Education in Community Settings: Museums
Published in Inside - Volume VIII, No. 9
"Education in Community Settings: Museums," a course with Professor Hope Jensen Leichter, is designed to examine the changing connections among educational institutions in communities and the newly emerging links among museums, families, and schools.
Drawing upon the wealth of museum resources in the New York City area, students visit museums to learn about their educational programs. These museums include, among others, the New York City Museum School, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, the American Museum of Natural History, the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration.
Leading up to their final projects, students write brief papers designed to raise questions about educative styles-how individuals move through, engage in, and combine educational experiences over a lifetime-and the forms of education that take place in different settings, particularly those where self-guided learning from objects is emphasized.
This year, class presentations of term projects included: creating a children's museum within an art museum in Japan; the role of costumed interpreters in living history museums in urban and rural areas; the methods of instruction in Ikebana flower arrangement; a Web museum of family stories and memories; a costumed interpretation of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony designed to augment a museum exhibit; the use of the Museum School's method of learning through objects applied to the Passover Seder; a curriculum for teaching intermediate Spanish through art exhibitions; art as a stimulus for international civic discourse on water resources; a museum of the human body, the M-you-SEUM; the revival for a modern audience of a traditional form of story-telling in public spaces; enhancing visits to the Cloisters in New York City through Web presentations of cloisters in France; young people's plan for a tour of their Lower East Side neighborhood; children's views of First Saturday celebrations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; and a museum of Navajo and Zuni artifacts in a school.previous page