Today's academic learning environments are ever changing, incorporating practices to present curriculum to students in new and continuously innovative ways. Museum institutions can offer teachers and students the opportunity to experience a learning environment that encourages hands on and exploratory interactions within a museum setting. Alternative learning spaces like those found within a museum, encourage students to associate classroom learning with real world settings. This study investigates the communicative practices museum educators use to engage with students in ways that increase comprehension of educational information. To aid student understanding, educators must adapt educational practices to students' learning styles to overcome any challenges that may arise in these types of learning environments. This thesis research investigates these challenges as well as the interactions among teachers and students as they negotiate aspects of engaged learning in a museum setting. In addition to understanding engaged learning challenges, communication practices utilized by museum educators will be reviewed – and ultimately help illuminate the various practices educators use in order to overcome challenges found when attempting to create an engaged learning environment. Both face-to-face interviews with museum educators and field observations in museum classrooms provided rich contextual data for analysis. Results are presented as a sequence of first hand narratives that exemplify episodes of engaged learning. The primary findings of this investigation revealed six dimensions that were elemental in activating engaged learning. They were: sensory knowing, focused concentration, novelty, linked learning, practical applications, and classroom interface. Many of these dimensions contain multiple variances, and as such were further defined with subcategories. Not to be remiss, the challenges encountered by educators in these face-to-face exemplars were also discussed. In conclusion, the exemplar episodes depicted in the research illuminated several key take-aways: (a) the idea of engaged learning is a broad and nebulous concept that elicits strong emotions from both supporters and opponents, (b) while this study revealed six dimensions in use, they would be conceptualized within a continuum, indicating that the sum is greater than any of its individual dimensions, and (c) the study discovered through pedagogical applications, that on occasion significant limitations to the engaged learning theory could be applied to the sample population.