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Bridge to Black Hole: Transacting Theory for Museum Education David Ebitz Pennsylvania State Univers

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Title: Bridge to Black Hole: Transacting Theory for Museum Education David Ebitz Pennsylvania State Univers


1
Bridge to Black Hole Transacting Theory for
Museum EducationDavid EbitzPennsylvania State
Universitydme12_at_psu.edu
2
What is a theory?
3
  • What is a theory?
  • In general, theory provides an integrating
    structure that serves to make a coherent portrait
    from a series of observations, directs attention
    to what is central in these observations, and
    highlights questions and issues worthy of further
    exploration

4
  • What is a theory? Some selected positions
  • Positivist scientific theory explains the
    operation of certain phenomena in the natural
    world and survives experimental testing--not
    relevant to human actions
  • Constructivist theory presumes knowledge is
    relative, constructed by social
    processes--considers context and motives
  • E.g., Kuhns paradigms, Goodmans worldmaking,
    Lyotards language games
  • My reality is not your reality.
  • Critical theory connects constructivist theory to
    an ethical foundation, evaluating lawlike
    regularities though a reflection on their
    legitimacy
  • Grounded theory begins with the situation and
    practice as they emerge in order to understand
    what is happening and how the participants manage
    their roles

5
  • What is a theory? Going further afield
  • Model provides a theoretical construct or
    abstract representation to explain how things are
    or how they work in order to provide a structure
    for thinking and discussion
  • Metaphor, an as if juxtaposition that resonates,
    provides insight and a framework for thinking
  • E.g., museum as temple, marketplace
  • Ideology is a comprehensive vision, a way of
    looking at things that may be based in common
    sense or embody the ideas proposed by a dominant
    class in society in order to make their interests
    appear to be the interests of all
  • E.g., the object-centered museum or
    visitor-centered museum?

6
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7
What makes a theory good?
8
  • A theory for museum education is good if it
  • Corresponds or fits well with experience and
    practice
  • Identifies the participants
  • Characterizes the process
  • Situates the process in a space and time
  • Is coherent
  • Is internally organized and consistent
  • Is clear and compelling
  • Simple, elegant, and we can figure it out
  • Is adequate
  • Explains enough to do the work we want to do with
    it
  • Is fruitful
  • Informs practice, encourages reflection, focuses
    attention, and indicates new directions
  • Is ethical
  • Enables personally and socially responsible
    decisions

9
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)

10
What questions do we ask about an object?
11
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)

12
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)

DBAE means that students study visual works of
art from the following four discipline
perspectives Production - creating or
performing History - encountering the
historical and cultural background of works
of art Aesthetics - discovering the nature
and philosophy of the arts Criticism -
making informed judgments about the arts
13
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)

14
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15
What is your learning style?
16
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)

17
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18
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)

19
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20
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)

21
  • Stage I
  • Accountive viewers are storytellers. Using their
    senses, memories, and personal associations, they
    make concrete observations about a work of art
    that are woven into a narrative. Emotions color
    viewers comments, as they seem to enter the work
    of art and become part of its unfolding narrative.

22
  • Stage II
  • Constructive viewers set about building a
    framework for looking at works of art, using the
    most logical and accessible tools their own
    perceptions, their knowledge of the natural
    world, and the values of their social, moral and
    conventional world. Their sense of what is
    realistic is the standard often applied to
    determine value.

23
  • Stage III
  • Classifying viewers adopt the analytical and
    critical stance of the art historian. They want
    to identify the work as to place, school, style,
    time and provenance. They decode the work using
    their library of facts and figures which they are
    ready and eager to expand. This viewer believes
    that properly categorized, the work of arts
    meaning and message can be explained and
    rationalized.

24
  • Stage IV
  • Interpretive viewers seek a personal encounter
    with a work of art. Exploring the work, letting
    its meaning slowly unfold, they appreciate
    subtleties of line and shape and color. Now
    critical skills are put in the service of
    feelings and intuitions as these viewers let
    underlying meanings of the workwhat it
    symbolizesemerge. Each new encounter with a work
    of art presents a chance for new comparisons,
    insights, and experiences.

25
  • Stage V
  • Re-creative viewers, having a long history of
    viewing and reflecting about works of art, now
    "willingly suspend disbelief." A familiar
    painting is like an old friend who is known
    intimately, yet full of surprise, deserving
    attention on a daily level but also existing on
    an elevated plane. As in all important
    friendships, time is a key ingredient, allowing
    Stage V viewers to know the ecology of a workits
    time, its history, its questions, its travels,
    its intricacies. Drawing on their own history
    with one work in particular, and with viewing in
    general, these viewers combine personal
    contemplation with views that broadly encompass
    universal concerns.

26
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)

27
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28
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)

29
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30
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)

31
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32
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33
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34
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)

35
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36
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)
  • Post-museum (Hooper-Greenhill)

37
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38
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39
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)
  • Post-museum (Hooper-Greenhill)
  • Constructivist theory of learning (Hein)

40
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41
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42
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)
  • Post-museum (Hooper-Greenhill)
  • Constructivist theory of learning (Hein)
  • Contextual model of learning (Falk Dierking)

43
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44
Theories of the past 20 years in museum
education
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)
  • Post-museum (Hooper-Greenhill)
  • Constructivist theory of learning (Hein)
  • Contextual model of learning (Falk Dierking)
  • Visual culture theory

45
What is visual culture? Or to focus on the
personal construction of meaningWhat does
visual culture mean to you?
46
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47
  • What is visual culture?
  • It is an open concept--interdisciplinary,
    holistic, contingent, cross-cultural, and
    playful--and the focus of other studies
  • Includes images mediated in new mass media and
    popular culture
  • May include both material culture and the fine
    arts
  • Visuality, materiality and body knowledge replace
    textuality as means to experience and understand

48
  • What is visual culture?
  • Influences meaning making in a postmodern context
  • Replaces the canon/master narrative and its
    methods of study with a process of personal and
    social inquiry/story telling/performance
    incorporating visual materials and meanings from
    the life we live
  • Provides a context to discuss personal and social
    identity, gender, sexuality, class,
    exceptionality, religion, politics, language,
    ethnicity, and race
  • Implies a pedagogical/educational practice as
    well as a new content to be taught

49
What can visual culture do for art museum
educators?
50
  • Why is visual culture important to the theory and
    practice of art museum education?
  • It is the emerging focus of theory and practice
    in art education, art history and related
    disciplines
  • It is already part of the practice of art museum
    educators
  • It can an empower visitors to construct their own
    meaning
  • It can empower art museum educators within their
    museums and in their communities

51
  • Why is visual culture important to the theory and
    practice of art museum education?
  • Visual culture has already entered art museums

52
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Objects of visual culture have had a place in the
    development of art museums

53
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Objects of visual culture are incorporated into
    gallery installations

54
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Objects of visual culture are incorporated into
    exhibitions

55
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Objects of visual culture are appropriated and
    recontextualized in
  • exhibitions

56
  • Visual culture and art
  • museums
  • Objects of visual culture are appropriated and
  • recontextualized in
  • exhibitions

57
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Objects/images of fine art of the past and of
    other cultures are appropriated/juxtaposed/
    recontextualized/layered in/hybridized in
    contemporary art

58
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Art museums can be replaced by virtual museums

59
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Art museums can be replaced by virtual museums

60
  • Visual culture and art museums
  • Art museums can be replaced by virtual
  • museums

61
  • Art museum educators can
  • Empower visitors to construct meaning in the
    museum based on their own experiences with visual
    culture
  • Broaden our own skills in seeing and
    understanding what an object means in the
    changing contexts of the museum and the community
  • Facilitate discussion of visual culture among
    museum staff
  • Model ways in which an understanding of visual
    culture can guide interpretation, exhibitions and
    installations

62
  • Art museum educators can
  • Participate in the larger discussion of visual
    culture by art historians, art educators and
    others
  • Broaden discussion of visual culture from
    visuality, contemporary art and popular culture
    to consider visual culture of other times and
    places
  • Collaborate across disciplines/subject areas with
    educators in other museums, schools and
    universities
  • Advocate the significance of visual culture
    within the community as part of a broader
    understanding of public participation in the arts

63
Bridge to Black Hole Transacting Theory for
Museum Education
64
  • Transacting theory draws metaphors, analogies and
    ideas from
  • a/r/tography continguity, living inquiry,
    metaphor and metonymy, openings,
    reverberations--not to inform, but to open up to
    conversations and relationships
  • Merleau-Pontys non-dualistic integration of
    subject perceiving/object perceived and mind/body
    into embodied experience and embodied
    consciousness
  • Heisenbergs uncertainty principle the
    impossibility of the simultaneous measurement of
    the position and the momentum of a subatomic
    particle in quantum mechanics--thus we can speak
    only imperfectly of probabilities
  • Experience

65
To recapitulate
66
  • Theory centered on the object
  • Object-based learning (Schlereth and others)
  • Theory centered on the disciplines
  • Discipline Based Art Education (Getty)
  • Theory centered on learning and the psychology of
    the individual
  • Museum literacy (Stapp and others)
  • Learning styles (Kolb)
  • Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner)
  • Flow and aesthetic experience (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Visual Thinking Strategies (Housen Yenawine)
  • Theory centered on meaning making by the
    individual and society in context
  • Museum and community (Karp and others)
  • Museum as communication (Hooper-Greenhill and
    others)
  • Museum as ritual (Duncan)
  • Museum as meaning making (Silverman)
  • Museum as narrative (Roberts)
  • Museum as performative site (Garoian)
  • Post-museum (Hooper-Greenhill)
  • Constructivist theory of learning (Hein)

67
  • We have
  • Theory centered on the object
  • Theory centered on the disciplines
  • Theory centered on psychology of the individual
  • Theory centered on meaning making by the
    individual and society in context

68
  • To simplify, these theories center on the
    following positions
  • Object
  • Disciplines
  • Individual
  • Society
  • Context
  • Meaning making

69
  • What relations can we construct from these
    positions?
  • Object
  • Disciplines
  • Individual
  • Society
  • Context
  • Meaning making

70
  • We can arbitrarily characterize these relations
    as dualities or oppositions (opposed positions),
    including
  • Individual/Society
  • Individual/Context
  • Individual/Disciplines
  • Individual/Object
  • Object/Individual
  • Object/Disciplines
  • Object/Context
  • Object/Society
  • Disciplines/Individual
  • Disciplines/Society
  • Disciplines/Context
  • Disciplines/Object

71
  • But where is meaning making among these
    oppositions?
  • Individual/Society
  • Individual/Context
  • Individual/Disciplines
  • Individual/Object
  • Object/Individual
  • Object/Disciplines
  • Object/Context
  • Object/Society
  • Disciplines/Individual
  • Disciplines/Society
  • Disciplines/Context
  • Disciplines/Object

72
  • Meaning making lies in the variety of ambiguous
    and fluid openings between these oppositions,
    embodied in transacting situated there
  • Individual/Society
  • Individual/Context
  • Individual/Disciplines
  • Individual/Object
  • Object/Individual
  • Object/Disciplines
  • Object/Context
  • Object/Society
  • Disciplines/Individual
  • Disciplines/Society
  • Disciplines/Context
  • Disciplines/Object

73
  • What transacting is possible in these openings?
  • Individual/ ? /Society
  • Individual/ ? /Context
  • Individual/ ? /Disciplines
  • Individual/ ? /Object
  • Object/ ? /Individual
  • Object/ ? /Disciplines
  • Object/ ? /Context
  • Object/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/ ? /Individual
  • Disciplines/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/ ? /Context
  • Disciplines/ ? /Object

74
  • Some possibilities
  • Individual/Embodying/Society
  • Individual/Participating/Context
  • Individual/Exercising/Disciplines
  • Individual/Perceiving/Object
  • Object/Transforming/Individual
  • Object/Occasioning/Disciplines
  • Object/Participating/Context
  • Object/Reflecting/Society
  • Disciplines/Guiding/Individual
  • Disciplines/Structuring/Society
  • Disciplines/Establishing/Context
  • Disciplines/Grasping/Object

75
  • Does transacting go both ways?
  • Individual/lt--Embodying--gt/Society
  • Individual/lt--Participating--gt/Context
  • Individual/lt--Exercising--gt/Disciplines
  • Individual/lt--Perceiving--gt/Object
  • Object/lt--Transforming--gt/Individual
  • Object/lt--Occasioning--gt/Disciplines
  • Object/lt--Participating--gt/Context
  • Object/lt--Reflecting--gt/Society
  • Disciplines/lt--Guiding--gt/Individual
  • Disciplines/lt--Structuring--gt/Society
  • Disciplines/lt--Establishing--gt/Context
  • Disciplines/lt--Grasping--gt/Object

76
  • What other transacting is possible in these
    openings
  • Individual/ ? /Society
  • Individual/ ? /Context
  • Individual/ ? /Disciplines
  • Individual/ ? /Object
  • Object/ ? /Individual
  • Object/ ? /Disciplines
  • Object/ ? /Context
  • Object/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/ ? /Individual
  • Disciplines/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/ ? /Context
  • Disciplines/ ? /Object

77
  • What other transacting is possible in these
    openings?
  • Individual/ ? /Society
  • Individual/lt--Shaping--gt/Context
  • Individual/ ? /Disciplines
  • Individual/ ? /Object
  • Object/lt--Consuming--gt/Individual
  • Object/ ? /Disciplines
  • Object/ ? /Context
  • Object/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/lt--Circumscribing--gt/Individual
  • Disciplines/ ? /Society
  • Disciplines/ ? /Context
  • Disciplines/ ? /Object

78
  • What other transacting may exist in the active
    spaces between any of these terms?
  • Object
  • Disciplines
  • Individual
  • Society
  • Context

79
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80
What other oppositions/juxtapositions do you
propose?
81
And what transacting occurs in the spaces
between?
82
  • Such as
  • Evaluation/Assessing/Practice
  • Evaluation/Informing/Practice
  • Evaluation/Advocating/Practice
  • Evaluation/Leveraging/Practice
  • Or transacting in the openings between
    stakeholders
  • Educator/Resisting/Curator
  • Educator/Collaborating/Curator
  • Educator/Embodying/Curator

83
  • Or
  • Object/Reflecting/Visual culture
  • Visual culture/Reflecting/Object
  • And,
  • Object/Making/Meaning
  • Meaning/Making/Object

84
  • Transacting theory for museum education
  • Positions are entirely arbitrary, may be paired
    or linked in multiples--though one position may
    imply another
  • Transacting is an active participle
  • Transacting is occurring in the openings between
    any contiguous positions, in either and all
    directions
  • Transacting is the process of engagement itself
    within the arbitrary, fluid and ambiguous
    openings between these positions
  • Transacting does not produce meaning separate
    from itself--it embodies meaning as we are
    attending, improvising and making something of
    our lives

85
  • Transacting theory for museum education
  • Transacting theory is grounded theory
  • It emerges from the experience of museum
    educators
  • It recognizes practice
  • It informs practice
  • It empowers the reflective practitioner

86
Bridge to Black Hole Transacting Theory for
Museum Education
87
Bridge to Black Hole Transactioning Theory for
Museum Education
88
Bridge to Black Hole Transacting Theory for
Museum Education
89
Bridge to Black Hole Transacting Theory for
Museum Education
90
Does transacting meet the criteria for a good
theory?
91
  • Does it correspond or fit well with experience
    and practice?
  • Identifying the participants
  • Characterizing the process
  • Situating the process in a space and time
  • Is it coherent?
  • Internally organized and consistent
  • Is it clear and compelling?
  • Simple and elegant, and we can figure it out
  • Is it adequate?
  • Explaining enough to do the work we want to do
    with it
  • Is it fruitful?
  • Informing practice, encouraging reflection,
    focusing attention, and indicating new directions
  • Is it ethical?
  • Enabling personally and socially responsible
    decisions
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