Presentation - ECV2022-270
LEARN: Essential elements of museum education programs for young children
Sarah Young, REEaCH Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Patricia Eadie, REEaCH Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia (email@example.com)
Amelia Church, REEaCH Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background: Museums Victoria and researchers at the REEaCh Centre collaborated in a research project to explore how museum education programs are designed and delivered to engage and encourage young children’s learning.
Aim: Our aim was to understand what elements of museum programs are integral to providing learning experiences for four-year-old children in both visits to museums and when museum staff visit early learning centres.
Method: Five museum presenters and 14 early childhood groups (14 teachers and 296 children) participated in the research project. Data collection included children’s voices from audio recordings of museum presentations and observations of child-teacher interactions, teacher voices from interviews and a pre-visit survey, and museum staff perspectives in written reflections post-visit with the children.
Results: Coding across all datasets contributed to the five main themes in the findings, which we detail using the acronym LEARN: Learning artefacts; Embodied teaching and learning; Asking questions; Repetition; and Narrative.
Conclusions: These elements include both the unique resources available in museum collections, and highlight how child-educator interactions can be shaped to extend content and concept learning.
Implications for children and families: These findings show how to make the most of learning experiences when visiting a museum with young children.
Implications for practitioners: The research identifies five key elements to support education programs both at museums, and where museum staff visit early learning centres.
Funding: McCoy Seed Funding Scheme, a grant that supports the development of collaborative research projects between Museums Victoria and the University of Melbourne
Key words: professionals’ voices, education, museum programs, child-educator interactions
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: