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Bringing children’s museums to the children through pop-up museums: the case of Emotionland

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Abstract

Children’s learning in informal environments (e.g., their homes, museums) is a powerful predictor of their academic skills. Children’s museums offer opportunities for children to learn through interactive experiences aimed at fostering curiosity and exploration. One challenge faced by stand-alone children’s museums is that most visitors are from highly educated backgrounds. How can children’s museums reach a more diverse group of children? In the present article, we discuss the possibility of pop-up children’s museums, interactive learning opportunities that are presented for a short period of time in various community locations. To illustrate the possibilities of pop-up museums, we present the example of Emotionland, a pop-up museum that ran several times (before the COVID19 pandemic). Emotionland was designed to allow children to explore their feelings, label emotions that corresponded to facial expressions and situations, and discuss emotion regulation strategies with their families. We provide details about each of the stations in Emotionland as well as an evaluation of their effectiveness relative to our learning objectives. We argue that pop-up museums allow us to bring some of the exciting learning opportunities to a more diverse population, supporting their learning in school settings.

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Acknowledgements

Esther Diamalanta designed several stations.

Funding

Funding was supported by KIAS Research Team Grant.

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Correspondence to Erin Leech.

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Leech, E., Paular, R. & Nicoladis, E. Bringing children’s museums to the children through pop-up museums: the case of Emotionland. SN Soc Sci 2, 184 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-022-00489-3

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