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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Toward a Cognitive Model of Visitor Responses in Interpretive Centers.
The Journal of Environmental Education
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Abstract: Visitor centers are a key element in many interpretive programs in the United Kingdom and North America and are becoming widely used elsewhere in the world. The effectiveness of whole interpretive programs may often rest on the ability of these visitor centers to teach visitors about the areas they are using. The evaluation of such centers is, then, of great importance in understanding the successes and failures of interpretive programs and in designing better interpretive services. Some valuable evaluation research has been conducted both in the United Kingdom and the United States, but the studies have been scarce and often lack an appropriate cognitive model of visitors. This article outlines such a model based on the concept of mindfulness/mindlessness. The article also presents a secondary analysis of data on visitors to five Forestry Commission Centers in the United Kingdom. A series of crosstabulation and correlational analyses indicated that mindfulness was positively related to visitors' perception of the exhibits as being impressive. It was also found that there was a relationship between mindfulness and complexity of exhibits. Furthermore, it was found that the way in which information was presented in the exhibits was also related to visitors' perceptions of the exhibits as being impressive and to mindfulness. These results support the application of a mindfulness approach as an appropriate cognitive model of visitors.
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