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Ivel Gontan, Scott Pattison, Summer Brandon, Andee Rubin, Elizabeth Andanen, Marcie Benne
—Informal Learning Review. No. 138, May/June 2016

Summary

Organizations partner for a variety of reasons—in the case of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, the partnership was prompted by the need to investigate the transfer of a museum education model developed at a larger institution to a smaller museum. Would it be possible? What kinds of pitfalls and unexpected outcomes would we encounter? Now more than ever, funders are interested in how effective educational practices and experiences developed at one institution can be shared and adopted more broadly. However, oversimplified views of dissemination and scale-up efforts often obscure the complexity of taking an initiative to a new context.

This article tells the story of our experience transferring an approach to museum staff facilitation developed through the Researching the Value of Educator Actions for Learning (REVEAL) project. We share the lessons we learned from the process with the hopes that they will be useful to other projects and, most importantly, motivate ongoing discussions, explorations, and research within the field about how we effectively transfer educational resources and approaches across institutions and communities.

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