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Shared professional knowledge: Implications for emerging leaders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Lynn Uyen Tran, Heather King

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Museum Education
Issue number2
Published2 Nov 2009

King's Authors


Educators make significant contributions to museums' educational agendas, yet recognition of their status in the museum field remains minimal. Furthermore, limited research has been directed at the nature of their practice and pedagogy. By establishing a common body of knowledge underpinned by theory and leading to a shared framework for practice, it is argued that emerging leaders in the field will be equipped to know how best how to design, manage and implement initiatives that support learning. Elsewhere, we have proposed just such a theoretically grounded knowledge base to inform educator practice. In this paper we share exemplars from a current study in which we explore the interconnections between our proposed knowledge base and the complexity of museum educators' work. Our findings demonstrate the need for emerging leaders in museum education to have a deep understanding of the knowledge that underlies their work. Without this knowledge, we assert that emerging leaders will be ill equipped to guide their staff towards a set of proven practices that support visitor learning. Moreover, they will be denied a shared vocabulary with which they may defend and further develop the educational role of their museums.

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