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ERIC Number: EJ804097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
Researching Museum Educators' Perceptions of their Roles, Identity, and Practice
Bailey, Elsa B.
Journal of Museum Education, v31 n3 p175-198 Fall 2006
This article presents research relating to how science museum educators perceive their roles, identity, and practice. This qualitative study examines: (1) what brings museum educators to and sustains them in their profession; (2) how museum educators view their roles and work; and (3) what knowledge, skills, and attitudes museum educators identify as critical to their work. Findings show that museum educators have a strong value system that has attracted them to and sustains them in this profession, including a need to "make a difference." They primarily view themselves as educators and get great satisfaction from sparking the learning process. They enjoy interacting with people, developing relationships, and working collaboratively. They are drawn toward creative opportunities and challenges and have a thirst for learning. They appear to thrive in the changing, non-traditional, and sometimes chaotic environment of museum work. The skills and knowledge they identify as key to museum work include knowledge of teaching and learning, presentation skills, science content knowledge, project management skills, and organizational savvy. They enjoy working in informal learning environments, and convey strong positive feelings about their work as it offers them stimulation, autonomy, social interaction, variety, creative freedom, and flexibility. The work challenges they cite include feeling stressed by workloads, time constraints, a changing work climate, and the pressures of working in non-profits in terms of job insecurity and lack of resources. Overall, the museum educators in this study expressed a strong attachment to their work, believe they are contributing to the greater good, and intend to remain in the profession. (Contains 11 notes.)
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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