Thursday, June 12, 2008

Older audiences and museums

This from Willy Tseng: Dear Sir / Madam : My name is Willy. I am a graduate student from Taiwan. I am making a study of museology. I have a question should like to ask the Australian Museum. It is an aging population society . In Australian Museum , no matter in exhibition, education or research, What does the museum do to answer this phenomenon ? Thank you.

Thanks Willy. Older audiences have long been of interest to several of us at the Museum. In 2002 we did a comprehensive study, Energised, engaged, everywhere: older audience and museums that looked at this very issue. Since then we have been programming for this group through tours and special events. I have also been noticing the shift in our regular demographics, especially recently with the opening of our new Dinosaur exhibition, with grandparents bringing their grandchildren. As we now plan for our new learning spaces older visitor are ones we are keen to target.

The best example of a museum/gallery thinking about this group is the National Gallery of Ireland – they had a conference Lifelong learning in museums and galleries focussing on creativity in older people which was really awesome. There is a publication but I can't find it on their website – I suggest you contact Dr Marie Bourke, Keeper of Education there and request a copy of the conference proceedings, they're really good. The paper I gave, Creating meaningful experiences for adults tailored to their expectations and learning styles can be found on my wiki ( go down the page a bit). I also did blog post about it too.

Good luck with your research Willy.

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