Progressive Museum Practice: John Dewey and Democracy

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Left Coast Press, Jul 15, 2012 - Art - 255 pages
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Preeminent museum education theorist George E. Hein explores the work, philosophy, and impact of educational reformer John Dewey and his importance for museums. Hein traces current practice in museum education to Dewey's early 20th-century ideas about education, democracy, and progress toward improving society, and in so doing provides a rare history of museum education as a profession. Giving special attention to the progressive individuals and institutions who followed Dewey in developing the foundations for the experiential learning that is considered best practice today, Hein demonstrates a parallel between contemporary theories about education and socio-political progress and, specifically, the significance of museums for sustaining and advancing a democratic society.

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About the author (2012)

George E. Hein is Professor Emeritus at Lesley University in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and Senior Research Associate with the Program Evaluation and Research Group (PERG), which he co-founded in 1976. During 2006–2007, Hein was president of Technical Education Research Centers (TERC), a non-profit educational research and development organization. He has been Howard Hughes Medical Institute Visiting Scholar, California Institute of Technology; Visiting Faculty Museum Studies Program, Leicester University; Fulbright Research Fellow, King’s College; a Research Associate at the Museum of Science in Boston; and Museum Guest Scholar at the Getty Research Institute. Dr. Hein was the founding director of the first Lesley University PhD program in Educational Studies and has been a major contributor to literature in the fields of visitor research and museum education for three decades, including the seminal books Learning in the Museum and Museums: Places of Learning (with Mary Alexander), articles in periodicals such as Journal of Museum Education, Curator: The Museum Journal, and The Exhibitonist, and chapters in several important edited volumes.

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