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Title:Museums and schools: strengthening relationships between an art museum educator and local teachers
Author(s):Danker, Stephanie
Director of Research:Parsons, Michael J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Parsons, Michael J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Castro, Juan C.; Twidale, Michael B.
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):art museum-school collaboration
teacher professional development
art museum education
university art museum
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to learn from an attempt to form a community of practice consisting of local teachers and an art museum educator. Research goals included teacher professional development and museum educator professional development. The evolution of the educator group was studied over 16 months, during which time several events and collaborations took place in local schools and in the museum, including four teacher workshops. Over time strengthened relationships between the museum educator and local teachers led to new initiatives and partnerships to utilize museum resources in schools. These relationships also led to new understandings of one another’s professional practice. The significance of the study is that it documents the beginning stages of a museum- teacher group and issues encountered in art museum-school collaborations. This study answers the question: What are the difficulties involved in, and the conditions necessary for, forming a community of practice among a group of teachers and a museum educator? Further, it addresses challenges of keeping the group connected, educational benefits for the group members and how the group changed over time. Themes that emerged through the data included: 1) creating a shared vision; 2) museum and school priorities; 3) administrative support; 4) border crossing; 5) curriculum development. It was realized that it is difficult to form a community of practice between formal and nonformal educators in a short amount of time and that the group is unlikely to survive without a dedicated facilitator with understanding of both institutions.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Stephanie Danker
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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