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Art and Art Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Art and Art Education

Outreach Projects > Museums in Education

Museums in Education

Musuem education

Museum Education is an integral component of the Art and Art Education Program. Whether taken as a core concentration in the 60 credit Masters in Art Education, or as an elective option in our other Masters and Doctoral degrees, our students are deeply interested in the role of the Museum both as a resource for pedagogical practice and as a manifestation of the cultural life of the city. Our active collaboration with several NYC museums ensures that our students work intimately with museum personnel who hold curatorial as well as educational positions.

The departmental practice of engaging students in dialogue as they experience working with art materials has its parallel in our approach to introducing them to works in museum collections. Rather than starting a dialog in a museum setting with a recitation of the name and historical information about an artist and/or the time period, we invite viewers to encounter each work on their own terms. We recognize that everyone, even the very young, brings their "lived lives" to that experience, and that by encouraging them to spend time in quiet contemplation, the work itself begins to pose its own questions. Their curiosity and imagination are stimulated. When we then invite these viewers to share their thoughts, the ideas they articulate which grow out of their personal experiences and the layering of sensory, emotional and aesthetic responses, nurture a deeper understandings and a unique connection to the work encountered.

We currently offer four different museum-related classes, in addition to several opportunities for both independent study and internships at museums throughout the city.