Visitor Behavior at a Constructivist Exhibition: Evaluating Investigate!! at Boston’s Museum of Science

January 1st, 1997 | EVALUATION

Constructivist education theory postulates (Fosnot, 1996; Hein, 1998) that visitors learn actively and create their own meanings as they interact with the world. This raises challenges for visitor studies, since it may be difficult to plan a reasonable evaluation strategy for exhibitions if visitors’ actions and outcomes cannot be determined in advance. Constructivist theory also requires an appropriate evaluation approach (Hein, 1997). This paper illustrates the use of a combination of methodologies that allow visitors’ meanings and activities to emerge as they visit an interactive, non-linear exhibition. The Museum’s description of Investigate! illustrates the constructivist nature of the exhibition.



Team Members

Elsa Bailey, Evaluator
Kerry Bronnenkant, Evaluator
Judith Kelley, Evaluator
George Hein, Evaluator
Museum of Science, Boston, Evaluator


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE
Award Number: 9050232

Related URLs

Science is an Activity: A New Approach to Exhibits in Science Museums


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Conference Proceedings | Evaluation Reports | Reference Materials | Summative
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits