Adult museum visitors' learning identities

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Final thesis presentation given at AARE 2006 conference

Transcript of Adult museum visitors' learning identities

  • 1. Visitors and learners: A dult museum visitors learning identities Lynda Kelly, University of Technology, Sydney

2. Research questions

  • What are the interrelationships between adult museum visitors views of learning and their learning experiences at a museum?
    • Relationships between learning, education and entertainment
  • How does a visit to a museum exhibition interact with an adult visitors learning identity?
    • How does the roles played during a visit influence learning identity?

3. The challenges we face

  • Conceptual shift for museums
    • educationtolearning
    • responding to learners & communities
    • lifelong learning & educational leisure
    • demonstrate outcomes/performance
  • Visitors learning agendas
  • Confusion between learning & education
  • Dumbing down & entertainment
  • Thematise learning

4.

  • Stage One: Individual
  • Pilot studies (n=7)
  • In-depth interviews (n=8)
  • Questionnaire (n=100)
  • Telephone survey (n=300)
  • Literature Review: Identity and Learning
  • General learning theories
  • Theories influencing museum learning
  • How word learning has been researched
  • General definitions of identity
  • Identity and museums
  • How identity has been researched in museums
  • Stage Two: Sociocultural
  • Five families; five couples:
    • Pre & post-visit interviews
    • Observations
    • Conversation analysis

5. Literature findings

  • Learning is
    • an essential part of being human
    • linked to identity & sense of self
    • about change
  • Education is
    • imposed, formal, prescriptive
    • negative!
  • Identity is
    • how a person sees themselves & how others see them
    • changing
    • shaped by social context & community membership
    • past, present & future

6. Museums as places for identity work(Rounds, 2006, p.133-150)

  • the processes through which we construct, maintain, and adapt our sense of personal identity, and persuade other people to believe in that identity
  • Focus on what people aredoingabout their identity

7. Learning identity

  • How an individuals see themselves as a learner;
  • within a sociocultural context;
  • including future views of self as a learner; and
  • the role learning plays across a persons life.

8.

  • PLACE
  • school
  • museums, galleries,
  • cultural institutions
  • libraries
  • Internet
  • environment/nature
  • life

MUSEUM LEARNING

  • PROCESS
  • doing something:
    • gathering
    • choosing
    • understanding
    • applying
    • linking
    • discovering
    • assimilating
    • acquiring
    • expanding
    • exploring
    • increasing
    • reminiscing
    • explaining
    • accumulating
    • questioning
    • thinking
    • hands-on
  • facts & ideas
  • objects & tools
  • short & long-term
  • cognitive & physical
  • surface & deep
  • PURPOSE
  • motivation
  • interests
  • enjoyment
  • change
  • choice
  • PEOPLE
  • family
  • friends, colleagues
  • work peers
  • community
  • professionals:
    • museum staff
    • teachers
  • PERSON
  • prior knowledge
  • experience
  • role
  • gender
  • cultural background
  • lived history
  • personal interest
  • personal change
  • meaning making
  • seeing in different way

9. PERSON

  • Expanding your knowledge, a new aspect on life(Interview #11)
  • Finding your place in the world. Engaging with the world in a way to discover more about it and make sense of things. Thats the big picture(Interview #40)
  • Being able to put pieces of information together[to]draw conclusions(Interview #71)
  • New things that add to your body of knowledge(Interview #78)

10. PEOPLE sometimes wed bounce off something of interest to ourselves, then wed look at it a bit more, wander off. Then wed come together a few times to have a look at things.I also learned a bit more about my friends. I didnt know they had an interest in[tattoos]either, and you sort of learn more of what theyre about as well .(Interview Transcript 3.4, 24/02/01) 11. PROCESS

  • Opening the mind to new experience (Interview #4)
  • Acquiring new knowledge and applying that (Interview #5)
  • Expanding your knowledge about an area by a variety of means (Interview #11)
  • An understanding of how things work (Interview #42)

12. PURPOSE Obviously[learning is]something thats not boring, something thats not passive, so its more of an active thing Something where you choose to be involved, that youre interested in doing.(Interview Transcript 3.1, 22/11/00) 13. PLACE 1

  • Libraries
  • Museums, galleries, other cultural institutions
  • University, school, formal education
  • Internet
  • Holiday destinations, the environment

14. PLACE 2 Eddie. Look at the seahorses. Cath. Like the one in the salt water. Bree. Theyre just so cute and they swim along Eddie. Id hate to be bitten by these fish, look atthe teeth! Cath. But they dont normally attack.When wego to Port Stephens next week we shouldgo and find the white seahorses. Wouldntthat be mad if we see one and we go, thatsa white seahorse. The guys going to justlook at us[and go]how do you know that! 15. Differences

  • Varied responses to word learning
  • General language differed
    • learning = active
    • education = process
  • Choice
  • Education delivers learning
  • Entertainment described differently:
    • fleeting, short-term, good time
    • uses all senses
    • feelings & emotions

16. 17. Learning is

  • Lifelong & lifewide
  • Fluid
    • changes with the context
  • Adaptive
  • Active
  • Shared & solitary
  • Meaning making
  • An integral part ofidentity

18. Learning identity changed

  • learning more than thought they would (F1)
  • being surprised that they talked a great deal more than usual (F2)
  • discovering a range of new animals related to ones they already knew about (F5)
  • changing from a top-level reader-learner to becoming absorbed and reading all the texts (F5)
  • being surprised at what they discovered about nature, realising if Museum didnt have these things we would never know about them (C4)

19. Learning identity did not change: exhibition matched it

  • C3:
    • taking what we know and making connections from what is in that to the exhibition
    • read and process

20. Learning identity did not change: reinforced hownotlike to learn

  • F3:
    • Immersive learner forced to use browsing strategies
  • F4:
    • Not engaging enough for the whole family
  • C1:
    • Not enough challenge
    • Didnt engage them emotionally
  • C2:
    • Not enoug