Freelance Museum Consultancy

Academic Research

Kate has been conducting academic research since 1989 when she undertook a master’s dissertation on the schools use of the Rutland Dinosaur. This has been written up in Museum, Media and Message, (Edited by Eilean Hooper Greenhill and published by Routledge in 1995)

Since then she has been involved in a number of collaborative academic projects including:

  • Improving Museum Learning, Edited by E Hooper Greenhill and published by the East Midlands Museums Service in 1996
  • A survey of teacher’s INSET needs, written with Vicky Woollard, an edited version is available in Journal for Education in Museums.
    A PDF version of this article is available here

Recent articles for the Visitor Studies Newsletter cover validity, the process of evaluation and an article on ethics.

Her current research is on the experiences children and young people have in museums and on the methods that evaluators can use to find out about them.
Click here to view the preliminary article.
A paper was also presented at the Conference at Leicester University in 2006, which summarises and evaluates the evaluation work undertaken with young people. A PDF version of this paper is available here

Kate believes that constructivist learning inevitably means that visitors to museums learn different things. Even if this different experience can be grouped into communities of learning evaluating learning on pre-determined outcomes set by a museum’s exhibition team is an inadequate way to assess quality of a visitor’s experience. For example learning in a museum can include the factual, emotional, social and skills based experiences.

Her research is currently considering ways in which we can evaluate diverse experiences more effectively. One method may be to consider the types of learning indicators associated with learning in an interactive gallery.Recent work has used observation checklists to record the frequency of behaviours and then link these to Generic Learning Outcomes as defined by the Inspiring for Learning website.
A PDF version of this paper is available here

A paper given at a recent summer meeting of the British Interactive Group was on learning from interactives.
A  PDF version of the paper given is available here

Kate is also interested in the methods used to evaluate visitor experiences in the museum.

An article for Primary Science is due out shortly on Action Research