Museums are unique settings pertaining to the preservation of the societies’ communal recollection of the place in which they dwell in historical period. The variety of collections in museums in terms of their features and categories is of great importance to form social identity and to keep social memory alive. In this regard, conceptual varieties of museums, and human interactions through the visual exhibitions have created the possibility for museums to be an educational resource. Museums, where educational activities are conducted in unconventional ways, have recently grown in popularity as extra-curricular learning centers. As such, museums can be defined as both learning tools and institutions that help learners with gaining various skills and values. As an intersectional part of social study related subjects, museums are frequently utilized in social studies courses. This study aims to investigate the effect of museum education practice on teacher candidates’ views and motivation of museums in social studies. This study adopted a pretest – posttest and control group design. A total of 49 senior students of education faculty of a state university were recruited. Teacher candidates were randomly assigned as experimental and control groups. Over the period of one academic semester, a 14-week course of instruction was offered. Data were collected through three tools: a scale of opinions for museum education the scale on motivation and learning strategies and a semi structured interview constructed by the researchers. Findings of the study showed that there was a significant difference between the experimental and control group. Based on the findings, it can be stated that experimental group of students has positive opinions pertaining to museum education and that the motivation towards the course of the experimental group is higher than that of control groups. Further recommendations in relation to the use of museums in social studies courses were proposed.
Social studies, museum, museum education, teacher candidate.