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ERIC Number: EJ1074975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
Do Zoo Visitors Come to Learn? An Internationally Comparative, Mixed-Methods Study
Roe, Katie; McConney, Andrew
Environmental Education Research, v21 n6 p865-884 2015
Zoo visitors go to see animals, but are they there to learn? This mixed-methods study examines visitor learning from both zoos' and visitors' perspectives using qualitative and quantitative data. Five hundred and forty zoo visitor interviews from nine case studies provide insight into visitor intentions, which indicate that the majority of visitors (72%) arrive at zoos with a learning agenda. Over 170 zoos across 48 countries also report, via an online questionnaire, that the majority of their visitors come to learn. In contrast, however, 28 face-to-face zoo education staff interviewed at the nine case study sites suggests a different conclusion. The study also indicates that zoos appear to determine visitors' intentions through a number of methods, but are most heavily reliant on informal measures with only 15% of zoos using both formal and informal processes. Juxtaposing these findings suggests that zoos' reliance on informal measures of visitor intentions appears to provide them with a less than accurate picture of their visitors' learning agendas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A