Museum as a Resource
Museum as a Resource is a parent engagement program to help parents and/or teachers shed stereotypes about learning in museums and hone the skills and confidence necessary to expose children to enriching experiences in the community. The “learning through looking” structure builds on what parents ( and/or teachers) already know and supports discovery based learning with young children.
The program reflects on 3 basic strategies
Adults before children
Parents and teachers together or in parallel programs
Child-centered use of museum resources
Adults strengthen their own observation, critical thinking and communications skills and learn to use inquiry – the art of asking open-ended questions – to turn objects and environments into conversation starters with young children. Weekend Family Field trips support parents as they try out their new skills in the company of other families from their Head Start or school.
Its research base is Museums and Head Start: A Report on a National Survey to Investigate a new role for Museums in School Readiness by Louise W. Wiener, National Head Start Association Research Quarterly, Volume I, 1997.
Museum as a Resource was designed in collaboration with Pam Houk, a leading museum educator from Dayton, Ohio, and first implemented in partnership with the National Head Start Association and museum educators in Washington, DC and Dayton, Ohio, with support from the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, the Kovler Family Fund and the Mead Foundation.
Museum as a Resource
Head Start Agencies: Arlington County Public Schools Head Start, District of Columbia Public Schools Head Start, Fairfax County Public Schools Head Start, Miami Valley Head Start (Dayton, Ohio), Morgan State University Head Start (Baltimore, MD) Prince George’s County Public School Head Start. St. Jerome’s Head Start (Baltimore, MD) Museums: Anacostia Museum of Art, Audubon Museum (Dayton Ohio) Dayton Museum of Art ,Dayton (Ohio) Museum of Natural History, Dayton (Ohio) Science Museum, Corcoran Museum of Art (DC), Freer Museum of Art and Sackler Gallery of Art (DC), Hirshhorn Museum of Art (DC), Museum of African Art (DC), Museum of American Art (DC), Museum of American History (DC), National Postal Museum (DC) National Building Museum (DC), National Gallery of Art (DC), Museum of Aviation (College Park, MD), Baltimore Museum of Art (MD), Babe Ruth Museum (Baltimore, MD), Blacks in Wax Museum (Baltimore, MD). Museum of Visionary Art (Baltimore,MD),Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, MD)
Here’s what we learned:
- The most intimidating part of the museum is the building not the collection.
- Armed with the basics of line, shape, color and pattern – the Head Start parents were comfortable and creative in describing art works from many cultures and periods.
- The new confidence in museums was constructive and empowering.
- The common association of museums with wealth and higher education enhanced the sense of competence – feeling smart and important – among the participants.
- Head Start and Museums: Status and Opportunity. A Report on a National Survey to Investigate a New Role for Museums in School Readiness
- Discover the Magic of Museums
Contact us to learn more!