Creating Meaningful Museum Experiences for K–12 Audiences: How to Connect with Teachers and Engage Students is the first book in more than a decade to provide a comprehensive look at best practices in working with this crucial segment of museum visitors. With more than 40 contributors from art, history, science, natural history, and specialty museums across the country, the book asks probing questions about museum-school relationships, suggests new paradigms, and offers creative approaches. Fully up-to-date with current issues relevant to museums’ work with schools, including anti-racist teaching approaches and pivoting to virtual programming during the pandemic, this book is essential for both established and emerging museum educators to ensure they are current on best practices in the field.
The book features four parts: Setting the Stage looks at the how museums establish and finance K-12 programs, and how to engage with the youngest audiences. Building Blocks considers the core elements of successful K-12 programming, including mission alignment, educator recruitment and training, working with teacher advisory boards, and anti-racist teaching practices. Questions and New Paradigms presents case studies in which practitioners reconsider established approaches to museums’ work with schools and engage in iterative processes to update and improve them—from evaluating K–12 museum programs to diversifying program content, to prioritizing virtual programming. Solutions and Innovative Models offers examples of programs that have been reimagined for the current landscape of museum-school collaborations, including practicing self-care for teachers and museum educators, investing in extended school relationships over one-time visits, and highlighting the stories of enslaved people who lived at historic sites.
Tara Young is an experienced museum professional and a professor of museum studies at Tufts University. Currently an independent consultant, she has held positions at several museums on both coasts. Most recently, she served on the founding staff of the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA, which received AAM accreditation in 2015. Tara has degrees in the history of art and architecture from Harvard College and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from Tisch College of Tufts University. She lives in Central Massachusetts.
Part I: Setting the Stage
Chapter 1: Unpacking the Field Trip Tara Young
Chapter 2: Taking First Bites Out Of Museum Education In The Big Apple Samantha Hirsch and Sierra Van Ryck DeGroot
Chapter 3: A Challenging Proposition: The Financial Realities of Museum Education Erik Greenberg
Chapter 4: An Ideal Partnership: Museums and Museum Schools Katherine Kelbaugh
Chapter 5: Partners in Learning: Early Childhood Visitors, their Companions, and Museums Dena Rapoport and Meghan Lally Keaton
Chapter6: Integrating Engineering and Empathy in the Pre-K/K Classroom Melissa Higgins and Michelle Cerrone
Part II: Building Blocks
Chapter 7: A Pedagogical Philosophy as a Guiding Light for Museum Education Departments Jason Hanley, Deanna Nebel, and Mandy Smith
Chapter 8: Creating an Effective Teacher Advisory Board Megan Clark and Heidi Moisan
Chapter 9: Building the Museum Educators of the Future: A New Model for Staffing School Programs Suzi Fonda
Chapter 10: Sustainable Training for Museum Education Staff Sarah Sims and Maria Russell
Chapter 11: Exploring Impacts of Whiteness on Art Museum Field Trip Teaching Hannah D. Heller, Michelle Antonisse, and Amanda Tobin
Chapter 12: Everything But the Education: The Importance of Mastering Field Trip Logistics Olivia Edlund
Part III: Questions and New Paradigms
Chapter 13: Rethinking Museum School Partnerships: Collaborating with Teachers to Develop Personalized Programs Kyla Cook, Jenny Flowers, Wendy Quinlan, and Heidi Rouleau
Chapter 14: Powerful Educational Partnerships: A State Museum Association Model for Access and Learning Heidi Lung
Chapter 15: Into the Classroom: Making Museum Education Essential in School Curriculum Gwyneth Mac Murtrie, Jetta Walls, Nancy Merriman, and Richard Segerdahl
Chapter 16: Inspiration Quotient Jason Pallas
Chapter 17: Representation Matters: Diversifying School Tour Curriculum Jessica Fuentes
Chapter 18: A Decade of Think Like an Archaeologist: Sustaining and Evolving a Cross-Institutional Partnership and Multi-Visit Outreach Program Leah Burgin, Geralyn Ducady, Mariani Lefas-Tetenes, and Sarah Sharpe
Chapter 19: Teaching Beyond the Apocalypse: Taking Virtual Learning from Pivot to Priority Jacqueline Eyl and Lucy Stirn
Part IV: Solutions and Innovative Models
Chapter 20: Sparking Innovation in Museum/K–12 Programs through Self-Care and Social-Emotional Learning Rachel Straughn-Navarro, Molly Nevius, Amanda Martin-Hamon, and Kristina Walker
Chapter 21: Eight Months and Five Days: Student & Teacher Learning During Classroom in Residence at the Hammer Tara Burns
Chapter 22: Teaching Slavery at a Historic Site: Interpretive Approaches, Audience Engagement, and Lessons Learned Margaret Hughes
Chapter 23: Passport to Museum Learning: Academic programs at Shelburne Museum Mollie Davis
Chapter 24: Influence with Integrity: Two Models for Museum-Based Youth Development Programs Keni Sturgeon
Chapter 25: Developing Online Teaching Materials on Contemporary Asian Art Sharon Vatsky and Queena Ko
About the Editor
About the Contributors
Essential reading for today’s museum education workforce and K-12 teachers alike, Creating Meaningful Museum Experiences for K–12 Audiences: How to Connect with Teachers and Engage Students, assembles thoughtful explorations of contemporary teaching and learning challenges in the K–12 museum education space. The authors share inspiring and innovative solutions based on new programming paradigms and best practices that will undoubtedly facilitate the kinds of motivating dialogues and collaboration needed to push the museum education field forward in support of our nation’s teachers and learners.
Young’s book upgrades the 'K–12 museum experiences primer' by offering detailed case studies that highlight the breadth of museum-school engagements and the issues and skills museum educators must grapple with to be successful. It will set an honest, inspiring new standard for learning about museum education.