The ecological museum: Improving diversity in museum practice through an ecological mind-set

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2 Scopus citations


The topic of this paper is the role of current art museum education in practicing and promoting cultural diversity. Many United States' art museums, especially in metropolitan areas, have long been accused of being Eurocentric, elite, and authoritative. These hegemonic and Eurocentric tendencies derive from three interrelated factors: the history of museum development, a lack of diversity awareness among museum professionals, and modernistic educational ideas. By using the metaphors of biodiversity and ecology, this paper emphasizes the importance of cultural diversity and different ways of learning and living. In addition, through an interview with a current museum educator, real-world museum challenges are identified and analyzed. Finally, the paper suggests internal and external solutions intended to transform the negative aspects of current museum discourse. In the process of transformation, an ecological mind-set plays an important role. This approach involves seeing the world from a holistic viewpoint and treating individuals not as basic social units but, rather, as part of the natural world. The ecological mind-set rejects Eurocentric idea that the world's people are divided based on their social condition, educational level, race, gender, cultural background, or sexual orientation. Placing an ecological mind-set at the center of museum practices and culture is a promising way to invite as many people as possible to full participation in museum experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of the Inclusive Museum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cultural diversity
  • Ecological mind-set
  • Ecological museum
  • Inclusive museum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Museology


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