Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Passive and Participatory Museums

Don't TOUCH the exhibits!
What are museums for?
Ricky: There is a scene near the beginning of Night at the Museum when a school party is passing through and the curator comes storming out.

Befana: Angry?

Ricky: Livid. He shouts at the kids, “Don’t touch the exhibits! Don’t you KNOW what museum MEANS?” And then to the teachers, “CONTROL your young!”

Befana: Obviously not one of those interactive museums.

Museums have changed. They were musty fusty places where visitors passively peered at artifacts under glass. Now museums encourage participation. It’s about John Dewey’s “experiential education” and encouraging visitors to see objects in new ways. Short YouTube movie here about passive vs participatory museums.

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