Museums provide an ideal environment for learning and passive participation

Why are museums important?

Museums provide an ideal environment for learning and passive participation

Evans-Pritchard[2] and Margaret Mead [3] in the first half of the twentieth century.

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It emerged as the principal approach to ethnographic research by anthropologists and relied on the cultivation of personal relationships with local informants as a way of learning about a culture, involving both observing and participating in the social life of a group.

By living with the cultures they studied, researchers were able to formulate first hand accounts of their lives and gain novel insights. This same method of study has also been applied to groups within Western society, and is especially successful in the study of sub-cultures or groups sharing a strong sense of identity, where only by taking part may the observer truly get access to the lives of those being studied.

The postmortem publication of Grenville Goodwin 's decade of work as a participant-observer with the Western Apache[4] The Social Organization of the Western Apache, established him as a prominent figure in the field of ethnology.

Since the s, some anthropologists and other social scientists have questioned the degree to which participant observation can give veridical insight into the minds of other people.

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In response to these challenges, some ethnographers have refined their methods, either making them more amenable to formal hypothesis-testing and replicability, or framing their interpretations within a more carefully considered epistemology.

It has as a result become specialized. Visual anthropology can be viewed as a subset of methods of participant-observation, as the central questions in that field have to do with how to take a camera into the field, while dealing with such issues as the observer effect.

Clifford Geertz 's famous essay on how to approach the multi-faceted arena of human action from an observational point of view, in Interpretation of Cultures uses the simple example of a human wink, perceived in a cultural context far from home.

Museums provide an ideal environment for learning and passive participation

Method and practice[ edit ] Such research involves a range of well-defined, though variable methods: Although the method is generally characterized as qualitative researchit can and often does include quantitative dimensions. Traditional participant observation is usually undertaken over an extended period of time, ranging from several months to many years, and even generations.

Observable details like daily time allotment and more hidden details like taboo behavior are more easily observed and interpreted over a longer period of time. A strength of observation and interaction over extended periods of time is that researchers can discover discrepancies between what participants say—and often believe—should happen the formal system and what actually does happen, or between different aspects of the formal system; in contrast, a one-time survey of people's answers to a set of questions might be quite consistent, but is less likely to show conflicts between different aspects of the social system or between conscious representations and behavior.

Howell [11] states that it is important to become friends, or at least be accepted in the community, in order to obtain quality data. In the Field Do as the locals do: It is important for the researcher to connect or show a connection with the population in order to be accepted as a member of the community.

Recording Observations and Data interviews reflexivity journals: Researchers are encouraged to record their personal thoughts and feelings about the subject of study.

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They are prompted to think about how their experiences, ethnicity, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, and other factors might influence their research, in this case what the researcher decides to record and observe Ambert et al.

Types of participant observation[ edit ] Participant observation is not simply showing up at a site and writing things down.

Museums provide an ideal environment for learning and passive participation

On the contrary, participant observation is a complex method that has many components.Designing museum exhibits that facilitate visitor reflection and discussion learning environment which can be described as a ‘salad bar’–a place where visitors can museums are potentially the ideal environment to present challenges in the forms of taboos and contested issues.

May 15,  · Museums provide an ideal learning environment, whether it is formal or informal learning, active hands-on participation or passive observation (Hein, ).

Museums offer a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave through the ages. Science Centers as Learning Environments By Colin Johnson. The science center, in similar fashion, provides a social learning environment, in which people gain new understandings through articulating their experience.

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Museums and science centers provide motivating and enriching environments for learning. Immediate impact can be . Museums provide an ideal learning environment, whether it is formal or informal learning, active hands-on participation or passive observation (Hein, ). Museums offer a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave through the ages.

Technology is vastly expanding the ways that museums can provide volunteer opportunities as people can contribute over the Web, tagging, organizing, transcribing and researching digital data.

However, nothing will ever replace the thrill of working in a physical (often beautiful) space with real objects.

Start studying Leisure Theory. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search. -family time depicted in media and society as ideal, perfect, fulfilling for parents rewards provide motivation for participation in deviant or non deviant behaviours, people engaging in deviant behaviours have deviant.

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