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Co-Creating Meaning: The museum and the family visitor

Katharine Alston

Learning in museums is not simply a process of the assimilation of knowledge but one of meaning making. I look critically at how meanings are constructed by family learners in museums. I take a naturalistic enquiry approach, using a series of case studies, to look at family learning and how museums enable it to happen.

From an emic perspective my thinking and professional experience have developed, serving to create a framework for heuristic practice. Constructivism underlies my thinking, informing both my understanding of research and where I stand in relation to learning from objects in museums. I explore the ways in which museum interpretation, as well as being a means by which information is presented to visitors, could also attend to visitor skills, facilitating family learning.

Supervisor: Pam Meecham