Saturday, October 9, 2010

Aunts and Uncles Impress Young Minds

Reach Advisors manage a large scale self-completion visitor survey conducted at a couple of hundred museums, mostly in the US. The sample is drawn from museum email lists and social media so the survey results are not representative of museum visitors in general, but the study does throw up some interesting findings.

In a recent blog post, Reach Advisors look at the impact of childhood museum visits with aunts/uncles.

Aunt and child at Childrens Museum

They dug around in their data to compare the behaviour of people who visited museums in their childhood with aunts/uncles.

They found:
As adults today, they enjoy a wider variety of museums, and are significantly more likely to enjoy history museums, historic sites, art museums, natural history museums, and botanical gardens and arboretums.  When they visit museums, they also enjoy a wider variety of interpretation methods, including guided tours, talking with staff, programs and events, and object-based experiences. 

It appears that childhood visits with aunts/uncles were likely to be special occasions when children had the undivided attention of the aunt/uncle. And they often received a memento from the giftshop.

No wonder these childhood visits were remembered years later!

Contributed by Gillian Savage

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, RSMiller.

1 comment:

  1. I am very interested in what I am calling 'inter-generational learning' .. that's kids with aunts and uncles but also the group I have experienced .. grandparents. And for this to work .. in my experience .. the mums and dads have to be absent – with or without 'leave'. They tend to interrupt and want to interpret what the grans and kids say, and therefore disrupt the chat between the generations. And that's where the learning occurs when the generations talk to each other and learn about how each other do things, interpret things, used to or behave now ....

    I am exploring trying to encourage the idea of 'grans and kids' visits to our museum during the hols, even having some special Kids and or GPs' Days.

    I am also trying to find a niche in the new National School Curriculum where such a concept may 'fit'.

    What do others think about the concept? Any experiences worth reporting?

    Barrie Brennan
    Australian Country Music Foundation