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Re: Museology

In a message dated 99-03-10 14:35:46 EST, you write:

<< It may not work at every museum, but it is worth doing and 
 provides the kids with something they are more likely to remember.  
  It is my assertion (perhaps not made clearly enough) that children,
adolescents, and adults will more likely remember observations they have made
on their own, using their own senses, rather than pounding away on a piece of
expensive hardware. I have no argument with "hands on" in the sense of a prep
lab or other such classes. I just wonder, after observation, how much children
take away from this.
  I really don't want to offend Sherry, but, believe me, I had to leave the
Academy of Sciences a lot sooner than I wanted to due to the sheer din of
children screaming and just going nuts in general. I made a point, however, of
observing how they were interacting with the new exhibits. It was pure fun,
for sure, but it takes time for certain concepts to set in. I really don't
think that certain of these exhibits allow time for contemplation and
reflection (remember those concepts?). More likely it's instant
gratification.and getting to see a dinosaur's guts or be in a dinosaur movie.
  Now I like fun stuff--dinosaur movies, action, and things like that. One of
the proudest days of my life is when I shook Ray Harryhausen's hand and
thanked him for all those things that made me bound out of Saturday Matinees
like a 9 year-old nut humming the theme from the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. But
in order to truly appreciate these things, one must be able to reflect on
them. I see a lot of these "hands on" things dampening, to some extent,
creative thinking. Whack a button and see what happens. And even worse, do
people later on, in high-school age, regard such things as juvenile and reject
them as such at probably the most critical time? Perhaps this is beyond the
scope of the list. Is that lady from the museum in Virginia still on the list?
She would be a huge help here. Dan Varner.