College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education

Department

College of Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Research

First Advisor

Karen Monkman, PhD

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kuzmic, PhD

Third Advisor

Hilary Conklin, PhD

Abstract

This study examines the development of Choosing to Participate, an educational exhibit presented by Facing History and Ourselves, and teachers’ experiences visiting the exhibit on field trips with students. Presented as an exhibit about “what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society,” teachers found multiple sites of value within the exhibit, but resisted the notion that it was meant to educate visitors about democracy or citizenship. Their descriptions revealed several essential characteristics of processing an educational exhibit, namely constant evaluation in order to inform adaptation for the classroom; as well as key obstacles to fostering deep engagement with democratic citizenship education in an informal learning space.

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