An Introduction to Object-Based Learning and Multisensory Engagement
Object-based learning is a mode of education which involves the active integration of objects into the learning environment. In the museological context, object-based learning describes learners’ active engagement with museum collections within a student-centred framework. The term has multifariously been referred to as objectcentred learning, object-inspired learning and object-based inquiry (Paris, 2002; Shuh, 1982). All these terms refer to the role of objects in the acquisition and dissemination of subject-specific and cross-disciplinary knowledge, observational, practical and other transferable skills. Here ‘object’ is used to include any item such as a specimen, artefact or artwork that can collectively be referred to as material culture (Pearce, 1994), but the term could equally apply to manuscripts, rare books and archives. The integration of museum collections in learning has been the focus of a significant body of works and it is clear that museum objects can inspire, inform, engage and motivate learners at all stages of their education.