I was recently talking to a fellow museum docent about how they were given a 10 minute training on how to use thinking routines (from Visible Thinking) in another museum. A few routines were enthusiastically explained to them and they were told that these routines could be inserted 'ad-hoc' into tours to inject a little more participation and conversation. Whilst this may provide a quick-fix for those moments when you want to enliven a tour, this is not how thinking routines are intended to be used nor how I personally envisage their use or potential for use in the museum.
As a museum educator, it can sometimes prove difficult to balance the limitless information held within the museum and its collections, and the constructivist museum approach that affirms the visitor’s contribution as valid. Recently, I wrote a post about why parental participation in family museum visits matters to the entire family’s museum and learning experience. In this post, we will focus more on how to encourage participation in general and why this is essential to the museum visitor experience. It is about connecting people with museum objects and making the content of the museum relevant to the visitor. Gently inform visitors