Collaborative Explorations to improve the learning that museums try to foster?

It has occurred to me that Collaborative Explorations offer a model (i.e., something to be adopted and adapted) for improving the learning that museums try to stimulate through their exhibitions.  This thought came as I noted how underwhelmed I am by the efforts of science museums, even ones like the Exploratorium,  to engage visitors.   Even when I have fun with the interactive exhibits or enjoy the spectator ones I rarely emerge from the museum with a thread that I can build on and end up with knowledge and understanding that feels creative to have arrived at.
The CE model (adapted from http://wp.me/p1gwfa-x2) allows us to to experiment with ways to address the needs of learners who want to:
a) dig deeper, make “thicker” connections with other learners;
b) connect topics with their own interests;
c) participate for shorter periods than a course in a classroom (or MOOC); and
d) learn without needing degree or other credits for completion of a course.

I think we could do something interesting in this spirit with a group of 6 at a museum (with access to the internet) in say, 90 minutes.  (After all, even at the Louvre or the Uffizi, one’s eyes/brains don’t take in much after an hour.)  I haven’t worked out the details, but the thought seemed worth sharing.
(None of this speaks to the museum’s collection side, which I do appreciate.)

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

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