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  • 1.  Ed Programs for Adults

    Posted 01-11-2019 03:03 PM

    Greetings, all!

    I am working on developing an educational program for adults at our small historic house museum.

    While, I feel very confident about creating hands-on programming for kids, I am unsure of how to do so for adults! So, I am hoping to immerse myself in lots of adult educational resources: to start reading about best practices, and to start attending some notable programs that I can use as a model. If anyone has recommendations- programs I should check out for inspiration or helpful reading, I would so appreciate your suggestions.



  • 2.  RE: Ed Programs for Adults

    Posted 01-14-2019 09:49 AM
    Hi Deborah,

    I recommend reviewing the Design Instruction chapter of our free toolkit for facilitators, especially this research-based article comparing how adults and children learn. The article is brief and easy to scan. It'll put your head in the right space before you start developing anything in earnest.

    While these resources were published with the intention of specifically supporting those developing and facilitating professional development for science educators, the toolkit contains strategies and tools which will help you in the workplace, too! My department uses the tools in the Establish Positive Culture chapter for cultivating our teams, and our Teacher Professional Development Principles inform how we plan meetings and staff retreats.


    Megan Schufreider
    Director of Education
    K-12 Partnerships and Online Learning

    California Academy of Sciences

  • 3.  RE: Ed Programs for Adults

    Posted 01-14-2019 11:01 AM
    Dear Deborah et al.:

    Your post prompted me to go back to something I researched more than a quarter century now!  :-)

    I did my best at the time to cover the resources available in 1983 & believe that we should not neglect to attend to works published in the past as we continue to seek excellence in what we do moving forward.

    1980a   "Adult Needs and Motivations in Museums." Unpublished paper by Paul C. Thistle prepared for a cross-cultural & museum education Bachelor of Education course under Professor Richard Cawley at the University of Winnipeg.

    Robert Janes has noted that museum workers seldom have the time to publish.  May I encourage you to make a report on what you glean from your inquiry available to colleagues.

    Respectfully yours

    Paul C. Thistle

    Critical Museology Miscellanea blog

    Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers blog

  • 4.  RE: Ed Programs for Adults

    Posted 01-15-2019 10:35 AM
    Hi Deborah,

    My museum got a grant to precisely design workshops for older adults (55 years or better -as they say!).  Go to this link to learn more about ideas and possible funding:

    Hope this helps!!


    ..............    ............

    Lisa Ortega Pol, MFA

    Educadora de Museo


    Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte

    Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras

    6 Avenida Universidad Suite 601

    San Juan PR  00925-2526

    Oficina: (787) 764-0000 ext. 83096

    Recepción: (787) 763-3939

  • 5.  RE: Ed Programs for Adults

    Posted 01-18-2019 09:46 AM
    There is a book "Adult Museum Programs: Designing Meaningful Experiences" that covers many types of programs for different categories of adults - parents, older adults, etc.  I think you would find it pretty useful in your situation.  It has lots of case studies which I found helpful in understanding the perspectives and needs/desires of adult visitors.  It is from AltaMira Press.

    Emily Imhoff
    Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
    Cincinnati OH