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    Young children's engagement with objects in science museums: a rapid evidence assessment of research

    Flewitt, Rosie ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1986-0644, Bangpan, Mukdarut, Manyukhina, Yana and Wyse, Dominic (2023) Young children's engagement with objects in science museums: a rapid evidence assessment of research. Curator: the Museum journal, 66 (1). pp. 129-148. ISSN 0011-3069

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    Abstract

    This rapid evidence assessment (REA) of literature was conducted to aggregate knowledge about young children's engagement with objects in science museums. The review focuses on empirical studies published between 2000 and 2020 reporting on children in the age range from birth to eight years. Scrutiny of a final sample of 48 peer-reviewed papers indicated that certain museum object characteristics may arouse children's curiosity more than others. Children's interest in museum objects is enhanced and sustained by dialogical and collaborative activity with peers and adults, by sensory, emotional and cognitive engagement with objects, and by children having choice and freedom to explore museum spaces on their own terms. The review identifies there is limited evidence pertaining to children's visits to STEM museums and a need for theoretically robust empirical research with children, museum educators, teachers and parents from diverse communities.

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