You are on page 1of 14

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN SCIENCE TEACHING VOL. 40, NO. 2, PP.

163176 (2003)
Investigating the Impact of Prior Knowledge and Interest
on Aquarium Visitor Learning
John H. Falk, Leslie M. Adelman
Institute for Learning Innovation, 166 West Street, Annapolis,
Maryland 21401
Abstract: Most free-choice science learning institutions, in particular science centers, zoos,
aquariums, and natural history museums, dene themselves as educational institutions. However, to what
extent, and for which visitors, do these free-choice learning settings accomplish their educational mission?
Answering this question has proven challenging, in large part because of the inherent variability of visitors
to such settings. We hypothesize that the challenges of measuring free-choice science learning might be
diminished if it were possible to pool populations during analysis in ways that reduced this variability.
Specically, we propose grouping learners according to their entering understanding and attitudes, using
qualitative categories such as minimal, moderate, and extensive. In this article, we use data collected at the
National Aquarium in Baltimore to determine whether grouping makes it possible to discern more readily
the nature of changes in aquarium visitors conservation knowledge and attitudes. Although analysis
revealed that there were signicant changes in both conservation knowledge and attitudes, entry to exit, for
all 100 visitors studied, a more detailed analysis revealed that gains were not evenly distributed across all
visitors. The results support the hypothesis that the grouping of learners into minimal, moderate, and
extensive conservation knowledge and attitude categories enabled a more ne-grained and accurate
understanding of changes in aquarium visitors conservation learning. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
J Res Sci Teach 40: 163176, 2003
Most free-choice science learning institutions, in particular science centers, zoos, aquariums,
and natural history museums, dene themselves as educational institutions. For example, the
National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB) has as its educational mission to stimulate interest in,
develop knowledge about, and inspire stewardship of aquatic environments; this commitment to
environmental conservation in general, and aquatic conservation in particular, has directed the
design philosophy of the building, exhibits, and programming. However, to what extent and for
Correspondence to: J.H. Falk; E-mail: falk@ilinet.org
DOI 10.1002/tea.10070
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
which visitors does the NAIBor any other comparable free-choice learning setting accomplish its
educational mission? This has become an increasingly important question to many in the free-
choice learning eld, but answering it has proven challenging. One reason for this difculty stems
from the inherent variability of visitors to settings such as science centers, zoos, and aquariums.
These free-choice learning settings attract audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences.
This heterogeneity represents a signicant challenge to practitioners and researchers alike.
Nonetheless, it should be possible to ascertain the learning outcomes of a free-choice learning
experience. However, doing so requires an understanding of both howpeople learn in general, and
in free-choice learning settings in particular, and an understanding of why people engage in such
experiences in the rst place.
There is every reason to believe that learning in free-choice settings follows basic
constructivist principles. From this perspective, learning is viewed as a generative process
requiring effort in which learners actively construct their own meanings (Osborne & Wittrock,
1983, 1985). Learning occurs through interactions with the physical world and is mediated by
sociocultural interactions with friends, family, teachers, and others in the society, all of which are
ltered through the lens of prior knowledge and experience (Falk & Dierking, 1992, 2000). The
creation of newunderstandings and attitudes depends on the successful integration of the learners
prior experiences with new experiences afforded by the physical and sociocultural context of, for
example, an aquarium visit.
Most of the science education literature related to constructivism and cognitive change has
focused on attempts to facilitate classroomstudents understanding of science. The important role
played by prior knowledge and experience, less commonly interest, is widely appreciated and
widely discussed. Instructional strategies usually center on efforts to restructure learners
misconceptions through directed instruction (e.g., Chambers & Andre, 1997; Posner, Strike,
Hewson, & Gertzog, 1982; Strike & Posner, 1992). Although it is accepted that variability exists
within the learner populations served by schools, that variability tends to be articially narrow
owing to the structure of schooling itself, i.e., the grouping of like-aged individuals possessing
relatively comparable subject-specic prior experiences and knowledge. Interest, alas, is only
rarely taken into account in school populations. Hence, school-based educational practice, and
investigations of the outcomes of school practice, tend to deal with prior knowledge, experience,
and interest as if they were normative phenomena. The emphasis has been on understanding a
limited set of common misconceptions, creating suitable disequilibriumto foster accommodation
of students to new ideas, and it is hoped, in the process, dislodging these common earlier
misconceptions.
This model is unlikely to be as effective within a free-choice learning setting. A review of
hundreds of research investigations of visitor learning in aquariums, zoos, museums, and other
comparable free-choice settings suggests that visitors possess a wide diversity of incoming
knowledge, experience, and interest, and this diversity strongly inuences what and how
individuals learn fromtheir experience (Falk &Dierking, 2000). Visiting the same aquariumcan
be professional marine biologists, students in marine biology, adults with limited knowledge of
marine biology, and young children with effectively no experience or background in marine
biology. Similar diversity can exist in interest as well, although the predictors of interest are not
as straightforward as the predictors of knowledge (Falk & Storksdieck, 2001). Thus, the
challenge to free-choice educators and researchers is to accommodate this variability
meaningfully. For an institution such as the NAIB, if the aquarium is to be educationally
successful it must accept that each visitor will uniquely build his or her own cognitive structures.
However, the nature of that learning is likely to vary widely across visitors because of the
tremendous range of experiences, knowledge, and interests with which visitors enter. The range
164 FALK AND ADELMAN
of incoming differences among individuals entering the NAIB arguably mirrors the entire
general public: cognitive novice to expert, uninterested to zealous. These differences would
directly affect how these visitors perceived the conservation messages presented, how they
processed those messages, and ultimately, the degree to which those aquarium messages were
integrated into visitors cognitive structures. Thus, although virtually all visitors to the NAIB see
virtually the same exhibitions and programs, and frequently in the same sequence (Adelman, Falk,
& James, 2001; McKelvey, Falk, Shreierer, OMara, & de Prizio, 1999), theory suggests that the
educational outcomes of the aquarium experience should be highly personal and variable across
visitors.
Variability is not limited to prior knowledge, experience, and interest; there is also variability
in peoples motivations and expectations. People visit aquariums and other free-choice learning
settings for many reasons (Combs, 2000; Falk, 1998a; Falk &Dierking, 2000; Falk, Moussouri, &
Coulson, 1998). For example, adults go to an aquarium to see new and interesting things and to
learn more about the aquatic world. Children, too, are looking for newand interesting things to see
and do. All visitors go to aquariums with a desire to satisfy their curiosity and fulll their needs for
fun, relaxation, and intellectual stimulation. Similar motivations are at work when individuals
choose to watch an educational television show or seek information on the Internet (Chadwick,
1998; Chadwick, Falk, &OMara, 2000; Eveland &Dunwoody, 1998; Gross, 1997) or participate
as part of a community group (Brice Heath & Smyth, 1999). Rarely do people enter free-choice
learning situations with a desire to become an expert in the subject or with an explicit agenda to
affect more active behaviors (Falk & Dierking, 2000). All of the above relate to the impact an
institution can and does have on its visitors; all of these result in huge variability in visitors
entering motivations and expectations. Based on these motivations and expectations, visitors to an
aquarium such as the NAIB build on their prior knowledge, experience, and interests, and in the
process make meaning from their experience.
Hence the question becomes howall the different individuals visiting the aquariumpersonally
relate and connect experiences in an exhibition or program to their prior understandings and
interests. From this perspective, changes in aquarium visitor understanding and attitudes need to
be understood not just within the narrow temporal context of an aquarium visit, but within the
broader context of a visitors entire life (Falk, 1998b). No matter howsuccessfully exhibitions and
programs are executed, it is important to appreciate that people construct their understanding of
the world not froma single experience or source, but froma variety of sources over long periods of
time (Anderson, 1999; Anderson, Lucas, Ginns, &Dierking, 2000; Crane, 1994; Falk &Dierking,
2000; Gambone & Arbreton, 1997; Medrich, 1991). Any effort made to understand the effect on
public cognition and affect by an institution such as the NAIB needs to be framed within the
context of each individual visitors total learning experiencesin particular, how individuals
entering knowledge, experiences, and attitudes relative to aquatic conservation are changed by the
experience.
Overall, this high degree of variability has made it historically difcult to measure, let alone
predict the outcomes of an aquarium visit, or for that matter any museum experience (Falk,
1999). However, as better, more constructivist strategies for measuring museum-based learning
have developed, a wealth of data has been accumulating documenting the nature and extent of
learning in these settings (Falk, 1999; Falk & Dierking, 2000). Nonetheless, the inordinately
high degree of variability in free-choice learning situations makes measuring learning
challenging.
We hypothesize that the challenges of measuring museum learning might be diminished if it
were possible to pool visitor populations during analysis in ways that reduced this variability. To
test this hypothesis, we took an existing data set collected at the NAIB and attempted to regroup
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 165
visitors according to their entering conservation-related understanding and attitudes. The data set
was rich enough to permit us to group visitors qualitatively into three understanding and attitude
categories: extensive, moderate, and minimal.
Methods
Data Collection
The data set used in this current investigation was part of a larger ongoing research
effort to investigate the long-term impact of the NAIB on its public (Adelman et al., 2001).
The original study was conducted at the NAIB from March through May 1999 using
several overlapping data collection approaches in a quasi-experimental design: face-to-face
interviews, personal meaning mapping (PMM) (Falk et al., 1998), tracking, and follow-up
telephone interviews (McKelvey et al., 1999). Data collectors randomly approached 484 adult
visitors entering the NAIB lobby area and invited them to participate in an interview. Random
selection involved approaching and inviting every seventh adult visitor who crossed the lobby
threshold to participate in an interview. A total of 395 visitors agreed to participate, resulting in a
refusal rate of 18%. Eighty-nine visitors participated in an entry interview only, 103 visitors
participated in an exit interview only, and 203 visitors completed paired entry and exit interviews
or PMMs. Only data from 100 individuals were included in this secondary analysis, specically
data from visitors who completed a face-to-face semistructured interview before and after their
NAIB visit.
Entry Interviews. To conduct these semistructured interviews, skilled researchers asked
visitors to respond to a variety of open- and close-ended questions, and comprehensively captured
individual responses in detailed eld notes. The entry interview typically lasted 1520 minutes
and focused on issues including visitors awareness and understanding of conservation as a
concept; their conservation-related knowledge, concerns, and interests; and their perceptions of
their relationship to conservation issues (cf. Appendix). Entry interviewdata established baseline
information which could then be compared with visitors experiences, understanding, and
attitudes after their visit. As part of the interview, visitors were also asked their education level,
residence, and membership at NAIB specically, and in nature organizations generally.
Researchers also recorded visitors gender, social group composition, approximate age, and
race/ethnicity. After the entry interview, visitors were informed that the researcher would
appreciate the opportunity to talk with them again after their experience in the aquarium.
Exit Interviews. Just before leaving the NAIB, the same visitors agreed to participate in an
exit interview, typically lasting 1015 minutes. Similar to the entry interviews, skilled researchers
asked visitors to respond to a variety of open- and close-ended questions, and comprehensively
captured individual responses in detailed eld notes. Exit interviews focused on a range of issues,
including visitors sense of the aquariums overall message, what visitors associated with
conservation at the NAIB, and a sense of visitors motivation in getting involved in conservation
issues. Many of the questions asked during the entry interviewwere repeated in the exit interview
(cf. Appendix). The exit-only interview group was used as a control group to determine whether
participation in the study before the aquariumvisit (entry interview) affected visitors perceptions
of key messages. A Chi-square test of homogeneity determined that responses among entry-
interviewed and exit onlyinterviewed visitors were not statistically different at a
166 FALK AND ADELMAN
.01 signicance. Therefore, participating in the entry interviewdid not signicantly alter visitors
exit responses.
The NAIB Experience. Of the 100 individuals who participated in paired entry and exit
interviews, 50 were also unobtrusively tracked throughout the aquarium. Data collectors followed
visitors, recording their path through the NAIB on a scaled map, and recorded the nature and
quality of interactions with 39 key exhibit components throughout the aquariumusing a variety of
indicators (i.e., number of exhibit components visitors interacted with, time spent at each, quality
of interaction, quality of social interaction, facilitation by staff or volunteer). The entry-only
interviewgroup was used as a control group to determine whether participation in the study before
the aquarium visit affected visitors experiences at the aquarium. An analysis of variance
determined that experiences throughout the aquarium of entry-interviewed and exit only
interviewed visitors were not statistically different at a.05 signicance. Therefore, the nature
and quality of experiences of both entry-interviewed and nonentry-interviewed visitors were
consistent, suggesting that participating in the entry interview did not signicantly alter visitors
experiences at the aquarium.
For the purposes of this article, only brief highlights of the tracking data are reported
to provide insight into visitors experiences at the aquarium [see McKelvey et al. (1999) for
more detail]. Visitors spent considerable time viewing exhibitions, 2 hours on average, with
most visitors (82%) at least cursorily interacting with more than half of the exhibit elements.
These exhibits included naturalistic live animal habitats, mechanical and computer interactives,
and dynamic and passive graphics. Although conservation is an implicit part of exhibits
throughout the aquarium, the vast majority of exhibit and label content that visitors see or interact
with is focused on animal identication and biology. In fact, only about 20% of exhibits contain
direct conservation messages. Examples of such exhibits include the Portraits in Conservation
panels that highlight ve different species helped by human intervention, a Whales in Jeopardy
computer interactive, the Reef Action Station computer interactive which provides factual
information and a bookmark of organizations to contact to get involved in conservation action,
a parking meter that provides factual information about deforestation and solicits contributions
from visitors, and a large graphic panel visually projecting the decline of rainforests worldwide
over time, as well as the implications for decline in wildlife and cultures. Tracking data
revealed that only a small minority of visitors viewed these particular exhibits. In contrast, 91%of
visitors attended the 20-minute dolphin show. Through both graphics and script in the show,
visitors were repeatedly exposed to strong direct conservation messages about why people
should care about dolphins and their natural habitats, as well as what they can do to help protect
wild dolphins (i.e., control chemical and physical pollution in the watershed, legal limits on
approaching dolphins by boat, who to contact if the visitor wanted to report something or get
involved with dolphin rescue).
Data Analysis
All qualitative interview data were categorized and coded, with an interrater reliability of
93%. Data were initially analyzed with the statistical software programs Survey Pro (Seattle, WA)
and SPSS (Chicago, IL) using Chi-square analysis, cross-tabulation analysis, and t tests when
appropriate. Each individuals previsit knowledge and interests or concerns about conservation
were compared with his or her postvisit knowledge and interests or concerns using a composite
rubric developed specically for this analysis.
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 167
The rubric characterized visitors along two dimensionsas possessing minimal, moderate,
or extensive conservation-related knowledge, and as possessing minimal, moderate, or extensive
conservation-related interests or concerns (cf. Appendix). A composite for conservation-related
knowledge was developed from visitor responses to two structured questions about sources of
aquatic pollution, as well as two open-ended questions about conceptual understanding of
conservation and what we can do to help the environment (scores ranged from 0.33 to 1). A
composite score for conservation-related interests or concerns was developed from visitors
responses to a structured question ranking their concern for ve different environmental issues, as
well as open-ended questions about their concern for and personal connections to environmental
issues (scores ranged from 0.35 to 1). Composite knowledge and interest or concern scores for
each individual were calculated and statistically analyzed (SPSS software) using a paired t test, at
two points relative to their NAIB visit: upon entering and upon exiting.
Results
Sample Characteristics
Table 1 summarizes characteristics of the sample. Overall, the sample was composed of
predominantly White, relatively well-educated adults; a slight majority was female. A large
majority of the visitors in the sample were visiting with at least one other adult and were from the
United States; a quarter of the sample was fromthe local area. Finally, the vast majority of visitors
interviewed were rst-time NAIB visitors who were not members of a nature or conservation
organization.
Impacts
When analyzed across all 100 visitors, there were signicant increases in both conservation
knowledge, t 4.14, df 99, p <.000, and interests or concerns, t 11.13, df 99, p <.000,
upon exiting the aquarium (Table 2). However, not all individuals were beginning their visit with
the same baseline of conservation-related knowledge and interest. Based on the rubrics devised for
this study, a majority of entering NAIB visitors possessed at least moderate knowledge of
conservation and a moderately high level of interest and concern for conservation and
environmental issues. Thirty-nine percent of the entering visitors were characterized as having
minimal knowledge, 55% had moderate knowledge, and 6% were extensively knowledgeable.
Fourteen percent of entering visitors were characterized as having minimal interests or concerns,
55% had moderate interests or concerns, and 31% were extensively interested and concerned
about environmental and conservation issues.
Interviews with visitors immediately after completion of their NAIBvisit revealed a different
pattern of conservation-related knowledge and interest or concern levels. Visitors exiting the
NAIB had moderately high knowledge as well as moderately high interest and concerns for
conservation and environmental issues. Specically, 32%of exiting visitors were characterized as
having minimal knowledge, 32% had moderate knowledge, and 33% were extensively
knowledgeable. Four percent of entering visitors were characterized as having minimal interests
or concerns, 32% had moderate interests or concerns, and 64% were extensively interested and
concerned about environmental or conservation issues.
Comparing entering and exiting knowledge and interest across the nine groups dened by
extensive to minimal knowledge and interest, a complex pattern of change was revealed (Table 3).
The ndings suggest that changes in both knowledge and interest were not signicant across all
168 FALK AND ADELMAN
Table 2
Change in conservation-related knowledge and interests/ concerns of visitors to the National Aquarium in
Baltimore (paired t test)
n
Knowledge Interest / Concern
Entry Exit Change Entry Exit Change
Mean SD Mean SD t p< Mean SD Mean SD t p<
All visitors 100 57.6 16.0 67.5 18.2 4.14 .000 67.5 16.8 82.2 13.5 11.13 .000
Table 1
Characteristics of visitors who participated in study
Characteristic Percentage
Sex (n 100) Male 44%
Female 56%
Age (years) (n 100) Teens 4%
20s 13%
30s 30%
40s 16%
50s 17%
60 20%
Race/ethnicity (n 100) White 92%
African American 6%
Hispanic 1%
Asian
Other 1%
Education level (n 79) Some high school 1%
High school graduate 18%
Some college 15%
College graduate 39%
Some graduate school 4%
Graduate degree 23%
Social group (n 100) Family 10%
All adult 81%
Alone 9%
Residence (n 100) Local 24%
Other US areas 68%
Outside the US 7%
Aquarium membership (n 100) Member 7%
Nonmember 93%
Previous aquarium visits (n 98) Repeat visitor 40%
First-time visitor 60%
Nature organization membership (n 99) Member 21%
Nonmember 79%
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 169
T
a
b
l
e
3
C
h
a
n
g
e
i
n
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
-
r
e
l
a
t
e
d
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
a
n
d
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
s
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
s
o
f
v
i
s
i
t
o
r
s
t
o
t
h
e
N
a
t
i
o
n
a
l
A
q
u
a
r
i
u
m
i
n
B
a
l
t
i
m
o
r
e
b
y
e
n
t
e
r
i
n
g
g
r
o
u
p
(
p
a
i
r
e
d
t
t
e
s
t
;
n

1
0
0
)
G
r
o
u
p
U
p
o
n
E
n
t
e
r
i
n
g
n
K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
I
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
E
n
t
r
y
E
x
i
t
C
h
a
n
g
e
E
n
t
r
y
E
x
i
t
C
h
a
n
g
e
M
e
a
n
S
D
M
e
a
n
S
D
t
p
<
M
e
a
n
S
D
M
e
a
n
S
D
t
p
<
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
1
a
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
4
7
9
.
2
8
.
3
9
7
.
2
5
.
6

1
3
.
0
1
.
0
0
1
6
3
.
9
9
.
6
7
5
.
0
2
0
.
4
1
.
8
9
.
1
5
6
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
1
a
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
1
7
6
4
.
4
8
.
6
6
7
.
6
1
7
.
1

0
.
7
4
.
4
6
8
8
7
.
2
8
.
0
3
8
8
.
7
8
.
3

0
.
7
1
.
4
9
1
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
3
2
6
6
.
1
8
.
8
6
6
.
6
2
0
.
3

0
.
1
3
.
9
0
1
6
4
.
6
8
.
7
8
3
.
6
1
1
.
5

1
1
.
8
3
.
0
0
0
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
6
6
2
.
8
4
.
5
4
6
6
.
7
1
8
.
2

0
.
5
4
.
6
1
1
4
2
.
6
4
.
5
3
6
5
.
3
1
3
.
3

3
.
3
3
.
0
2
1
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
1
3
4
2
.
3
4
.
3
7
0
.
5
1
8
.
2

4
.
9
4
.
0
0
0
8
6
.
3
7
.
3
8
9
.
7
6
.
9

1
.
5
2
.
1
5
4
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
1
9
4
1
.
2
5
.
0
6
7
.
5
1
5
.
2

6
.
1
1
.
0
0
0
6
0
.
5
6
.
0
4
8
3
.
3
1
1
.
4

9
.
0
2
.
0
0
0
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
7
4
1
.
3
5
.
4
2
5
9
.
5
2
5
.
2

2
.
2
3
.
0
6
8
3
9
.
7
5
.
9
4
6
1
.
9
1
5
.
1

4
.
2
3
.
0
0
5
a
I
n
s
u
f

c
i
e
n
t
d
a
t
a
f
o
r
s
t
a
t
i
s
t
i
c
a
l
a
n
a
l
y
s
i
s
.
170 FALK AND ADELMAN
groups, but rather only among certain groups. As a group, individuals characterized as having
minimal knowledge upon entering the NAIB showed the greatest gains, but only those with
moderate or extensive interest showed signicant knowledge gain immediately after their visit
(moderate: t 6.11, df 18, p <.000; extensive: t 4.94, df 12, p <.000). No signicant
change in knowledge was evident for individuals entering the NAIB with moderate conservation
knowledge. However, individuals with extensive knowledge as well as moderate interest also
showed signicant gains in knowledge, t 13.01, df 3, p <.001. No trends are reported for
individuals proled with extensive prior knowledge and minimal or extensive interest owing to
low sample size.
Signicant changes in conservation interest also appeared to be restricted to certain
groupings. Individuals with minimal prior knowledge and minimal or moderate prior interest
showed signicant gains in interest and concern for conservation issues immediately after their
visit (minimal: t 4.23, df 6, p <.005; moderate: t 9.02, df 18, p <.000). Similarly,
individuals with moderate prior knowledge and minimal or moderate prior interest showed
signicant gains in interest and concern for conservation issues immediately after their visit
(minimal: t 3.33, df 5, p <.021; moderate: t 11.83, df 31, p <.000). No other
combination of prior knowledge and interest resulted in signicant change. No trends are reported
for individuals proled with extensive prior knowledge and minimal or extensive interest owing to
low sample size.
Discussion and Conclusions
Although analysis revealed signicant changes in both conservation knowledge and interest,
entry to exit, for all 100 NAIBvisitors, a more detailed analysis revealed that gains were not evenly
distributed across all visitors. The results support the hypothesis that grouping visitors into
conservation-related knowledge and interest categories yielded an enhanced viewof the impact of
an NAIB visit compared with overall measures.
Regardless of entering knowledge, only individuals possessing moderate to extensive interest
showed signicant gains. In particular, individuals with the least knowledge and most knowledge,
and those with moderate to extensive interest experienced signicant changes in their knowledge
of conservation. For reasons not entirely clear, visitors with moderate knowledge did not show
signicant improvement in their conservation knowledge. Similarly, individuals with minimal to
moderate interest, with the exception of those with extensive knowledge, showed signicant gains
in conservation interest and concern; those who began with higher interest showed no appreciable
gains.
Although our data reinforced the value of being more ne-grained in categorizing visitors, the
challenge remains how best to create these categories. Rhetoric about diversity aside, a
demographic analysis of our sample might suggest great homogeneitythe sample consisted only
of adults, most of whom were White, middle class, and well educated. For example, 66% of the
visitors had earned a college degree and nearly a quarter had done graduate work. According to
Miller (1987, 1998, 2001) and Miller and Pifer (1996), a college education, in particular college
courses in science, is the most reliable indicator of science knowledge. However, demographic
categories turn out to be poor indicators of educational performance. Direct measurements in this
study, as well as ndings from other studies [cf. National Environmental Education and Training
Foundation (NEETF), 1997; Falk, 2002; Falk &Storksdieck, 2001] showed that educational level
only loosely correlated with knowledge and did not predict interest and behavior. In fact,
membership in nature organizations and involvement in outdoor activities and sports appear to be
more reliable predictors of environmental knowledge, concern, and behaviors (cf. NEETF, 1997).
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 171
Although our efforts to develop meaningful ways of grouping and understanding levels of
environmental knowledge were admittedly crude, the results suggest that they did begin to reveal
underlying realities.
From this investigation we can conclude, as predicted, that there is great variability in the
incoming knowledge and interest of visitors, and that this variability affects outcomes.
Furthermore, we can conclude that failure to account for these differences can potentially lead
to misinterpretation of an institutionsin this case the NAIBsimpact. Grouping all
100 visitors together suggested a large overall affect. Separating visitors into categories as a
function of prior knowledge and interest revealed that only two-fths of the visitors evidenced
signicant cognitive changes as measured by our semistructured interview. The other three-fths
showed little or no gain. The change in this rst group, though, was sufciently large to account for
a main effect for the entire sample. Roughly two-thirds of visitors showed positive affective gains.
Still, one-third of the sample did not evidence positive affective gains, a fact masked when the
entire sample was analyzed as a whole.
Within the constraints of sample size, the analysis revealed that individuals at the highest
levels of knowledge and interest were the least likely to showsignicant positive gains, whereas in
general, those with moderate to high interest and limited knowledge were the main beneciaries.
Similarly, in the area of interest, the aquarium experience proved to be most benecial to those
individuals who came in with minimal to moderate interest. This is a satisfying nding given that
most museums, zoos, and aquariums work hard to tilt the educational benets of their institutions
toward visitors with more limited knowledge and interest.
As suggested in the introduction, most visitors do not claim to visit museum-like settings to
become experts. These results provide a corollary to this statement: Most experts do not nd
museum-like settings ideal for dramatically furthering their knowledge. Museums, zoos, and
aquariums are designed primarily to attract, engage, and stimulate visitors with limited knowledge
and at least moderate levels of interest. Data from this study were generally consistent with data
froma variety of other studies (cf. Falk &Dierking, 2000) which showthat the majority of visitors
can be described as possessing low to moderate knowledge and moderate to extensive interest.
This analysis suggests that these individuals are also likely to be the major beneciaries of
museum experiences.
In conclusion, we suggest that future efforts to investigate learning in museums should
include segmentation of learners into more ne-grained categories: at the very least, categories
based on visitors prior knowledge and interest. Without question, it would be far better to dene
and measure these categories a priori rather than a posteriori, as in this case. Such an effort would
go a long way toward diminishing the challenges of measuring learning in settings where
variability is inherently high. Although grouping visitors into categories requires slightly more
effort, and as this study highlights, requires a larger sample size than might be normally necessary
to insure statistical power after partitioning, the benets of enhanced understanding and accuracy
of interpretation more than compensate.
The particular case study used in this study suggested that signicant change in knowledge
and interest was present across the entire sample, yet another example we might have selected
could as easily have indicated that no signicant change occurred. Both situations would have
masked the reality of the ne-grained nature of change typical of learning in free-choice settings.
The primary lesson to be learned is that the reality of learning in free-choice settings is complex.
The better we are at meaningfully structuring samples and measurements to cope with that
complexity, the more likely we will be to derive a robust understanding of the underlying reality.
To the extent we do this, our ability to signicantly increase the acuity of our understandingof free-
choice learning appears promising.
172 FALK AND ADELMAN
A
p
p
e
n
d
i
x
K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
a
n
d
I
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
R
u
b
r
i
c
E
n
t
r
y
I
n
t
e
r
v
i
e
w
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
(
1
p
t
)
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
(
2
p
t
s
)
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
(
3
p
t
s
)
K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
W
h
a
t
i
s
t
h
e
m
a
i
n
f
o
r
m
o
f
p
o
l
l
u
t
i
o
n
o
f
r
i
v
e
r
s
a
n
d
s
t
r
e
a
m
s
?
(
M
u
l
t
i
p
l
e
c
h
o
i
c
e
q
u
e
s
t
i
o
n
)
D
.
d
o
n

t
k
n
o
w
S
c
o
r
e

1
.
5
C
o
r
r
e
c
t
:
I
n
c
o
r
r
e
c
t
:
A
.
/
C
.
w
a
s
t
e
/
g
a
r
b
a
g
e
d
u
m
p
i
n
g
B
.
r
u
n
-
o
f
f
W
h
a
t
i
s
t
h
e
m
a
i
n
s
o
u
r
c
e
o
f
o
i
l
i
n
t
o
r
i
v
e
r
s
,
l
a
k
e
s
,
a
n
d
b
a
y
s
?
(
M
u
l
t
i
p
l
e
c
h
o
i
c
e
)
D
.
d
o
n

t
k
n
o
w
S
c
o
r
e

1
.
5
C
o
r
r
e
c
t
:
I
n
c
o
r
r
e
c
t
:
A
.
s
h
i
p
s
s
p
i
l
l
/
B
.
o
i
l
r
e

n
e
r
y
d
i
s
c
h
a
r
g
e
C
.
I
n
d
.
C
h
a
n
g
i
n
g
c
a
r
o
i
l
W
h
a
t
d
o
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
o
f
w
h
e
n
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
o
f
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
?
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
u
n
d
e
r
s
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
)
G
e
n
e
r
a
l
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
t
o
t
h
r
e
a
t
s
t
o
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
(
e
.
g
.
,
p
o
l
l
u
t
i
o
n
)
,
w
h
a
t
i
s
b
e
i
n
g
t
h
r
e
a
t
e
n
e
d
(
e
.
g
.
,
a
n
i
m
a
l
s
)
,
a
n
d
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
o
f
p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n
(
e
.
g
.
,
r
e
c
y
c
l
i
n
g
)
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
r
e
s
p
e
c
t
/
a
w
a
r
e
n
e
s
s
a
n
d
r
e
s
p
o
n
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y
t
o
w
a
r
d
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
;
s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d
b
y
m
o
r
e
d
e
t
a
i
l
e
d
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
i
n
t
e
r
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
e
d
n
e
s
s
a
n
d
n
e
e
d
t
o
m
a
i
n
t
a
i
n
b
a
l
a
n
c
e
b
e
t
w
e
e
n
h
u
m
a
n
s
a
n
d
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
;
s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d
b
y
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
;
s
o
m
e
t
i
m
e
s
f
o
c
u
s
o
n
r
o
o
t
c
a
u
s
e
s
o
f
i
s
s
u
e
s
(
e
.
g
.
,
o
v
e
r
p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
)
C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e
p
r
i
o
r
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
s
c
o
r
e
(
S
u
m
s
c
o
r
e
/
p
o
t
e
n
t
i
a
l
t
o
t
a
l
p
o
i
n
t
s
)
I
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
T
h
i
n
k
i
n
g
s
p
e
c
i

c
a
l
l
y
a
b
o
u
t
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
a
l
i
s
s
u
e
s
,
p
l
e
a
s
e
t
e
l
l
m
e
h
o
w
s
e
r
i
o
u
s
a
p
r
o
b
l
e
m
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
e
a
c
h
o
f
t
h
e
s
e

v
e
i
s
s
u
e
s
i
s
:
l
o
s
s
o
f
r
a
i
n
f
o
r
e
s
t
s
,
r
a
t
e
o
f
l
a
n
d
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
a
n
d
n
a
t
u
r
e
b
e
i
n
g
l
o
s
t
,
w
a
t
e
r
q
u
a
l
i
t
y
,
o
v
e
r
c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
o
f
r
e
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
,
r
a
t
e
o
f
p
l
a
n
t
s
/
a
n
i
m
a
l
s
b
e
c
o
m
i
n
g
e
x
t
i
n
c
t
(
S
c
a
l
e
1

1
0
,
1

l
i
t
t
l
e
/
n
o
n
e
)
M
e
a
n
<
5
M
e
a
n
5

7
.
9
M
e
a
n

8
A
r
e
y
o
u
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
e
d
a
b
o
u
t
a
n
y
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
?
P
l
e
a
s
e
d
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
.
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
)
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
,
b
u
t
n
o
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
;
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
t
o
a
i
r
a
n
d
w
a
t
e
r
q
u
a
l
i
t
y
,
p
o
l
l
u
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
G
e
n
e
r
a
l
a
n
d
s
p
e
c
i

c
e
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
l
o
s
s
o
f
h
a
b
i
t
a
t
s
(
e
.
g
.
c
o
r
a
l
r
e
e
f
s
,
r
a
i
n
f
o
r
e
s
t
)
,
o
v
e
r
c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
o
f
r
e
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
,
a
n
d
g
l
o
b
a
l
c
l
i
m
a
t
e
c
h
a
n
g
e
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
,
o
f
t
e
n
w
i
t
h
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
,
o
n
r
a
t
e
o
f
l
a
n
d
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
,
p
l
a
n
t
/
a
n
i
m
a
l
e
x
t
i
n
c
t
i
o
n
,
a
n
d
o
v
e
r
p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
D
o
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
t
h
e
r
e
i
s
a
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
o
n
b
e
t
w
e
e
n
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
a
n
d
y
o
u
r
e
v
e
r
y
d
a
y
l
i
f
e
?
P
l
e
a
s
e
d
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
.
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
p
e
r
s
o
n
a
l
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
o
n
)
N
o
n
e
P
o
s
i
t
i
v
e
S
c
o
r
e
2
.
5
C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e
p
r
i
o
r
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
s
c
o
r
e
(
S
u
m
s
c
o
r
e
/
p
o
t
e
n
t
i
a
l
t
o
t
a
l
p
o
i
n
t
s
)
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 173
E
n
t
r
y
I
n
t
e
r
v
i
e
w
M
i
n
i
m
a
l
(
1
p
t
)
M
o
d
e
r
a
t
e
(
2
p
t
s
)
E
x
t
e
n
s
i
v
e
(
3
p
t
s
)
K
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
W
h
a
t
d
o
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
o
f
w
h
e
n
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
o
f
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
?
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
u
n
d
e
r
s
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
)
G
e
n
e
r
a
l
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
t
o
t
h
r
e
a
t
s
t
o
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
(
e
.
g
.
,
p
o
l
l
u
t
i
o
n
)
,
w
h
a
t
i
s
b
e
i
n
g
t
h
r
e
a
t
e
n
e
d
(
e
.
g
.
,
a
n
i
m
a
l
s
)
,
a
n
d
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
o
f
p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n
(
e
.
g
.
,
r
e
c
y
c
l
i
n
g
)
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
r
e
s
p
e
c
t
/
a
w
a
r
e
n
e
s
s
a
n
d
r
e
s
p
o
n
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y
t
o
w
a
r
d
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
;
s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d
b
y
m
o
r
e
d
e
t
a
i
l
e
d
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
i
n
t
e
r
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
e
d
n
e
s
s
a
n
d
n
e
e
d
t
o
m
a
i
n
t
a
i
n
b
a
l
a
n
c
e
b
e
t
w
e
e
n
h
u
m
a
n
s
a
n
d
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
;
s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d
b
y
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
;
s
o
m
e
t
i
m
e
s
f
o
c
u
s
o
n
r
o
o
t
c
a
u
s
e
s
o
f
i
s
s
u
e
s
(
e
.
g
.
,
o
v
e
r
p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
)
I
s
t
h
e
r
e
a
n
y
t
h
i
n
g
y
o
u
o
r
I
c
a
n
d
o
a
b
o
u
t
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
a
l
p
r
o
b
l
e
m
s
?
P
l
e
a
s
e
d
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
.
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
u
n
d
e
r
s
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
)
N
o
t
h
i
n
g
;
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
a
n
d
s
p
e
c
i

c
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
t
o
r
e
c
y
l
c
e
,

n
o
t
p
o
l
l
u
t
e

,
a
n
d
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
l
y

b
e
i
n
g
m
o
r
e
e
f

c
i
e
n
t

G
e
n
e
r
a
l
a
n
d
s
p
e
c
i

c
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
t
o
c
a
r
/
t
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t
a
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
,
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
e
w
a
t
e
r
/
e
n
e
r
g
y
,
c
o
m
p
o
s
t
,
b
e
m
o
r
e
a
w
a
r
e
,
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
l
y
r
e
s
p
e
c
t
l
a
n
d
/
a
n
i
m
a
l
s
S
p
e
c
i

c
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
t
o
i
m
p
o
r
t
a
n
c
e
o
f
e
d
u
c
a
t
i
o
n
(
e
.
g
.
,
t
a
l
k
i
n
g
t
o
o
t
h
e
r
s
)
,
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
i
s
s
u
e
s
,
r
e
d
u
c
e
p
e
s
t
i
c
i
d
e
s
,
c
o
n
s
u
m
e
r
i
s
m
,
a
n
d
a
c
t
i
v
e
l
y
s
u
p
p
o
r
t
i
n
g
c
a
u
s
e
s
w
i
t
h
m
o
n
e
y
/
t
i
m
e
C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e
e
x
i
t
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
s
c
o
r
e
(
S
u
m
s
c
o
r
e
/
p
o
t
e
n
t
i
a
l
t
o
t
a
l
p
o
i
n
t
s
)
I
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
T
h
i
n
k
i
n
g
s
p
e
c
i

c
a
l
l
y
a
b
o
u
t
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
a
l
i
s
s
u
e
s
,
p
l
e
a
s
e
t
e
l
l
m
e
h
o
w
s
e
r
i
o
u
s
a
p
r
o
b
l
e
m
y
o
u
t
h
i
n
k
e
a
c
h
o
f
t
h
e
s
e

v
e
i
s
s
u
e
s
i
s
:
l
o
s
s
o
f
r
a
i
n
f
o
r
e
s
t
s
,
r
a
t
e
o
f
l
a
n
d
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
a
n
d
n
a
t
u
r
e
b
e
i
n
g
l
o
s
t
,
w
a
t
e
r
q
u
a
l
i
t
y
,
o
v
e
r
c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
o
f
r
e
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
,
r
a
t
e
o
f
p
l
a
n
t
s
/
a
n
i
m
a
l
s
b
e
c
o
m
i
n
g
e
x
t
i
n
c
t
(
S
c
a
l
e
1

1
0
,
1

l
i
t
t
l
e
/
n
o
n
e
)
M
e
a
n
<
5
M
e
a
n
5

7
.
9
M
e
a
n

8
A
r
e
y
o
u
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
e
d
a
b
o
u
t
a
n
y
c
o
n
s
e
r
v
a
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
?
P
l
e
a
s
e
d
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
.
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
)
C
o
n
c
e
r
n
,
b
u
t
n
o
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
;
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
r
e
f
e
r
e
n
c
e
s
t
o
a
i
r
a
n
d
w
a
t
e
r
q
u
a
l
i
t
y
,
p
o
l
l
u
t
i
o
n
i
s
s
u
e
s
G
e
n
e
r
a
l
a
n
d
s
p
e
c
i

c
e
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
o
n
l
o
s
s
o
f
h
a
b
i
t
a
t
s
(
e
.
g
.
,
c
o
r
a
l
r
e
e
f
s
,
r
a
i
n
f
o
r
e
s
t
)
,
o
v
e
r
c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
o
f
r
e
s
o
u
r
c
e
s
,
a
n
d
g
l
o
b
a
l
c
l
i
m
a
t
e
c
h
a
n
g
e
E
m
p
h
a
s
i
s
,
o
f
t
e
n
w
i
t
h
e
l
a
b
o
r
a
t
i
o
n
,
o
n
r
a
t
e
o
f
l
a
n
d
d
e
v
e
l
o
p
m
e
n
t
,
p
l
a
n
t
/
a
n
i
m
a
l
e
x
t
i
n
c
t
i
o
n
,
a
n
d
o
v
e
r
p
o
p
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
I
s
t
h
e
r
e
a
n
y
t
h
i
n
g
y
o
u
o
r
I
c
a
n
d
o
a
b
o
u
t
e
n
v
i
r
o
n
m
e
n
t
a
l
p
r
o
b
l
e
m
s
?
P
l
e
a
s
e
d
e
s
c
r
i
b
e
.
(
O
p
e
n
-
e
n
d
e
d
h
o
l
i
s
t
i
c
u
n
d
e
r
s
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
)
N
o
n
e
P
o
s
i
t
i
v
e
S
c
o
r
e

2
.
5
C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e
e
x
i
t
i
n
t
e
r
e
s
t
/
c
o
n
c
e
r
n
s
c
o
r
e
(
S
u
m
s
c
o
r
e
/
p
o
t
e
n
t
i
a
l
t
o
t
a
l
p
o
i
n
t
s
)
174 FALK AND ADELMAN
References
Adelman, L.M., Falk, J.H., & James, S. (2001). Assessing the National Aquarium in
Baltimores impact on visitors conservation knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Curator, 43,
3362.
Anderson, D. (1999). Understanding the impact of post-visit activities on students
knowledge construction of electricity and magnetism as a result of a visit to an interactive
science centre. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology.
Brisbane, Australia.
Anderson, D., Lucas, K.B., Ginns, I.S., &Dierking, L.D. (2000). Development of knowledge
about electricity and magnetism during a visit to a science museum and related post-visit
activities. Science Education, 84, 658679.
Belden, N. & Russonello, J. (1996). Current trends in public opinion on the environment:
Environmental compendium update. Washington, DC: Belden & Russonello Research and
Communications.
Brice Heath, S. & Smyth, L. (1999). ArtShow: Youth and community development.
Washington, DC: Partners for Livable Communities.
Chadwick, J. (1998). Public utilization of museum-based WorldWideWeb sites. Unpublished
doctoral dissertation, University of New Mexico.
Chadwick, J., Falk, J.H., &OMara, H. (2000). Assessing institutional web sites. In: Council
on Library and Information Resources (Ed.), Collections, content, and the Web (pp. 6073).
Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources.
Chambers, S.K. & Andre, T. (1997). Gender, prior knowledge, interest and experience in
electricity and conceptual change text manipulations in learning about direct current. Journal of
Research in Science Teaching, 34, 107123.
Combs, A.A. (2000). Why do they come? Listening to visitors at a decorative arts museum.
Curator, 42, 186197.
Crane, V., Nicholson, H., Chen, M., & Bitgood, S. (1994). Informal science learning: What
research says about television, science museums, and community-based projects. Deadham, MA:
Research Communications.
Eveland, W. Jr. & Dunwoody, S. (1998). Users and navigation patterns of a science World
Wide Web site for the public. Public Understanding of Science, 7, 285312.
Falk, J.H. (1998a) Visitors: Who does, who doesnt, and why. Museum News, 77, 3843.
Falk, J.H. (1998b). Pushing the boundaries: Assessing the long-term impact of museum
experiences. In Falk, J. & Dierking, L. (Eds.), Current trends 11 (pp. 16). Washington, DC:
Committee on Audience Research and Development.
Falk, J.H. (1999). Museums as institutions for personal learning. Daedalus, 128, 259275.
Falk, J.H. (2002). The contribution of free-choice learning to public understanding of science.
Interciencia, 27(2), 6265.
Falk, J.H. & Dierking, L.D. (1992). The museum experience. Washington, DC: Whalesback
Books.
Falk, J.H. & Dierking, L.D. (2000). Learning from museums: Visitor experiences and the
making of meaning. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Falk, J.H., Moussouri, T., & Coulson, D. (1998). The effect of visitors agendas on museum
learning. Curator, 41, 106120.
Falk, J.H. & Storksdieck, M. (2001) A multi-factor investigation of variables affecting
science learning froma science center exhibition. Final report, National Science Foundation Grant
ESI-0000527.
AQUARIUM VISITOR LEARNING 175
Gambone, M.A. & Arbreton, A. (1997). Safe havens: The contributions of youth
organizations to healthy adolescent development. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.
Gross, L. (1997, September). The impact of television on modern life and attitudes. Paper
presented at the 1997 International Conference on the Public Understanding of Science and
Technology, Chicago, IL.
Louis Harris &Associates. (1994). Science and nature survey. NewYork: American Museum
of Natural History.
Medrich, E.A. (1991). Young adolescents and discretionary time use: The nature of life
outside of school. Paper commissioned by the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development for
its Task Force on Youth Development and Community Programs, Washington, DC.
McKelvey, L.M., Falk, J.H., Schreier, M., OMara, H., & de Prizio, J. (1999). Conservation
impact study: National Aquarium in Baltimore. Technical report. Annapolis, MD: Institute for
Learning Innovation.
Miller, J.D. (1987). Scientic literacy in the United States. In Evered, D. & OConnor, M.
(Eds.), Communicating science to the public. London: Wiley.
Miller, J.D. (1998). The measurement of civic scientic literacy. Public Understanding of
Science, 7, 121.
Miller, J.D. (2001). The acquisition and retention of scientic information by American
adults. In Falk, J.H. (Ed.), Free-choice science education: Howwe learn science outside of school
(pp. 93114). New York: Teachers College Press.
Miller, J. & Pifer, L. (1996). Science and technology: The publics attitudes and the publics
understanding. In National Science Board, Science and engineering indicators: 1996 (pp. 7.1
7.21). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Ofce.
National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. (1997). The National Report
Card on environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Washington, DC: Roper Starch
Worldwide.
Osborne, R. & Wittrock, M.C. (1983). Learning science: A generative process. Science
Education, 67, 489508.
Osborne, R. &Wittrock, M.C. (1985). The generative learning model and its implications for
science education. Studies in Science Education, 12, 5987.
Posner, G., Strike, K., Hewson, D., & Gertzog, W. (1982). Accommodation of a scientic
conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66, 211227.
Strike, K. & Posner, G. (1992). A revisionist theory of conceptual change. In Duschl, R.A. &
Hamilton, R.J. (Eds.), Philosophy of science, cognitive psychology, and educational theory and
practice (pp. 147176), Albany: State University of New York Press.
176 FALK AND ADELMAN