Facilitating Family Learning in Museums: Re-thinking Our Assumptions and Approaches

Date: 
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Resource Type:
Edited Chapter | Research
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Audience: 
Families | Parents/Caregivers
Discipline: 
Education and learning science | General STEM
Organization:
TERC Inc.
Description: 

Although museums have long valued and catered to families as an audience, museum educators have not always had the tools or training to support the unique nature of family learning or to develop family-specific approaches that are distinct from classroom teaching. In this chapter, we outline a series of research-based principles for understanding family learning and provide examples to illustrate how these principles play out in museums. Specifically, we highlight the importance of (a) recognizing that families have multiple goals, (b) appreciating the central role of parents and other adult family members, and (b) understanding how a museum visit is a brief moment in a family’s long-term learning trajectory. We then explore how these principles might be used to inform new approaches to the facilitation of family learning in museums and provide an example of a professional development resource intended to help educators incorporate these principles into their practice.

Funder(s): 
NSF
Funding Program: 
AISL
Award Number: 
1321666
Funding Amount: 
$790,066
Citation
ISBN:
978-1-5381-4861-7
Publication Name: 
Museum education for today's audiences: Meeting expectations with new models
Document:

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