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Dances with Schools Reactive and Proactive Schools Schools are institutions of formal learning, different from informal learning style offered in a museum.

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Presentation on theme: "Dances with Schools Reactive and Proactive Schools Schools are institutions of formal learning, different from informal learning style offered in a museum."— Presentation transcript:


2 Dances with Schools Reactive and Proactive

3 Schools Schools are institutions of formal learning, different from informal learning style offered in a museum setting Fundamental difference between constructivism in a museum and formal instruction in a classroom. Schools have many constraints that affect its ability to have a meaningful relationship with a museum NCLB affects schools and their ability to help their students, learners, construct their own learning, and constrains ability to use museums as supplementary learning places


5 No Child Left Behind Legislation U. S. Act of Congress signed into law by George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. Standards based education reform “High” standards and measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education States develop assessments in basic skills in order for schools to be eligible for federal funding and emphasizes reading, writing, math and science Has had negative impact on field trips (Field Museum in Chicago – 100,000 fewer kids)

6 Museums Museums are places of informal learning They represent free choice learning, and where people choose to spend their leisure time. There are no tests at the exit and no requirement that anything be learned or memorized in any particular way. MUSEUMS MUST MARKET THEMSELVES TO SCHOOLS


8 Museums and Schools together Museums and schools both provide unique and valuable learning environments Both share a vision for education of children Both have vastly different cultures Both in need of funding for collaboration On-going communication essential to defining roles and responsibilities clearly

9 School groups in museums Research suggests that 1.Social interaction in a school group is important for a positive learning outcome 2.Recognition and accommodation of children’s social agendas can result in increased learning 3.Students enjoy seeing and learning about new things and perceive museums as places to do so.

10 4.Children prefer to share what they are learning with others (peers) rather than listening to an adult tour guide 5.They learn better when there are multiple visits 6.…when the teacher embellishes unit with classroom activities pre and post visit 7.…when there are opportunities for choice and personalized learning 8.…when activities in the museum allow children to interact socially with one another


12 Desirable outcomes of museum school collaborations Prepare students and teachers for lifelong appreciation of the benefits of what a museum can offer, enjoyment of museums Exposure to multiple perspectives Can increase as sense of ownership of the museum Greater appreciation of cultural diversity

13 Problems with Museum School collaborations Lack of money Lack of understanding of the different “cultures” in schools and museums – on both sides Lack of strict relevancy to the subject areas in standardized testing Lack of time to take from teaching to the test to attend museum programs


15 The Single Visit Model 1.Most museums host single visit/field trips to the museum. 2.Groups consist of several same age (mostly elementary age) students coming in on buses. 3.Groups are greeted, introduced, and divided into smaller groups, often rotating through smaller, hand –on programs. Important note: Teachers have ongoing relationships with students, but no original materials. Museum staff don’t have the advantage of a preexisting relationship in a single visit model, but have the “stuff.”

16 4.School children are captive, thus not a free choice learning situation. 5.The children are with their peers, which makes the museum visit highly social 6.Children in an unfamiliar setting, and focused on peers, making it less likely that they will be relaxed or open enough to “learn” from the museum staff person.

17 3.Teachers with volunteer parents accompany the group to the museum. 4.These adults function as back up support. 5.Chaperones run the gamut from active, supportive helpers to harsh disciplinarians, or disinterested, disengaged adults


19 The Multiple Visit Model Schools visit the museum several times over the course of a year or more Several art museums do this Provides students with a familiarity with museum and staff over time, thus making more psychological room for learning Long term learning outcomes very positive BUT…expensive and time consuming model

20 Outreach, actual and virtual Van with hands-on and other objects which travels to the school and from which a museum staff person presents programs requested by the schools Cheaper for school Exhausting for small museums and limited staff Can be very effective as a teaching tool, and an engaging change of pace from regular classroom learning – Still, not a museum visit The museum outreach visit is now sometimes available as an optional virtual tour. Philadelphia Art Museum offers these

21 Interpretive materials from the Museum Research shows that preparation before visit and reinforcement after visit are best practices for effective learning outcomes in students. Pre-visit materials given to the teachers before field trip, used to introduce important concepts in order to prepare kids for museum visit. Post-visit materials encourage follow up discussions and activities in a classroom, after the museum visit, to reinforce what has been learned, usually downloaded from a website for free and include games, art-making activities, slides, stories, etc.

22 Professional Development 1.Approaching Educators as teachers and learners. 2.Learning about the museum and how it facilitates multiple ways of learning. 3.Has potential of creating a more sophisticated consumer of museums in the educator.

23 4.Educators must adhere to state curriculum standards 5.Must keep their students in mind 6.Are often new to museums and what they have to offer 7.Teachers in museums as “well intentioned novices” 8.Teachers need support to overcome barriers to taking children on field trips

24 9.Teachers need to be active and engaged learners in order to transmit those values to their students 10.Professional development as a mechanism for collaborative program development between schools and museums 11.Museums might teach teachers about the inner workings of the museum (Peabody example)

25 Museum to school offerings Idea generators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Chaperone guides at MOS MLOGS Harvard Art Museum school programs Denver Museum of Art and Science Peabody Museum of Archaeology Peabody Essex Museum

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