Children’s Perceptions of Their Museum Experiences: A Contextual Perspective

January 1st, 1994 | RESEARCH

Guided by contextual and constructivist perspectives, this study situates museumgoing in the everyday lives of children, exploring how children perceive their experiences in museums in relationship to the other places they visit. Children tended to categorize places by their relationship to them, placing museums most frequently in groupings organized by quality descriptors, when they visit, and social context. They perceive and value museums as places to look at unique, special things of interest to them. Most children prefer visiting museums with family and friends, with control of their actions and experience emerging as a key issue. Personal interests and family and cultural background emerged as the most important factors influencing their museum experiences. Children consistently viewed museums, along with schools and libraries, as places for learning but were divided in their designations of museums as fun, boring or a combination of the two. The study concludes with recommendations for teachers and museum educators.


(no document provided)

Team Members

Nina Jensen, Author, Bank Street College of Education


Publication: Children's Environments
Volume: 11
Number: 4
Page(s): 300

Related URLs


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs