Description: I proposed that both Bruner's (1963) idea of the spiral curriculum and Yenawine's (1992) theories of teaching for visual literacy in the museum set the stage for significant learning for students when used together. If school teachers lay a foundation of knowledge about a museum object, especially through museum resources, then the student may transform and apply this 'prior knowledge' (explicit memories from the classroom) while on the museum visit tour. When docents utilize Yenawine's (1992) methods toward the goal of visual literacy, the semantic knowledge of the classroom is then fused with museum learning, building stronger memories and facilitating deeper understanding as students learn about museum objects. This research explored the correlation of these two theories in a qualitative manner based on observations of actual museum visit preparation in classrooms in Casper, Wyoming, and how it related to a museum tour at the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center. The research revealed that conditions do exist within the community that would facilitate Bruner's (1963) idea of a learning spiral, yet not in the manner envisioned. The observed conditions toward a spiral was accomplished through the participant teachers relating the museum exhibit to their operational curriculum in a variety of curricular areas, such as language arts and science, when docents related the tour to classroom learning, and not through museum resources or Yenawine's (1992) methods toward increasing visual literacy, as was previously considered.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Eggemeyer, Valerie