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Why Would Teachers not use Museum Educational Curriculum


Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 01:06:08 PDT

I have spoken with several curators and educational directors of museums
these past two weeks. One of the issues that has been brought to my
attention is this: Although many museums provide educational packets that
include (biographical information, lesson plans, access to libraries, slides,
and activities) the curators insist that the elementary teachers seldom
utilize the resources available to them. My question is why would an
elementary teacher not utilize free resources to prepare their class for a
museum visit or some encounter with a museum? This seems like a very
important issue museums must address if they are going to make themselves a
viable resource for teachers? Do teachers who live in mandated elementary
art education states use museum resources more often than those who are not
required to teach art education? I would like to hear from as many of you as
possible. I know most of you are art educators, but some are homeschool
teachers, and some I am sure are elementary teachers. What issues do you
have, if you have any, with the educational materials that museums write? I
will be interested in any comment, you might offer. What kind of things do
museums need to include in their curriculum to make it teacher-friendly and
child-usable? Would you use interactive web sites if they were available?
Lesson plans? Biographical information? Images on line? Indications of how
lessons fit the DBAE guidelines? Indications of how the lessons or
activities fit National Standards or state standards for art education?
Would docent or museum educators be welcomed at your school in a training
session for art teachers? for other subject teachers? for elementary
teachers? Would an internet newsletter from the museum telling about
available programs or coming exhibits and material available to teachers be
helpful? Some museums offer this material free; others require a nominal
charge. Would you pay for museum educational materials? Would your school
or school board pay for them? I am sure there are lots of other questions I
haven't even thought of, but I really want to hear from You...the teachers.
What can you tell me as I address these issues that will improve the
relationships between museums and public/private educational institutions and
make them more child-friendly and teacher-friendly? If you have had an
experience with a museum that was positive, tell me about it. If you have
had an experience with a museum that wasn't, I want to hear about that as
well. Many museums are publically funded institutions whose general audience
is us..our kids...our families. Others are privately funded or a combo of
both. At any rate, the museum needs to be, in my mind, an organization that
serves those who visit it. Tell me what you think>
And thanks.....Perhaps our voices together will become one voice heard for
those who have a heart to listen and serve....