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  • 1. science museum history museum CONSTRUCTIVISM MUSEUM EDUCATION THEORYSQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES:Why Constructivist Learning Theory doesn’twork in history museums Louise Zarmati Deakin University
  • 2. learning journey My perspective as a researcher informed by my experience as a • History teacher • Archaeologist • Museum educator • History educator
  • 3. research questions1. Methods of museum educators to teach history - educators2. Museum methods versus classroom history method - observations3. History teachers’ perspectives of effectiveness - teachers
  • 4. literature review Previous studies have been on: •Science, not history •Primary, not secondary •Informal, not formal •Learning, not teaching
  • 5. What isConstructivist Learning Theory?
  • 6. the learner Reaction against behaviourism – ‘empty vessel’
  • 7. Context of Constructivist Learning Theory Late 1980s – 1990s • postmodernism • New Museology • post-colonialism – subaltern theory • democratisation - ‘history from below’ • Marxism – feminism • multiculturalism in Hawke-era Australia - 1987
  • 8. Theoretical discourse: antithetical perspectives Constructivism versus Behaviourism Visitor versus Educator Learning versus Teaching Active versus DidacticFOCUS ON THE LEARNER AND LEARNING
  • 9. museum education theory history museum
  • 10. Historical Thinking – Historical Inquiry Method
  • 11. What is pedagogy? Knowledge PEDAGOGY Learner CommunicatorDavid Lusted, 1986, Why pedagogy?, Screen, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 2-16.
  • 12. Historical Inquiry Method Historical Thinking1. Ask historical questions2. Locate and interrogate primary sources3. Detect bias, causation, continuity and change, perspective, interpretation4. Develop an argument5. Communicate findings
  • 13. Role of museum educatorThe learner The educator
  • 14. multiple interpretationsSubversion?
  • 15. Bells Forge Gorge display, 2006, National Museum of Australia http://www.nma.gov.au/education/school_resources/Cycladic figurine
  • 16. Why CLT doesn’t work in history museums1. Artefacts need temporal and geographical contextualisation – terms and concepts explained to beginning learners2. Holistic, pedagogical approach needed3. Evaluation of learning should also evaluate quality of teaching4. Focus on learner can lead to educator being edited out Learning in museums not just about the learner
  • 17. Study of eight museums Museum of Sydney Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney Museum of Australian Democracy, Canberra National Museum of Australia, Canberra Melbourne Museum Immigration Museum, Melbourne Sovereign Hill, Ballarat Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania
  • 18. Where to now?1. Shift from learning to pedagogy2. Put educator back in the picture3. Use H.I.M and historical thinking4. Expert educators design and deliver programs5. History museum educators engage in theoretical discourse

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