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ERIC Number: ED257706
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Pages: 52
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum in Museums.
Beer, Valorie
The purposes of this study were to describe and define nonschool education according to curricular elements, suggest relationships between school and museum curricular elements and perspectives, and construct a heuristic device for curriculum elements and perspectives that will guide further study. Using a curricular model from "A Study of Schooling" (Goodlad and Associates 1979), nine curriculum variables (goals and objectives, materials, content, learning activities, strategies, evaluation, grouping, time, and space), and two perspectives (formal and experiential) were considered. Ten metropolitan museums were analyzed for 160 hours. A total of 1,686 visitors were observed and 12 full-time professional curators were interviewed. Using an observation guide to determine the experiential perspective of museum visitors and an interview guide to determine the formal perspective of curators, data were analyzed and categorized. Findings show that (1) visitors who had casual or social goals read the same amount of text, engaged in the same number of activities, and experienced as many displays as did knowledge-seeking visitors, (2) displays that combined materials drew the most attention, especially if they included visual, auditory, and tactile materials, (3) watching other visitors operate a device was preferred over reading directions for its use, and (4) as many as half the displays were skipped entirely. Implications for curriculum planning in museums and a heuristic device for the study of curriculum are discussed. Definitions, study instruments, and references are also provided. (LH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A