Learning “through the Prism of Art”: Engaging Gen Z Students with University Art Museums

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


University art museums contribute in meaningful ways to students’ educational experiences. However, many higher education institutions are grappling with the challenge of engaging a new generation of students. This investigation sought to understand what motivates Gen Z college students to seek out encounters with art and engage with their university art museum. Results illustrate a disconnect between the expressed purpose of a university art museum and the perceptions driving Gen Z students’ engagement with art. Data analysis revealed that students are compelled by (a) aesthetic experiences and (b) opportunities for social connection. Importantly, findings underscore the educational value of student engagement with the museum as a means for exploring identity, building mentor relationships, and having intellectual dialogue over pressing societal issues. Additionally, the importance of social media as a tool for further engagement emerged as a recurring insight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Learning in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Common Ground Research Networks, Erin B. Hester, Sarah A. Geegan, Kimberly A. Parker, All Rights Reserved


  • Connectivity
  • Experiential learning
  • Gen z
  • Social media
  • Student engagement
  • University art museums

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning “through the Prism of Art”: Engaging Gen Z Students with University Art Museums'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this