Leisure Visitor’s Responses to Natural History Dioramas
This chapter focuses on the responses of leisure visitors who had chosen to visit a museum with natural history dioramas. Different ‘voices’ are heard from different visitors and during a visit constituent members influence what each other says because constructing meaning about the world is a social activity but their a reflection on the experience is individual as they leave. The visitor’s prior knowledge and the visitor’s interest in the exhibit, all have the potential to influence the visitor’s attitudes and responses to the exhibits. Some adults were asked questions at the diorama whilst other responses were from written responses on the questionnaire provided at the exit. The opinions of visitors to the dioramas were elicited through a questionnaire. They were asked to describe the ‘story’ of the diorama. There was a variation in responses depending on the age of the visitors. Young people’s responses were very factual and short whereas pensioners talked of memories such as working in one of the countries portrayed. Many visitors also related to what they had seen in the media.
KeywordsVisitor Dioramas Response Museum Natural history Agenda
The authors thank the Director and staff and Susan Johnson of Quex Park for their help and enthusiasm in supporting this project.
- Alexander, R. (2008). Towards Dialogic Teaching: Rethinking classroom talk. Cambridge: Dialogos. York.Google Scholar
- Anderson, D., Hilke, D., Kramer, R., Abrahams, C., & Dierking, L. (1997). Summative evaluation research: How thing fly- National Air and Space Museum. Unpublished evaluation report. Annapolis: Science Learning Incorporated.Google Scholar
- Bell, P., Lewenstein, B., Shouse, A. W., & Feder, M. A. (2009). Learning science in informal environments: People, places and pursuits. Washington, DC: The National Academic Press.Google Scholar
- De Clercq, J. S. (2005). Museums as a mirror of society: A Darwinian look at the development of museums and collections of science. In P. Tirell (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd conference of the International Committee for University Museums and Collections (pp. 57–65). Oklahoma: UMAC Publication.Google Scholar
- Falk, J. (2009). Identity and museum visitor experience. Walnut Creek: Left Coast.Google Scholar
- Falk, J., & Dierking, L. (2000). Learning from museums: Visitor experiences and the making of meaning. Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
- Fenichel, M., & Schweingruber, H. (2009). Surrounded by science. Learning science in informal environments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Gilbert, J., Watts, M., & Osborne, J. (1985). Eliciting student views using an interview- about- instances technique. In L. West & L. A. Pines (Eds.), Cognitive structure & conceptual change. Orlando: Academic Press Inc..Google Scholar
- Griffin, J. (2004). Research on students and museums: Looking more closely at the student in school groups. Science Education, 88(1), 60–70.Google Scholar
- Groundwater-Smith, S., & Kelly, L. (2010). Learning outside the classroom: A partnership with a difference. In Α. Campbell & S. Groundwater-Smith (Eds.), Connecting inquiry and professional learning in education (pp. 179–191). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hein, G. (1998). Learning in the museum. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Holmes, J. (2009). A cloud expedition at dioramas. In A. Scheersoi and S. D. Tunnicliffe (Eds.), The important role of natural history dioramas in biological learning (pp. 15–16). ICOM Natural History Committee Newsletter. No 29.Google Scholar
- Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1994). Who goes to museums? In E. Hooper-Greenhill (Ed.), The educational role of the museum (pp. 47–60). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Johnson, S. (2015, March 26). Personal interview.Google Scholar
- Martin, L. (2004). An emerging research framework for studying informal learning and schools. International Journal of Science Education, 88, 71–82.Google Scholar
- Mathewson, D. (2001). Museums and school: An analysis of the education ‘game’. Paper presented in the 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association, Canberra.Google Scholar
- Mironer, L. (1996). Les musees d’histoire naturelle dans une typologie des musees. La Lettre de L’ OCIM, 55, 67–71.Google Scholar
- Moussouri, T. (1997). Family agendas and family learning in hands-on museums. Unpublished doctoral thesis. UK: University of Leicester.Google Scholar
- Piscitelli, B., McAndle, F., & Weier, K. (2003). Beyond looks and learns: Investigating, implementing and evaluating interactive learning strategies for young children in museums. Final Report, QUT-Industry Research Project. Brisbane, Australia: Centre for applied studies in early childhood, Queensland University of Technology.Google Scholar
- Powell-Cotton Museum. (2015a). Gallery 1. Retrieved from http://www.quexpark.co.uk/museum/museum-galleries/gallery-1.html. Last accessed 15 Dec 2017.
- Powell-Cotton Museum. (2015b). Gallery 2. Retrieved from http://www.quexpark.co.uk/museum/museum-galleries/gallery-2.html. Last accessed 15 Dec 2017.
- Powell-Cotton Museum. (2015c). Gallery 3. Retrieved from http://www.quexpark.co.uk/museum/museum-galleries/gallery-3.html. Last accessed 15 Dec 2017.
- Powell-Cotton Museum. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.quexpark.co.uk/museum. Last accessed 29 May 2016.
- Robertson, H. L. (2015). The caring museum: New models of engagement with ageing. Edinburgh: Museums Etc.Google Scholar
- Schmitt-Scheersoi, A., Vogt, H., & Naumann, C. (2002). The development of situation interests in an informal learning environment- a visitor evaluation study in an educational exhibition on individuality. Proceedings from the IVth ERIDOB conference biology education for the real world, 22–26 October, Toulouse, France.Google Scholar
- Tunnicliffe, S. D. (1995). Talking about animals: studies of young children visiting zoos, a museum and a farm. Unpublished PhD thesis. London: King’s College.Google Scholar
- Tunnicliffe, S. D., & Scheersoi, A. (2011). Natural history dioramas. Dusty relics or essential tools for learning. In A. Fillippoupoliti (Ed.), Science exhibitions: Communication and evaluation (pp. 186–217). Edinburgh: Museum Etc.Google Scholar