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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.