David's research focusses on learning in science centres, museums and other informal science learning institutions. His PhD will use an action research approach to follow the development of the Eden Project’s latest exhibition, Invisible Worlds, from the beginning of the development process to after its launch in Spring 2018.
Invisible Worlds will shed light on the Earth systems and processes which sustain life on our planet – the things which are too fast, too slow, too large or too small to comprehend. The inherent complexity of these systems poses a significant challenge to visitors’ understanding. But modern exhibitions don’t just aim to increase visitor understanding – more often they have more ambitious aims of changing visitors’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviours through an immersive, transformational experience.
David's research aims to understand this process from a sociocultural perspective by drawing on theories of transformational learning and identity, whilst using an action research approach to bridge research and practice.