Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Nina Jensen


This thesis analyzes the role of family guides in the family museum experience. Family guides are generally handheld pamphlets produced by the museum with the intention of supporting the family experience in the galleries. This study starts by sharing the results of my undergraduate work. After, I describe the preliminary process of contributing to a family guide at American Folk Art Museum. Lastly, I share my current research, in which I interviewed twelve families, asking them to speak to their museum experiences and compare and contrast four family guides. From these interviews, I am able to evaluate the family guide from the American Folk Art Museum and begin to draw conclusions about the future of family guides and what I believe museums can offer to families to make the museum experience more enjoyable. I concluded from interviews that it was not possible to create an ideal family guide. Some families preferred that family guides offer open-ended questions and flexibility while some families preferred that the guide offered a dictated visit. Going forward, I determined that family guides might not be the greenest or most effective way to continue support families. As a suggestion, I offer an idea for an electronic open-ended scavenger hunt ( much like an iphone application) that I feel could foster an enjoyable family museum experience.


Museum education (Program of study)

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