PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN THE ART MUSEUM: VIEWING CONVERSATIONS AND BEHAVIORS

Open Access
Author:
Kim, Min Kyung
Graduate Program:
Art Education
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Christine Thompson, Thesis Advisor
  • Christine Marme Thompson, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • behaviors
  • conversations
  • family
  • art museum
  • museum learning
Abstract:
The museum is a dynamic place for families, not only for interactions between families and the exhibited art works, but also for interactions between parents and their children. Moreover, the museum provides a rich learning environment for families. This study focuses on naturally occurring learning experiences between children and parents, and looks at their behaviors and conversations in order to investigate how they share their museum learning experiences. Through observation of three families in the Palmer Museum of Art at the Pennsylvania State University and interviews with the parents, I examine how parents and children in each family group interact with each other, what kinds of topics they share, what difficulties the parents experience being in an art museum with children, and what significance the art museum has for them as a learning space. Based on this research, I discuss the importance of the role of parents as facilitators and the implications of my findings for improving the family experience in the museum and for the field of museum studies.