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Abstract Title: Educating informal educators to facilitate learning through practice-based facilitation.
Abstract: Interactive science centers are moving towards focusing on the visitor experience rather than on disseminating information. Moving from the expected content-based learning to the less directed learning through exploration requires changing visitors' mindsets not just about the role of a museum, but also about science - from viewing science as a collection of facts and ideas to viewing science as a way of thinking and engaging with phenomena that can be developed and practiced. Through a Research-Practitioner partnership, we developed a year-long museum educator training and certificate program designed to train floor staff to engage visitors in facilitation that engages visitors in the practices of science and engineering. Continuous research on the museum educators' learning and visitor experience informs iterative program development. We discuss the methods of researching museum educators facilitation and impact on the visitor experience.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Museum-based physics education research through research-practice partnerships (RPPs)
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II
Room: Cascade C

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ron Skinner
MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
125 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
and Co-Presenter(s)
Danielle Harlow, University of California, Santa Barbara