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In Principle, In Practice: Museums as Learning Institutions

Overview

The science museum field has made tremendous advances in understanding museum learning, but little has been done to consolidate and synethesize these findings to encourage widespread improvements in practice. By clearly presenting the most current knowledge of museum learning, In Principle, In Practice aims to promote effective programs and exhibitions, identify promising approaches for future research, and develop strategies for implementing and sustaining connections between research and practice in the museum ...

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In Principle, In Practice: Museums as Learning Institutions

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Overview

The science museum field has made tremendous advances in understanding museum learning, but little has been done to consolidate and synethesize these findings to encourage widespread improvements in practice. By clearly presenting the most current knowledge of museum learning, In Principle, In Practice aims to promote effective programs and exhibitions, identify promising approaches for future research, and develop strategies for implementing and sustaining connections between research and practice in the museum community.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This anthology is the first in a series of Learning Innovations. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
— K. Marantz, emeritus, Ohio State University
Muse
This collection of articles is packed with useful information, examples of exciting museum practice and some research reports that are, at times, pretty heavy going....It is a worthy addition to the Top Ten Museum Education Books started by Christine Castle on the Ham-Ed blog.
— May/June 2008
CHOICE - K. Marantz
This anthology is the first in a series of Learning Innovations. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
Dennis Schatz
This will be a useful book for people in the field, especially those new to the profession who want to understand where the field stands today on how people learn in a museum setting. Those with more of a research bent will find a number of the articles enlightening. Practitioners will find structures that help them improve their practice. And those who wish to think deeply about the meaning and purpose of museums will be inspired.
Dan Freas
In Principle, In Practice should quickly become one of the primary sources of information and guidance for any museum seeking to optimize its role as a learning institution. This compilation of knowledge gained from years of studying learning in museums, combined with practical advice for fostering learning through museum experiences, will be a valuable tool for museum professionals for years to come.
Robert R. Janes
This book is a provocative inquiry into what learning means in a museum environment, and academics and practitioners alike will find lasting value in this broad, deep, and rich exploration of the museum experience. Because learning lies at the heart of a museum’s public value, In Principle, In Practice is essential reading for all those who care about the meaning and value of museums as social institutions.
Carol A. Parssinen
In Principle, In Practice offers a vital progress report on museum-based learning research to the international community of museum professionals. The essays, taken together, show that the learning research field is in media res, but has made enormous strides over the past decade.
Spring 2008 The Tamale
The contents of the book are worthy...
Muse - May/June 2008
This collection of articles is packed with useful information, examples of exciting museum practice and some research reports that are, at times, pretty heavy going....It is a worthy addition to the Top Ten Museum Education Books started by Christine Castle on the Ham-Ed blog.
Summer 2008 History News
The articles share visitor and learning research results, innovative learning and community collaboration case studies, ideas for more meaningfully engaging larger audiences, and visions of what can be studied and designed for future museum experiences....In Principle, In Practice provides an important resource for museum education professionals.
4/21/2010 Recollections
This holistic approach provides a more balanced approach to education that encompasses not only learning, but critical evauation of the methodology of teaching and the contructions of knowledge. Museum educators, especiallt curators, would benefit from more critical analysis of the methods they use to construct knowledge and communicate information to visitors. This in itself might deliver more appropriate learning outcomes for visitors in the next decade..."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759109766
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2007
  • Series: Learning Innovations Series
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

John H. Falk Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. Lynn D. Dierking is professor of science and mathematics at Oregon State University. Susan Foutz is a research associate at the Institute for Learning Innovation in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

1 Foreword 2 Preface 3 Part I: How People Learn in Museums 4 1. Towards an Improved Understanding of Learning from Museums: Filmmaking as Metaphor 5 2. Family Learning in Museums: Perspectives on a Decade of Research 6 3. Students, Teachers and Museums: Toward an Intertwined Learning Circle 7 4. Exhibit Design in Science Museums: Dealing with a Constructivist Dilemma 8 5. Research on Learning from Museums 9 Part II: Engaging Audiences in Meaningful Learning 10 6. Envisioning the Customized Museum: An Agenda to Guide Reflective Practice and Research 11 7. Museums and Cultural Understanding 12 8. Raising the Relevancy Bar at Aquariums and Science Centers 13 9. Challenging Convention and Communicating Controversy: Learning Through Issues-Based Museum Exhibitions 14 Part III: Fostering a Learning-Centered Culture in our Institutions 15 10. New Ways of Doing Business 16 11. Optimizing Learning Opportunities in Museums: The Role of Organizational Culture 17 12. Fostering Effective Free-Choice Learning Institutions: Integrating Theory, Research, Practice and Policymaking 18 13. Meaningful Collaboration 19 Part IV: Investigating Museum Learning in the Next Ten Years 20 14. Understanding the Long-Term Impacts of Museum Experiences 21 15. Investigating Socially Mediated Learning 22 16. Research in Museums: Coping With Complexity 23 17. An Emerging Research Framework for Studying Free-Choice Learning and Schools

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