Understanding implicit learning in museums and galleries

Alex Elwick


Implicit learning, learning we are not aware of, or learning which results in
knowledge we do not know we possess or cannot articulate, is often considered
to be a ubiquitous part of life, and yet is rarely studied in real-world contexts. This
paper presents an attempt to research implicit learning amongst museum and
gallery visitors, with the ultimate aim being to understand whether implicit learning
takes place in the museum and how we might begin to unearth such tacit (silent)
knowledge. Examples drawn from interviewees with members of gallery ‘friends’
associations provide evidence that people often possess knowledge they are
seemingly unaware of, directly derived from their museum/gallery experiences. The
methodology explored here acts as a formative means to study implicit learning
and the paper suggests how this might be further developed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/mas.v13i4.343

Copyright (c) 2016 Alex Elwick

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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