Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

Dave Smaldone


Using qualitative methodology, this study investigated interpretation, meaning-making, and civic engagement at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Based upon constructivist learning theory, the research focused on eight research questions including: 1) What memories do visitors recall from their visit to CHSNHS? 2) What kind of knowledge do visitors remember? 3) Are visitors making meaningful connections to the resource? 4) What meanings are visitors making? 5) How are the meanings made? 6) Are these meanings connected to civic engagement? 7) What types of citizens are visitors to Central High School NHS? 8) Longitudinal changes in knowledge, meaningful connections, and how meanings were constructed?;Visitors exhibited four types of memories: declarative, experiential, episodic and structural, and five different types of knowledge: declarative, experiential, episodic, structural and socio-cultural. Visitors made meaningful connections which were cognitive and emotional, which were both positive and negative, and these meanings were made through evaluation, establishment, personal experience, absolute description, and special knowledge. Visitors participated in various community activities, but their knowledge and feeling about the site did not translate into action. There were six passive citizens, seven active, and four civically engaged citizens. Longitudinally, there were increases in types of knowledge, changes in meaningful connections, and differences in how meanings were made. Future research should focus on the role of churches in civic engagement and conversations with others when investigating interpretation, meaning-making, and civic engagement.