Learning At The Museum: Themes In Cultural Comprehension Through Exhibitions

Chapter 1: Background and Methodology

Museums as Learning based institutions for recreation

Museums allow individuals to interact with realistic replicas of entities previously in existence. Children are often fascinated by unique collections that are often the most memorable of cultural experiences because of awe-inspiring depictions. Many educators believe that working with real predicaments and demonstrations can make learning more meaningful. This is because a visit to such exhibits can create a much more specific type of learning than what can be created within the classroom.

Since there are more dimensions of tactile and other experiential aspects available through a museum experiences that involve visiting a specific site or exhibit allow students to see things in motion. Team building and immersion within their nature of inquiry are often used to build esteem within small group settings. Another aspect of museum exploration that is beneficial is the presence of an expert. The style of presentation is slightly different from a teacher’s presentation and may encourage children to question in different ways. It also allows teachers to communicate content in different way that are beneficial to the overall learning that students benefit from. The prevalence of this phenomenon of interest culminate within the scientific and social viewpoint of inquiry.

Museums share a commitment to engagement and cultural advancement. Since learning opportunities involve a host of educational media it is possible for enjoyable experiences to be provided through exhibitions and galleries. These entities serve education for the public, organized groups, and schools. Just as millions of dollars are invested on a yearly basis towards cultivating educational exhibitions, so are resources contributed by professionals and related individuals. It is a steady fact that people can gather information and actually learn from museums. These processes are related to cultivating meaning in ones life and can have farther-reaching outcomes than what is provided by the exact topic of discussion. This makes it possible for the context to elucidate what is surrounded.

There are a variety of benefits to learning that museums and galleries can provide. With specific relevance to young learners they can provide unique or unusual means of achieving curriculum targets. According to National Curriculum the best learning practices involve holistic techniques and theories. By encouraging unique methods of learning, it is possible to stimulate the sense and create an environment conducive to creativity and curiosity. Museums and Exhibits further enable schools to work together with other aspects of cultural and anthropological to solve complex problems.

This can be beneficial to those who are deterred by classroom learning or may be less likely to access emotions and ideas in non-verbal modalities. Aside from enhancing the learning experience, exhibitions allow greater self-esteem and achievement through successful patterns and thinking. These now learning avenues extend beyond the school setting and involve community members as well as parents. Since these members are tangentially involved with the learning process field trips and interactive experiences diversify the nature of learning and promote it in a holistic way.

Learning is a complex and dynamic process that requires the specific attention of the individual to immediate situations and also towards the overall meaning they find from societal and cultural values. One method of understanding this process is visualizing that an individual builds their understanding over time. Each layer adds to the value and captivation of their understanding of life and the various forces intertwined within. From the perspective of psychology, learning is considered ever changing. It is an infinite process that makes meaning over time.

Scientific discovery is further exalted through museums and exhibitions. It is possible to provide new and stimulation environments, access to rich media, and to encourage the experiential aspects of learning for young students. This supports in-depth research and creative mastery of abstract ideas. By providing a meaningful experience to students children can understand their curriculum and gain access to a burgeoning quality of experiences. This was demonstrated to be particularly useful in terms of the National core curriculum. Museums and exhibitions are further beneficial in topic related cross-curricular assessments. It was found that the most efficacious projects required a partnership between the museum and school. They allowed teachers to use interpretations and deliver history as well as geography through verified objectives. The uses of pointed activities create the most meaningful value in education and services provided to students.

There are different aspects of documenting learning that can be used in order for the museum’s experiences to be evaluated. Educators, policy makers, psychologists have had difficulty in the past creating effective methods of understanding this process that takes place almost subconsciously amongst audience through the pursuit of knowledge. Some questions that may reflect the impact an exhibit has on the individual are:

These are some basic questions that address the cumulative process of acquiring knowledge and learning. It demonstrates an aspect of learning identified as ‘free-choice’. This form of attribution happens when an individual visits a museum, reads an article, speaks to someone or even utilizes the Internet. This is a nonlinear and personally motivated way of acquiring knowledge. It is characterized by a personal motivation or requirement of choice about what and where they are acquiring knowledge.

One project attempted to create a diversified analysis of the implementation that exhibitions can have within a dynamic academic environment. In a three phase project it was identified several schools with low literacy. Teachers who saw the exhibition and were invited to join a larger pool of schools in the second phase. Finally, a larger group of 72 institutions were used to create a multimedia gallery. Pupils found the project to be interesting and captivating on the specific topic of textiles from Mughal dynasties. As part of the project work that was created by the students in certain phases were incorporated into the exhibit. Activities include reflection conversation of writing about these topics to delineate the learning experience.

This is one documented case where learning through a multimedia platform such as exhibitions was demonstrated to be effective. It created a further sense of security and ownership with the material that made the overall learning experience dynamic and integrated. The greatest benefits this type of program offered the students was a continuously growing experience to engage with, open-ended activities, and modalities of individual interest.

This research illustrated the use of several new technologies to create a better experience for each student and individual interested in the concepts presented at the museum. The Internet, as well as video have been received with some criticism but nevertheless can help illustrate large amounts of content in a simplistic way. Video conferencing as well as interactive media that individuals can touch or otherwise perceive are also finding their way throughout traditional museum displays and exhibition styles. These new technologies have the potential to create an environment for creativity and innovation while being challenging. They also promote large audiences and expand boundaries or appeal to all types of students. These are important for providing contact and sustainability. Since there are prevalent groups of information that will relate to the use of museums in a long-term capacity it is useful to find the different implementation aspects of individual technologies.

There are a number of ways that documentation of learning experiences through museum encounters. These primarily center on the individualized experiences of interviewees. Randomly identified participants can provide meaningful evidence of a group experience. Conducting interviews after securing permission and identifying to what extent things are possible allow for the best first hand information. Post visit interviews identify why a person visited the museum as well as what actually interested them in terms of information during the visit. This process demonstrates an alternative way of providing evidence for a broad type of audience. It also illustrates the specific nature of interview experiences in terms of what they can illustrate about the learning that takes place in a museum.

Some aspects of learning that have been gathered from this process include that learning flows from appropriate motivation and emotions, and is ultimately facilitated by personal interest. Knowledge is constructed from a basis of experience and knowledge, while being expressed within the most appropriate contexts. Another important component to learning is the experiential element. All of the sights, sounds, feelings and emotions that are associated with a particular experience play a part in the way that learning transpires. Since learning is intrinsically motivated there are a variety of benefits that can be provided within museum environments that motivate the process. This is even more useful in free-choice learning that often takes place when the learner has the mental resources to challenge himself or herself. It prompts the engaging features of education that can stimulate creativity. It was found in one study that children were more likely to approach a half-completed puzzle or maze than one that was totally apart or completed. This helps create a meaningful and intrinsic value for each experience. It also captivates the meaning of a tactile, auditory or visual experience and quantifies it in a lasting way.

Aside from the benefits to students there are a number of qualities that can be enhanced when professionals are involved with the maintenance and promotion of cultural galleries. Professionals may learn to tackle difficult constraints as well as project management goals. Further this cultivates an environment for appreciation of the potential that educational projects can have. The benefits of learning through museums can encourage the integration of community efforts and the betterment of multiple styles of development in exhibitions and galleries alike.

Another paradigm that is useful in categorizing the affects of learning include measuring the conversation that people have while they are in a particular exhibit. Йuantitative information can be extrapolated from learning conversation in order elaborate and properly identify with explanatory engagement. Differentiating between six types of museums and multiple formations of visiting groups becomes possible in analysis of these areas. Novel methodology and analysis for analyzing conversation is the process needed to understand learning outcomes without creating further assessment of attendees. Therefore this model presents a unique approach to documentation of learning for museums. It is through this inquiry that it is possible for the exchange and creation of processes that are clear and useful to cultivating new means of inserting technology. Their earliest research emphasizes the importance of cultivating learning and documenting its effects. This is seen throughout the texts where museum conversation is monitored. They further characterize this as a societal problem:

“After a year and a half of serious work on the issue of learning in museums we have refined our understanding of the issues that must be addressed if we are to advance research on exactly how learning is affected by museum experiences. As with all scientific endeavors, clarifying the problems and sharpening the questions are the principal ways in which we can make progress. In our initial proposal we noted the central problem of the lack of theoretical coherence in extant museum learning research and we proposed that using socio-cultural theory would be advantageous”.

In order to assess the months of learning that transpired from the museum experience, it was important for investigators to analyze conversational elaborations. This is found to be a significant indicator of topic that was being discussed. Amongst coherent conversational groups, particular elements from their experience especially those that had been conversed about before would be indulged in with greater detail and an analytical ability after connecting with experiences with the museum. These connection points are beneficial in creating a lasting system of learning and integrating information.

Phenomenon can be gauged by listing, synthesizing, analyzing and explaining. These premises allow for the development of social roles as well as an understanding with the conversational it's necessary to accurately compare across the museum setting. The methods of research taking place within the museum that has been focused on conversation tense emphasize the amount of talk or indications that learning is taking place. Conversations in non-Museum settings have been traced prior to analyzing this particular environment. The basic research questions that must be asked in order to properly quantify learning within a museum setting is how to conversation as a social activity both process emotions and an outcome of the museum learning experience. One theoretical model that can be applied to learning in museums illustrates that conversational elaboration is cohesive amongst groups that visit the museum and engage in explanatory activities. Studies of this variety encompass collinear regression models and specify the complex relations between multiple dimensions and qualities of being.

This model identifies identity as a reflection of motivation and interest combined with prior knowledge. The system investigates intrapersonal relationships as a dimension for concerns. It also looks at the learners past experiences with in science, art and history. These interests are expressed in varying capacities and within a cohesive group must be identified separately. The specific and general ideas associated with identity can form together for a family identity. Certain groups contrast with others in terms of their identity and expectations creating a further complex method of categorization. Another aspect of this model is explanatory engagement. This involves interpretation, meaning and exclamation processes. Social traction within the museum requires the product of multiple forces, somatic to see language similarities between exhibits and the relationships of experiences in previous settings. This dimension allows for conversation regarding connecting points between the present and past experiences to take place. Further the covers of model will allow people to say and voice their opinions and interconnected and burgeoning way.

Another aspect of this paradigm is learning environments. This invention relates to how group deliberation and employ the support services available in the museum to learn about the exhibit. Based on which forms of text, models and activities allow for learning it is possible to identify specific learning environment of the group. Explanatory engagement and learning environments differ in the construction and tactics needed for learning within the museum. These two dimensions work with one another and advance the conversations within museum research. It also illustrates the diversified nature of benefits that individuals can gain from museums as their primary learning modalities for engaging with resources and creating meaningful and dynamic memories associated with certain concepts.

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