Type of Document Thesis Author Langham, Audrey Elizabeth URN etd-08232008-145100 Title The New Community School: Placing Informal Museum Education into Historical Context Degree Master of Arts Department American and Florida Studies, Program in Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Neil Jumonville Committee Chair Jennifer Koslow Committee Member Wayne Wiegand Committee Member Keywords
- Educational History
- Community School
- Progressive Education
- Museum Education
Date of Defense 2008-03-31 Availability unrestricted AbstractRecently museums have begun to feature public programming that engages new audiences, they partner with a number of diverse community organizations, and they put the focus of their efforts on education. With these new focuses they have changed from didactic institutions to places where the visitor may confirm his experience, and at times may add his own voice to the discussion. This shift in focus has been swift, and scholarship is only beginning to catch up with the values being expressed in the profession.
It is my intention to offer a history of educational philosophy that is relevant and useful for museum professionals by closely examining two historical lines of thought. Progressive education provides a framework that museums can use to model their educational programming. Creating hands-on programming, and focusing on the individuality of the learner are important aspects of progressive educations that museum professionals can use for their own programming. The idea of the community school focuses on partnerships, the use of the physical building, and bringing a number of resources together in one place. This set of ideas follows the paths that museums use to receive funding and strengthen their relationships within their local community. Local history museums have begun to use these all ideas, and focusing their attention on similar work done in the past is an important step for the profession. Therefore these two concepts provide a historically relevant and important background for present day museum programming.
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