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Title: Understanding purposes, practices, and impacts of museum educational programmes : a case study of a provincial museum in Hangzhou, China
Author: Yu, Qianyun
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 3086
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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The role of the museum is undergoing transformation along with wider societal changes. The last two decades have witnessed a rapid development of the museum industry in China in terms of both the number and scale of museums. Being cultural, historical, and educational institutions, increasing importance has been attached to museums; yet the study of the social roles of museums in China remains insufficient. We have little understanding of the role of museums as public educational and cultural institutions. This research aims to address this lacuna by asking what educational roles are played by the museum, and how the museum learning experience is constructed and contextualised. This study consists of participant observations and semi-structured interviews collected during a case study carried out at the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in Hangzhou, with the aim of exploring the purposes, practices, and impacts of educational programmes organised at the museum. The educational programmes are viewed as a bridging tool between the institution and the participants, and perspectives from both staff members and museum visitors are examined. This thesis critically engages with the literature by arguing that museum education cannot be simplistically interpreted as either formal or informal learning. Instead, the features of curriculum design and pedagogical practices in museums combine both structured, institutionalised 'formality' and flexible 'informality'. It argues that museum education in China is highly intertwined with citizenship and suzhi education, where the cultural, political, and ideological contexts have practical effects on the activities that are organised. The thesis also contributes to an understanding of the museum learning experiences by applying the 'contextual model of learning' proposed by Falk and Dierking. It argues that museum education and learning is formed within the physical, personal, and sociocultural contexts in which it occurs, and is re-contextualised in participants' reflections on it. An important strand in this research is lifelong learning, and the work carried out during this study shows that this is an accumulative, adaptive and habit-forming practice which is present throughout different life stages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available