Course Description

460.604 - Introduction to Museum Education

This course introduces students to the educational role of the museum. What benefits and services does museum education provide in a pluralistic society? What do educators do within the museum organization? We begin by tracing the history of education in museums. We review theories about how people learn, what constitutes good teaching practice in the museum, and the unique role that objects play in an informal learning environment. We look at the different kinds of audiences for education programs, how to develop museum experiences including effective education programs and services, how evaluation works in gathering feedback and assessing outcomes in a museum setting, and the role of educators in inter- and intra-museum collaborative projects such as the development of exhibition interpretation, marketing for educational programs, audience building and interpretive planning. This course also considers the role and integration of digital technologies in the provision of educational services, products and programs. As a culminating project, students research and develop a conference proposal based on an education-related topic of their choice.