Families visiting museums as communities of learners : a Greek case study
This study addresses the learning process as well as the impact of the Community of Learners supporting programme on family learning experiences in Greece in order to provide them with a motive to visit local museums during their leisure time. It was a qualitative study rooted in constructivist and sociocultural learning theory of participation in communities of learners. Observation data during learning communities' meetings and museum visits combined with in-depth interviews with participants yielded much information about the social context of the family museum experience and particularly the behaviour of families in shared activities.;Thus, different levels of learning outcomes were identified from gaining information, knowledge and skills through developing new insights, enjoyment, as well as deep learning through increased understanding and most of all changed attitudes and values. Specifically, the interviews with families clearly show that the learning outcomes from participating in the community of learners' programme frequently related to attitudes and values. Most of the families commented that this programme changed their attitudes towards Greek museums and motivated them to visit museums more frequently as organized learning communities. The responses from families indicated an increase in knowledge and understanding was another learning outcome. Furthermore, families increased their skills, especially social skills, as they were active participants in the learning communities. As a result, many families were satisfied, inspired and very creative through their participation in the programme and this led them to a progression in their behaviour and actions in dealing with environmental issues.