Museology Master of Arts Program

June 10, 2016

Dialogue for Public Engagement

Master’s Project by Gregory Brandell (2016)

Zoos are increasingly expanding the scope and goals of public programming to go beyond educating their public to a more complex and civic goal of engaging their visitors in considering and addressing the social issues that relate to the mission of zoos. To address this larger goal, museums are experimenting with new formats of public engagement. In particular, a great deal of experimentation has taken place using forms of dialogue. The purpose of this project is examine the unique nature of dialogue usage in zoos. The method to explore this is the creation development, and implementation of two workshops and a lecture focusing on dialogue as a form of public engagement. These workshops were evaluated and found to be beneficial for the attendees and their understanding of dialogic techniques. The workshops also provided insight into the unique opportunities dialogues with living collection institutions provide.


Keywords: project, public engagement, dialogue, zoo


Brandell, G. (2016). Dialogue for Public Engagement. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.