Bringing Teachers to the History Museum: A Guide to Facilitating Teacher Professional Development surveys best practices and the latest research on how to plan, implement and evaluate teacher professional development at historic sites and museums. Written to help museum professionals provide impactful experiences, the volume offers:
This guide, developed by and for museum educators, will provide inspiration and guidance for inquiry-driven approaches, connecting to power of place, and facilitating dialogue to help teachers connect museum content to their students’ needs. You will find real-world examples of goal setting, program design, and evaluation tools to guide every step of planning and implementing of teacher professional development. Through research, experience, and shared perspectives, this volume directly addresses incorporating anti-racism and virtual learning into teacher programming at history institutions. Bringing Teachers to the History Museum arrives in a crucial moment for historic sites and museums to support teachers as learners, professionals, and advocates for their students.
Lora Cooper, Continuing Education Coordinator at Monticello, facilitates the interdisciplinary work of providing professional development to historical interpreters and classroom teachers. She earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Development from the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development and a B.A. in history from Christopher Newport University. She has been involved in the evaluation of teacher professional development at historic sites and museums since 2015, and her work has been featured in the Journal of Museum Education (2018).
Linnea Grim, Vice President of Guest Experiences at Monticello, is passionate about creating meaningful learning experiences for all guests and is especially interested in building relationships with educators. She earned a M.A. in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a B.A. in history from the College of William and Mary. Her publications include a chapter in Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (2014), co-author of “Taking the Next Step: Confronting the Legacies of Slavery at Historic Sites” in the Journal of Museum Education (2017), and co-author of “Museum Management Tune-Up” in History News (2015).
Gary Sandling, Vice President and Chief Content Officer at Monticello, has worked in public history for more than two decades and at Monticello since 2005. As Vice President of Education and Visitor Programs for eleven years, he led the talented teams that produce Monticello’s onsite programs, including the reshaped Monticello Teacher Institute.
Introduction – Lora Cooper
Part I: Theory
1.Teachers as Learners – Stephanie Van Hover
1A. Teacher’s Perspective – CherylAnne Amendola
2.Translating Content into Pedagogical Content Knowledge – Christine Baron
3.Antiracism: The Both/And to Shaping Change – Dina Bailey
3A. Teachers Perspective—Alysha Butler
4.Interdisciplinary Connections: Learning about STEM at a History Museum – Kristin Burton and Robert Wallace
4A. Teacher’s Perspective—Georgette Hackman
5.The Value of Evaluation – Christine Baron
Part II: Practice
6.Setting Goals: The Crucial First Step in Creating Your Museum’s Teacher Professional Development Program - Mike Adams
7.Effective Teacher Professional Development Program Design – Allison Wickens
8.Recruitment and Selection – Melanie Bowyer and Jacqueline Langholtz
8A. Teacher’s Perspective—Karen Richey
9.Teacher-Created Projects: Classroom and Museum Resources – Krystal Rose
10.Evaluation: Measuring Impact -Sarah Jencks
11.Implementing Evaluation Findings – Lora Cooper and Krystal Rose
Appendix I: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Appendix II: A Note About Scaling and Funding
This research-to-practice handbook will become a powerful much-needed resource for museum professionals, public historians, teacher educators, and teachers who are interested in developing, implementing, and evaluating ambitious and sustainable professional development learning experiences at historic sites and museums. Bringing Teachers to the History Museum fills an important gap in the literature by tightly coupling theoretical perspectives and practical insights on place-based education, public history, and high-quality teacher professional development designed to prepare teachers not only to get the most out of bringing students to historic sites and museums but also appropriately addressing and discussing potentially difficult topics and histories represented on site.
A resource many historic site educators have been waiting for - huzzah! This is called a ‘guide’ and it truly acts as one. From the essential basics to the overarching theory, this book provides everything you need to get started in (or elevate) your organization's approaches to teacher professional development. The varied perspectives and voices ensure a well-rounded practicality while making it extremely readable and usable for professionals at sites big and small.
This work opened my eyes to all the intricacies that historical site staff consider in order to produce professional development programs in such a way that the execution will be seemingly flawless, even when there are unforeseen challenges. The book reaffirmed my personal belief that historical site staff place the needs of the teachers above all, wanting them to have a rich experience filled with useful information and tools they can use in their classroom. The authors recognize the impact sites can have in just a short time to energize a teacher’s career. This book is an important step to making that a reality at more museums.
The research and strategies presented in Bringing Teachers to the History Museum provide a well-rounded array of resources, for both newcomers to teacher professional development and even the most seasoned museum professionals. From philosophy and research findings, to strategic reflection prompts and on-the-ground tips, this book will help me and my colleagues enhance the ways we deepen teacher comfort, competence, and confidence in the stories our museums tell.