Jennifer works and researches in the museum and cultural heritage sectors, with a focus on issues of communication, access and public engagement. She gained her PhD in 2016 with a linguistic and sociological study of museum exhibitions. Her research interests include museums and their social role and impact; the role of discourse in the construction of disciplinary knowledge, identity and practice; and the application of social semiotic theories of meaning-making to museum research, education and practice.
Blunden, J & Fitzgerald, P 2019, 'Beyond the classroom: Museum visits and resources' in Multimodality across Classrooms: Learning about and through Different Modalities, Routledge, New York, pp. 194-206.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Museums are perhaps the ultimate multimodal classroom, where students have the opportunity to engage through multiple modes with authentic and/or original objects, records, artworks and other content related to their studies. Museums are also notoriously enthusiastic adopters of the latest technologies, from audios and apps to virtual and augmented reality. For many students and teachers, museum visits can offer unprecedented opportunities to learn about and through different modalities. This chapter provides a brief overview of the research into student learning in museums, and of multimodal research concerning museums, as informed by a Systemic Functional framework. In doing so, it argues that, while museum programmes are overwhelmingly seen as worthwhile, enjoyable and memorable experiences by both teachers and students, the experiences themselves remain somewhat of a black box, highlighting a productive and valuable space for future research.
Blunden, JJ 2016, 'Boundary Riders: Museums, Language and the In-between' in de Silva Joyce, H (ed), Language at Work: Analysing Language Use in Work, Education, Medicaland Museum Contexts, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, pp. 231-254.