Conducting research in a medical science museum

lessons learned from collaboration between researchers and museum educators

Tracy L. Durksen, Andrew J. Martin, Emma C. Burns, Paul Ginns, Derek Williamson, Julia Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Museums promote co-learning through the construction of a social community, one that involves personal, physical, and sociocultural contexts. As researchers and museum educators, we report some of our contextual reflections and recommendations that emerged from our collaborative learning experience of conducting research in a medical science museum. Guided by an established 6P model of museum learning (place, purpose, person, people, process, and product), we articulate our experiences and propose an additional P (partnership) with eight steps–beginning with relationship building and culminating in dissemination to varied audiences. Using examples from our research of children and young adolescents’ experience of a science and health-related museum program entitled “Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse,” we identify principles, factors, and processes that contributed to the success of our museum-based research. By presenting the lessons we learned, we aim to help guide future research endeavors of others considering interdisciplinary museum research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Museum Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • educational research
  • museum learning
  • museum research
  • science education
  • visitor experience

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