This study examined reflective practices and work engagement among museum exhibit developers in the United States. The primary goal of this sequential explanatory study was to determine if there is a link between reflective practice and work engagement, and to understand the nature of any link. Secondarily, the study sought to identify the extent of reflective practice use among exhibit developers, the extent to which exhibit developers are engaged in their work, exhibit developers’ perceptions of reflective practice, and exhibit developers’ perceptions about the benefits and challenges of engaging in reflective practice. Using Spearman’s coefficient, this study found that reflective practice and work engagement are significantly correlated (p = .002). This study also found that exhibit developers are highly reflective concerning their work and are very highly engaged in their work. According to this study, exhibit developers have higher than average vigor, dedication, and absorption. Participants in this study suggested that reflective practice influences vigor and dedication in exhibit developers. Reflective practice helps exhibit developers persist through challenges in their work and helps them feel they made the correct career choice. Engaging in reflective practice also helps exhibit developers feel like they are engaged in significant work, feel more inspired, and feel challenged by their work. Exhibit developers have many different perceptions of reflective practice, including the following: thinking of reflective practice as mindfulness; engaging in reflective practice by looking at past experiences; using reflective practice to ensure the pieces fit together as a cohesive whole; using prototyping and evaluation as part of reflective practice; using reflection as critique; reflecting while looking at other people’s exhibits; and having reflective discussions. Benefits of engaging in reflective practice included focus on audience needs, incorporation of diverse perspectives, ongoing engagement with projects, meeting personal needs, gaining assistance and confidence in making decisions, and promoting adaptability. Challenges to engaging in reflective practice included time, money, the attitudes of museum or team leadership, other colleagues, the institutional culture, and the field in general.
|Commitee:||Klimoski, Victor, Stephens, Valerie|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Professional development, Reflective practice, Work engagement|
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