The Education Departments within museum and their art educational programs have become increasingly important in order to evaluate the mission statement of institutions. The goal of any educational program is to engage visitors with art, developing skills such as how to see an artwork, delivering accurate content about the exhibition, promoting critical thinking, and above all, doing it in a meaningful way for the audiences.
In order to understand in greater depth the work currently done by Museum Educators for visitors to enjoy and make the most out of their experiences within museums, the following analysis aims to identify the central issue within the art education process, through description and reflection on the representative theories, methods and strategies applied in art educational programs of visual arts museums. The aim is to understand the nature of learning and how it is relevant to achieve the mission statement of a museum in order to attract their audiences and develop new audiences in the surround community.
Recent studies in the United States have shown the importance of arts education to develop creativity, critical thinking and visual literacy in children and youth. However, what happened in Art Museums, spaces exclusively dedicated not only to display their collections, but also develop an important role in the education of its visitors, through its public programs. What have educational department of museum done to develop creativity, critical thinking, social conscience, art history, and aesthetics appreciation? How do museum educator expand their repertoire to better engage their most struggling visitors? What have museum educators done to help visitors to construct meaningful knowledge? What other benefits could be delivered by art educators in the development of children and youth?
So far Museums has been mainly dedicated to providing information about their collections and exhibitions through programs such as gallery tours, multiple/visit school, gallery talks, Hands-On Art!, and so on, to the wide range of audiences who visit museums, which are unfamiliar with art or have a minimal art or art history training, where their primary reason for visiting museum is often social and situational, not educational, where learning it is not their focused intention.
Mainly these programs implement traditional theories of knowledge (Hein, 1998), learning and teaching such as Incremental Learning, Pedagogy for Didactic-Expository, Stimulus Response, or Traditional lecture in which the knowledge is added bit-by-bit in a logical organization, an expository pedagogy, where focus is primarily on the subject which is taken by visitors as an absolute truth, leaving almost no space for reflection or discussion regarding the information provided.
A gallery tour is a good example of an expository process, where exhibitions are explained sequentially with a clear beginning and ended, as an official story about the exhibition, following...