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Museum learning, the museum visitor, the museum visit

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:45 authored by Ibramsha. Yahya
The first chapter attempts to set the world scene and fit this research within a framework of museum education, science museums and the Indian science museum situation. A way forward for Indian science museums is sought by identifying the challenges currently faced by them. The thesis, it is hoped, will contribute toward meeting some of those challenges.;After defining and classifying the exhibition and describing the changing nature of museums, particularly science museum exhibitions, Chapter II looks at the exhibition development process from the historical perspective. Four approaches are identified in the developmental process of museum exhibition. They are the 'open storage' approach, the Bauhaus's contribution of design elements to exhibitions, Neurath's contribution of the ISOTYPE method of presenting information, and finally the contemporary approach. Having traced the traditional and project-team approaches to exhibition development in museums across the world in terms of their advantages and disadvantages, I will compare and contrast them with the exhibition development approaches in Indian science museums. After having identified the missing inputs of visitors and educators to the exhibition development in Indian science museums, the thesis sets out to shed light on the nature of museum learning, the museum visitor and the museum visit.;In Chapter III, learning theories from behaviouristic, cognitive, and humanistic traditions are presented and discussed in relation to museum learning. Some comprehensive models of learning that integrate principles from these three schools are also discussed in terms of their usefulness to describe museum learning. Finally, a 'spiral' approach to museum learning is synthesised to explicate what is going on inside the museum.;Chapter IV weaves together Jung's psychological types, Gardner's multiple intelligences, and one-, two- and multi-dimensional learning styles into a framework to explain the fabric of the museum visitor.;A survey and an observation of museum visitors to an Indian science centre were conducted to explore the nature of the museum visitor and the museum visit. An interview was conducted with Indian museum directors to shed light on four learning-related issues. The four issues are learning in museums, evaluation and visitor studies, criteria in exhibition development, and finally interest in science and the nature of the scientific temper. The analyses and results of the survey, the observation and the interview are presented in Chapter V, VI and VII respectively.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Museum Studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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    University of Leicester Theses