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The Cultural History and Learning Affordances of Natural History Dioramas

Reiss, MJ; (2015) The Cultural History and Learning Affordances of Natural History Dioramas. In: Tunnicliffe, SD and Scheersoi, A, (eds.) Natural History Dioramas: History, Construction and Educational Role. (pp. 279-289). Springer: Dordrecht, Netherlands. Green open access

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Abstract

A diorama is a careful positioning of a number of museum objects in a naturalistic setting. Natural history dioramas come in a variety of forms but typically contain skilfully positioned taxidermy specimens and other objects before a painted backdrop. While time-consuming and expensive to design and construct, dioramas offer tremendous potential as educational tools and are often very popular with museum visitors. There is great value, when such dioramas are used for educational purposes, in encouraging viewers to reflect on what they see and conclude. A diorama is a metaphor for reality not a faithful depiction of it. Metaphors can illuminate but they need to be examined and talked through, otherwise they can seduce unwittingly.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Cultural History and Learning Affordances of Natural History Dioramas
ISBN-13: 9789401794954
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9496-1_21
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9496-1_21
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Natural History Museum, American Museum, European Bison, Museum Visitor, Museum Exhibit
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069296
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