & Cooke, S. (Eds.). (2020) The Routledge international handbook of new digital practices in galleries, libraries, archives, museums and heritage sites. London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Louw, M., & Crowley, K. (2013). New ways of looking and learning in natural history museums: The use of gigapixel imaging to bring science and publics together. Curator, 52(1), 87104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Malinverni, L., Schaper, M.-M., & Pares, N. (2019). Multimodal methodological approach for participatory design of full-body interaction learning environments. Qualitative Research, 19(1), 7189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Matusov, E., & Rogoff, B. (1995). Evidence of development from people’s participation in communities of learners. In Falk, J. H. & Dierking, L. D. (Eds.), Public institutions for personal learning: Establishing a research agenda (pp. 97104). Washington, DC: American Association of Museums.Google Scholar
McIlvenny, P. (2020). The future of ‘video’ in video-based qualitative research is not ‘dumb’ flat pixels! Exploring volumetric performance capture and immersive performative replay. Qualitative Research, 20(6), 800818. doi:10.1177/1468794120905460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McManus, P. (1985). Worksheet-induced behaviour in the British Museum (Natural History). Journal of Biological Education, 19(3), 237242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Melber, L. M. (2007). Maternal scaffolding in two museum exhibition halls. Curator, 50(3), 341354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mortensen, M. F., & Smart, K. (2007). Free-choice worksheets increase students’ exposure to curriculum during museum visits. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(9), 13891414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Naismith, L., Lonsdale, P., Vavoula, G., & Sharples, M. (2006). Report 11: Literature review in mobile technologies and learning. Bristol: FutureLab Series. Retrieved from www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/futl15/futl15.pdfGoogle Scholar
Newen, A., De Bruin, L., & Gallagher, S. (Eds.). (2018). The Oxford handbook of 4E cognition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Palmquist, S. D., & Crowley, K. (2007). From teachers to testers: Parents’ role in child expertise development in informal settings. Science Education, 91(5), 712732.Google Scholar
Parker, E., & Saker, M. (2020). Art museums and the incorporation of virtual reality: Examining the impact of VR on spatial and social norms. Convergence, 26(5–6), 11591173. doi:10.1177/1354856519897251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parry, R. (2007). Recoding the museum: Digital heritage and the technologies of change. London, England: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parry, R. (2010). Museums in a digital age. London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Pavement, P. (2019). The museum as media producer: Innovation before the digital age. In Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication (pp. 3146). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Pierroux, P. (2019). Learning and engagement in museum mediascapes. In Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication (pp. 128142). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Pierroux, P., Krange, I., & Sem, I. (2011). Bridging contexts and interpretations: Mobile blogging on art museum field trips. Mediekultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 27(50), 2544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pierroux, P., Sauge, B., & Steier, R. (2021). Exhibitions as a collaborative research space for university-museum partnerships. In Achiam, M., Haldrup, M., & Drotner, K. (Eds.), Experimental museology: Institutions, representations, users (pp. 149166). London, England: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Samis, P. (2019). Revisiting the utopian promise of interpretive media: An autoethnographic analysis drawn from art museums, 1991–2017. In Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication (pp. 4766). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Sangrà, A., Raffaghelli, J. E., & Veletsianos, G. (2019). Lifelong learning ecologies: Linking formal and informal contexts of learning in the digital era. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(4), 16151618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schwan, S., Grajal, A., & Lewalter, D. (2014). Understanding and engagement in places of science experience: Science museums, science centers, zoos, and aquariums. Educational Psychologist, 49(2), 7085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Screven, C. G. (1986). Exhibitions and information centers: Some principles and approaches. Curator, 29(2), 109137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Selvakumar, M., & Storksdieck, M. (2013). Portal to the public: Museum educators collaborating with scientists to engage museum visitors with current science. Curator, 56(1), 6978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shapiro, B. R., & Hall, R. (2017). Making engagement visible: The use of Mondrian transcripts in a museum. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (Vol. 1, pp. 3340). Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
Siegel, D. R., Esterly, J. A., Callanan, M. A., Wright, R., & Navarro, R. (2007). Conversations about science across activities in Mexican‐descent families. International Journal of Science Education, 29(12), 14471466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simon, N. (2010). The participatory museum. Retrieved from http://www.participatorymuseum.org/Google Scholar
Sobel, D., & Lipson, J. L. (Eds.). (2016). Cognitive development in museum settings. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
Stapp, C. B. (2008). Defining museum literacy. In Nichols, S. K. (Ed.), Patterns in practice: Selections from the Journal of Museum Education (pp. 112117). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907–39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steier, R. (2014). Posing the question: Visitor posing as embodied interpretation in an art museum. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 21(2), 148170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steier, R. (2020). Designing for joint attention and co-presence across parallel realities. In Gresalfi, M. & Horn, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) (Vol. 3, pp. 13091316).Google Scholar
Steiner, M. A., Lyon, M., & Crowley, K. (2020). Museums that connect science and citizen: Using boundary objects and networks to encourage dialogue and collective response to wicked, socio-scientific problems. In Hetland, P., Pierroux, P., & Esborg, L. (Eds.), A history of participation in museums and archives: Traversing citizen science and citizen humanities (pp. 211235). London, England: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stevens, R., & Martell, S. T. (2003). Leaving a trace: Supporting museum visitor interaction and interpretation with digital media annotation systems. The Journal of Museum Education, 28(2), 2531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Streeck, J. (2009). Depicting gestures: Examples of the analysis of embodied communication in the arts of the West. Gesture, 9(1), 134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuedahl, D. (2019). Participation in design and changing practices of museum development. In Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of museums, media and communication (pp. 219231). London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
Tallon, L., & Walker, K. (Eds.). (2008). Digital technologies and the museum experience: Handheld guides and other media. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
Vom Lehn, D. (2006). The body as interactive display: Examining bodies in a public exhibition. Sociology of Health & Illness, 28(2), 223251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vom Lehn, D., & Heath, C. (2005). Accounting for new technology in museum exhibitions. Marketing Management, 7(3), 1121.Google Scholar
Vom Lehn, D., Heath, C., & Hindmarsh, J. (2001). Exhibiting interaction: Conduct and collaboration in museums and galleries. Symbolic Interaction, 24(2), 189216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Watson, B., & Werb, S. R. (2013). One hundred strong: A colloquium on transforming natural history museums in the twenty-first century. Curator, 56(2), 255265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wertsch, J. (1991). Voices of the mind: A sociocultural approach to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Wilkening, S., & Chung, J. (2009). Life stages of the museum visitor: Building engagement over a lifetime: Washington, DC: American Association of Museums.Google Scholar
Wishart, J., & Triggs, P. (2010). MuseumScouts: Exploring how schools, museums and interactive technologies can work together to support learning. Computers & Education, 54(3), 669678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×