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Learning from Museums


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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Chapter 1. Learning from Museums: An Introduction Chapter 2. The Personal Dimensions of Free-Choice Learning Chapter 3. The Sociocultural Dimensions of Learning Chapter 4. The Physical Dimensions of Learning Chapter 5. The Dimensions of Time (and Space) Chapter 6. Museums and the Individual Chapter 7. Communities of Learning Chapter 8. Museums as Spaces and Places for Learning Chapter 9. The Contextual Model of Learning Chapter 10. Documenting Learning from Museums Chapter 11. Supporting Learning in and from Museums Chapter 12. Museums in a Learning Society Chapter 13. The Future of Museum as Institutions of Learning References Index

About the Author

John H. Falk is Executive Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Sea Grant Professor Emeritus of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. He is known internationally for his work in the area of free-choice learning; the learning that occurs while visiting museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums, parks, watching educational television or surfing the Internet for information. His recent research has focused on studying the long-term impacts of free-choice learning institutions; understanding why people utilize free-choice learning settings during their leisure time and helping cultural institutions of all kinds re-think their future positioning and business models in the 21st century. Dr. Falk has authored over two hundred scholarly articles and chapters and has published more than a dozen books in this and related areas; among them, Born to Choose (Falk, 2017), The Museum Experience Revisited (Falk & Dierking, 2014), Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience (Falk, 2009), and Thriving in the Knowledge Age (Falk & Sheppard, 2006). Lynn D. Dierking is Director of Strategy & Partnerships, Institute for Learning Innovation, and Professor, Free-Choice Learning, Oregon State University. Her research on lifelong, out-of-school learning (after-school, home- and community-based contexts), with youth and families, focuses primarily on youth/families living in poverty and/or not historically engaged in free-choice learning from cultural institutions/organizations. Dr. Dierking is PI of a US-NSF project, SYNERGIES: Customizing Interventions to Sustain Youth STEM Interest and Participation Pathways, studying youths' STEM interest and participation longitudinally in an under-resourced community. She also is co-PI of a US-NSF/UK-Wellcome Trust Science Learning+ Partnership project, Partnering for `Equitable STEM Pathways' for Youth Underrepresented in STEM. She is on Editorial Boards for Connected Science Learning, Afterschool Matters and Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship. Awards include the 2010 American Alliance of Museums' John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership and a 2016 NARST Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research award for helping to establish the field of free-choice learning research.


In this second edition of Learning in Museums, Falk and Dierking present a model for understanding how we learn in museums, based upon the individual, sociocultural, and physical contexts. Both rich in content and easy to read, this book presents a contextual model of learning which is not just a profound analysis but a structured how-to, and the authors' significant background in research and deep understanding of museums' role in society lends weight to their recommendations. -- Silvia Singer, CEO, MIDE Museo Interactivo de Economia

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