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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Culturally responsive museum education practices from Malawi, Africa Baker, Kimberly


The purpose of this research was to examine the culturally responsive education practices (CREP) of the museum educators of a Museum in Malawi, Africa through an instrumental intrinsic case study. Specifically I examined the Mobile Museum’s outreach programs - HIV/AIDS Prevention, Malaria Prevention and the Cultural Expression & Promotion in Primary Schools. A second purpose was to discover, how particular groups and/or individuals receive and respond to these programs in relation to preserving expressive arts cultural heritage. Thirdly, the data collected provided evidence and a methodology for museum educators to draw from when developing and implementing culturally responsive museum education programs (CRMEP). This study included two participants, who are the people primarily responsible for developing the education programs at the Museum. This overall study is framed through the lens of culturally responsive education. During a three-week period (November 18 to December 5, 2010), I collected qualitative data from two sources, expert interviews, and observations of the participants and the programs. Additionally, I collected quantitative data in the form of a questionnaire. I draw upon Bogdan and Biklen (2007) methodological triangulation, which includes multiple perspectives, sources of data and methodologies. My research reveals that the participants contribute to preserving expressive arts cultural heritage through ‘active participation’ of CREP through socially responsible mandates. Therefore, I propose a reframing of museum education theory and practice to encompass CREP, which will have consequent implications on future research in `relational museology`- a strategy that integrates both top-down and bottom-up approaches to community development through a conduit of communication and collaboration processes with all stake-holders.

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