On the Floor: Museum Teaching Techniques in the 21st Century

Vol. 43 No. 4  |  December 2018

How do you facilitate visitors’ learning in your museum, historic site, zoo, aquarium, or botanical garden? When you are conducting a tour, discussion, activity, or program, what techniques do you use, what theories support your approach, and how do you know if you’ve been successful?

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. 2001697368/

The December 2018 issue of JME will feature case studies of face-to-face, on-the-floor teaching strategies, to capture—and share—what actually happens in museum teaching. In recent years we have seen excellent literature on open-ended, dialogic teaching in art museums, but little on other kinds of museum teaching techniques in other types of museums.

We are particularly interested in dialogic, constructivist, inquiry-based, and hands-on strategies that actively involve visitors in exploring pre-identified ideas and concepts that they otherwise might not come up with on their own. How do you inspire visitors to grapple with new ideas and information, and how to you scaffold their emerging understanding?

If you have been experimenting with new teaching techniques, or transferred a tried-and-true teaching technique to a new audience, we want to hear from you. What have you tried that has failed, and what did you learn? How do you define and measure success?


To be considered for the issue, complete the online proposal form. For the proposal we ask you to briefly describe the tour/lesson/program/activity and:

  • Teaching goals
  • Teaching technique
  • Theoretical foundation (if known)
  • Audience type/characteristics
  • What makes this technique noteworthy (for your museum, for your museum type, for the field, or for the audience…)?

Proposals will be accepted through Monday, February 12, 2018.

If selected, we will invite you to write and submit a 2,000–word article for peer review. Your initial draft will be due to the guest editors by May 1, 2018, and the final version will be due for peer review by July 1, 2018. All articles will undergo the standard double-blind peer review process, meaning authors will not know who reviewed their work and reviewers will not know who wrote the article. Reviewers recommend publication, revision, or rejection of an article.

Feel free to contact the guest editors at JMuseEd @ with questions.




For Guest Editors and Authors

The Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Museum Education welcomes the submission of proposals to guest-edit themed sections and original papers on theory, training, and practice in the museum education field.

Each JME issue features an introduction from the Editor-in-Chief, a guest-edited themed section featured on the cover of the journal, and articles about new research, current trends, tools, frameworks, and case studies, perspectives, and book, exhibit, and program reviews. Articles are peer-reviewed in a double-blind process.


Guest editors shape themed sections of the JME. If you are interested in submitting a proposal to guest edit a section of the JME please follow the guidelines outlined in the document download below. Themed sections generally include 4-6 articles, plus an introduction by the guest editor.

Download Themed Issue Proposal Submission Guidelines


Manuscripts that fall into one of the journal’s recurring sections are accepted on a rolling basis. This process as well as writing guidelines are described in the document download below.

Download Article Submission Guidelines

Need help fleshing out an idea? Contact the JME Editor-in-Chief: Cynthia Robinson JMuseEd @