Daniel Spock (firstname.lastname@example.org) is director of the History Center Museum at the Minnesota Historical Society, 345 Kellogg Blvd. West, St. Paul, MN 55102.
The Puzzle of Museum Educational Practice: A Comment on Rounds and Falk
Article first published online: 15 JAN 2010
2006 California Academy of Sciences
Curator: The Museum Journal
Volume 49, Issue 2, pages 167–180, April 2006
How to Cite
Spock, D. (2006), The Puzzle of Museum Educational Practice: A Comment on Rounds and Falk. Curator: The Museum Journal, 49: 167–180. doi: 10.1111/j.2151-6952.2006.tb00210.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 15 JAN 2010
Abstract Museum practice is in the midst of a fascinating practical and theoretical trajectory. The mandate that museums place education at the center of their public service role has had the effect of framing a new set of questions and—inevitably—problems. If museums have primary value to society as educational institutions, what kind of learning actually happens in them? Jay Rounds and John Falk, writing at the leading edge of this inquiry, explore curiosity, motivation and self-identity as paramount considerations for the special type of learning museums promote. Their analyses present interesting challenges for the museum practitioner, who may observe that people find the pursuit of curiosity pleasurable and value it more highly than knowledge acquisition. The practitioner may conclude that museums have a calling: They stand for the value of curiosity for its own sake, and for that reason will never wear out their welcome.