This study was to explore how visitor  learning is constructed, especially the interaction between visitors in natural history museum. Natural history  museums are places where people see and enjoy the exhibits,  and  talk and  learn  from  each  other. A  growing  number  of educators  have  pemeived  and expected that informal institutional  settings like natural history museums could play  a more active role in  science teaching  and leaning.  Whereas  only a  few years  ago  it could  be fairly  stated  that it  was unclear whether visitors  to museums truly learned,  today the same could not  be said. There have  been researches examining individual  student’s cognitive and affective  gains from experiences at museums. However, visitor learning as complex  experience of the exhibits cannot be understood in detail  without understanding  the  dialogue  which the  visitors  with  their  family  or  friends  share through  dynamic interactions.  Contextual Model  of Learning  was used  as a  theoretical  construct for  exploring visitor learning. For  this study, the  participants were  two university students.  They moved  naturally through the exhibition with no predetermined path in a  natural history museum in Korea. Data were gathered in the  form  of  audio-recorded  dyadic  discourses  at   and  between  exhibits.  The  discourse  data  were transcribed  and  analyzed   based  on  contextual  model   of  learning.  The  findings   included  several influential   factors  for   museum  learning   experiences.   The  factors   in  the   contexts   of  personal,sociocultural,  and  physical  are  partly   interrelated,  and  sometimes  they  influence  on  the  visitors’experiences.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Acase study on dyadic inter action in Natural History Museum

Sun-Kyung Lee   Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Chan-Jong Kim   Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

This study was to explore how visitor  learning is constructed, especially the interaction between visitors in natural history museum. Natural history  museums are places where people see and enjoy the exhibits,  and  talk and  learn  from  each  other. A  growing  number  of educators  have  pemeived  and expected that informal institutional  settings like natural history museums could play  a more active role in  science teaching  and leaning.  Whereas  only a  few years  ago  it could  be fairly  stated  that it  was unclear whether visitors  to museums truly learned,  today the same could not  be said. There have  been researches examining individual  student’s cognitive and affective  gains from experiences at museums. However, visitor learning as complex  experience of the exhibits cannot be understood in detail  without understanding  the  dialogue  which the  visitors  with  their  family  or  friends  share through  dynamic interactions.  Contextual Model  of Learning  was used  as a  theoretical  construct for  exploring visitor learning. For  this study, the  participants were  two university students.  They moved  naturally through the exhibition with no predetermined path in a  natural history museum in Korea. Data were gathered in the  form  of  audio-recorded  dyadic  discourses  at   and  between  exhibits.  The  discourse  data  were transcribed  and  analyzed   based  on  contextual  model   of  learning.  The  findings   included  several influential   factors  for   museum  learning   experiences.   The  factors   in  the   contexts   of  personal,sociocultural,  and  physical  are  partly   interrelated,  and  sometimes  they  influence  on  the  visitors’experiences.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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