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History as edutainment - Learning at a history theme park
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Plats, Identitet, Lärande (PIL).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3832-0873
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Plats, Identitet, Lärande (PIL).
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When it comes to children’s relation to history, the mix of entertainment and education – edutainment – is an ever-growing trend, blurring the distinction between for example schools, museums and various theme parks. Edutainment establishments attracts growing numbers of children, families and schools every year. The edutainment business is said to offer new methods and different ways of spreading knowledge and tries to introduce novel, surprising approaches to attract visitors. Often the parks use hands-on-pedagogy and visitors get to experience and try features first-handed. The establishments thus expect an active, explorative and interested visitor. Then again, at times it is questioned what visitors actually learn from edutainment institutions, and if the entertainment does not more or less dominate a visit to these places. Research in the field is still scarce, particularly when it comes to studies where researchers follows visitors during their visits. This paper report on a study of 10–12-year-old school children’s visit to High Chaparral a western theme park in Sweden with between 175 000-180 000 visitors every year, a theme park distributing an historical journey back to the 1870s America. In the paper we investigate how the children take on different features and how they through their actions enacts the park. Using material from participant observations during the children’s visits to the park we specifically analyze how the children react to the parks use of history and the mix of entertainment and education at the park. The paper thus highlights the visiting children’s use of history and their contribution in the very learning experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Theme parks, history, historical concepts, historical learning, edutainment, wild west
National Category
History and Archaeology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-46909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-46909DiVA, id: diva2:1373314
Conference
44th Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association, November 21-24, 2019, Chicago, USA
Projects
High Chaparral, historiekommunikation och formell/informell utbildning
Funder
Swedish National Heritage Board, 3.2.2-3635-2017Available from: 2019-11-26 Created: 2019-11-26 Last updated: 2019-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Carl-JohanSamuelsson, Tobias

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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