Saturday, April 9, 2011

Is there a Learning Museum?

Once again, Twitter has inspired me. This morning, I saw the following tweet from the National Math + Science Initiative:
Here's the money quote from the article
It also reinforces the emerging concept of “free choice” learning, which holds that people get most of their knowledge about science from someplace other than school or formal education.
What caught my attention was the phrase "free choice" learning. The idea that people take responsibility for their own learning is also found in Cambourne's work. This got me thinking about ways to change schools so that they more closely resemble museums where people learn, which led to this tweet:
The perspective that schools currently serve as "fact factories" comes from Sir Ken Robinson and Seth Godin.

I began to wonder what would be in a Learning Museum (not to be confused with Joe Bower's Museum of Education) and decided that it would have rooms dedicated to these topics:
  • What does learning look like?
  • How is a learner different than a student?
  • When and where has learning occurred?
  • Why is learning important?
  • What if I want to be a learner?
A google search found a Museum of Learning but no Learning Museum. Therefore, I decided to open a virtual Learning Museum. As curator, I will gather learning artifacts, but I cannot do it without your help. If you have any exhibits related to learning that you might like to share, please include links to them in the comments. I will try to gather them into the different rooms so people can stop by and improve their ability to learn. Again, from the article:
“The holy grail of science museums is not to provide someone all the knowledge they need, but to inspire them, to become a launching point,” said John Falk, an OSU professor of science education and national leader in the free-choice learning movement. 
The Learning Museum is now open. I hope it inspires you. Please visit often.


  1. What a wonderful post! I love the Learning Museum overall concept! Great link to Brian Cambourne as well! I am currently developing a writing genre unit including lesson plans based on the conditions of learning. Wow! Does it ever make a difference to consider these conditions for lessons! My students are much more engaged, motivated to learn and using higher order level thinking! Glad to know others are spreading Brian's work to support the love of learning!

  2. Thanks, Michelle. Since you like Cambourne's work, you should check out the Learning Museum itself. The latest exhibit is about him as a learner: