prompts for thesis

Learning at the Museum: Themes in Cultural Comprehension through Exhibitions

There are a variety of ways that learning is facilitated through museums. Exhibitions provide a unique and hands on approach to knowledge by allowing visitors to interact in tactile, auditory and visual ways with the content or subject they are interested in. This paradigm is examined through the critical analysis of museums and learning from a modern perspective. With the specific examples of Siemens’ Crystal City and the Victoria & Albert Museum located in the UK, it is possible for the benefits of variegated concepts to be taken into account for the their validity museum infrastructure and value in educating their respective audiences.

Introduction: Historical and contemporary value of Museums as learning modalities

Museums provide a highly variegated viewpoint of the topics they present. Through this interactive form of historical exploration it becomes possible for all age groups to experience the poignant aspects of cultural and anthropological areas of interest. Therefore, the highly visual, auditory and otherwise engaging aspects of museum presentation provide a highly defined platform for learning. In this dissertation it will be proven that learning can take place in museums and is potentially a great outlet for many aspects of future education.

A significant amount of documentation is present about the value of museums in cultivating learning. Having early roots in enlightenment, museums promote education and self-discovery amongst other aspects of intelligent recreation. Therefore, it is the underlying nature of a museum to teach the participant something. Since they are actively seeking the environment out, they are acting from free choice. Learning cultivated towards this style of thinking creates impressions that can be deep and have emotional connections.

Through exploration of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Crystal Siemens Sustainability museum there are significant examples of best practices in learning throughout these prominent exhibitions. These have been selected to reflect two different styles of presentation and are consistent with the theories of previously created museums that can be beneficial in understanding the modern day implications of technology and personnel in providing meaningful learning experiences.

Historically, the expression of eighteenth century enlightenment created an enthusiasm for learning and equal opportunities. While collections were used privately in the past, this era ignited an interest in making documented and valuable items available for public viewing. During the 19th century, museums were newly opened and available to some degree for the public. This demonstrated the wealth and power of governments and exhibited treasures brought from Europe by colonial forces. It is historically significant because of the way that information was dispersed at this time and continued throughout time.

These popular excavations demonstrated the growing opulence and wealth of each nation. At the same time schools shared the institutionalization that museums had. As public expenditure advanced, so did the complexity of exhibitions and availability to the masses. The primary function of museums was for education. An ideal institution was meant to advance through self-instruction. Teachers were supposedly able to seek assistance from these entities. As new generations of curators progressed, the focus shifted from prevalence for the public to accumulating collections for galleries themselves.

This historical background illustrates the meaning and nature for development within museum culture. It was exciting and valuable at the time as people continued to engage in content and historically significant artifacts. Each instance of self-teaching furthered the cultural elements of each nation at the time. It also depicted the best way for largely unknown content to be showcased in a way that was understandable while maintaining exclusivity for those interested in learning more about the topic. Over time the purpose of these institutions have broadly diversified according to the interests of local communities and the sponsorship involved with their creation. Today, education is still a purpose for museums and it can be seen to transpire significantly in the form of learning as a recreational activity.

The context of this exploration is within the present the implications of past trends affect the present. In addition to the culmination of interest in museum industry from the public there have also been significant progress in way that curatorship uses resources to illustrate cultural and anthropological issues. Within the United Kingdom there is conservation for the way that arts policy and educational policy are implemented to a moderate degree through administration and efficacy. Further, there is a cultural context of social and political science that lends itself towards the overall meaning of museums in multidimensional fields.

UK – conservative government, arts policy, education policy wider cultural, social and political contexts.

Need help with thesis? Visit Thesis Helpers - thesis writing service. Everything about your PhD writing process.