A culture of learning in the informal museum setting?

Publisher:
University of Canberra
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 2002, 9 (1), pp. 125 - 139
Issue Date:
2002-01
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An interactive science exhibition was used as the basis for a study of young children's behaviour and learning in an informal setting. Young primary school children were observed during school excursions to the exhibition, and the interactions of the children with the exhibits, with each other and with the adults supervising the visit were examined. In the context of this exhibition, learning was enhanced by student interaction with other students, and by the involvement of supervisory adults in guiding the students in the exploration of the activities provided. It is suggested that an appropriate environment for learning in this informal museum environment, is one where the children are free to interact with their peers, where the activities encourage co-operative activity between students, and where assistance from adult supervisors is available to facilitate student investigation of exhibits. Teachers, parents and museum staff involved in school visits to the informal setting need to take an active role in promoting a culture of learning.
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