Whether you're an experienced arts educator, or a teacher looking for ways to bring life to your curriculum through visual arts, music, drama and dance, this group will provide a place to meet, share, and imagine!

Museum Curriculum - what do Arts teachers need/want?

Andrea Simmons I am the Education Director of a small contemporary anthropology museum.

I am working on the curriculum for our newest venture, an eTour, to debut during the 2011-12 school year. This will be a tour of the museum filmed in segments that teachers can access via the web and it will cover the countries/continents/people groups that the museum covers.
As our museum is physically located in the Dallas area, and DISD schools are emphasizing STEM and PBL, I'm trying to tailor my curriculum to focus on those ideas, but want to incorporate Arts into it too (STEAM?).
My big question is: what are the school districts and teachers - not just in Dallas - looking for in a curriculum from a museum? Are you wanting ideas that you can adapt to your students/district/state requirements? Are you wanting a full-on put it in your hands curriculum that you can just print and go?
I realize that each teacher/district/state will need to adapt for their specific standards, but I'd like some input from teachers working in the classroom with PBL and/or the Arts about what they'd like to see.
Thanks so much!!
International Museum of Culture

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First-Year middle-school Art Teacher in Fredericksburg, VA

Museum education

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I am interested in giving context to works of art. I would prefer to see fewer artworks within a richer contextual setting than a large collection of different artworks of a similar style, with less background. I am often frustrated by museums that offer thematic or stylistic groupings of artwork in overly sterile environments, giving the impression that these works exist in a vacuum. Especially for secondary students, believe that social and cultural anchors are the key to understanding style and meaning in works of art. They need to be able to relate these things to subjects, objects, or events that they can understand.

curriculum and projects learning centers

Andrea, Leon, and Josh: Let's collaborate here and now...

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[quote]I am working on the curriculum for our newest venture, an eTour, to debut during the 2011-12 school year. This will be a tour of the museum filmed in segments that teachers can access via the web and it will cover the countries/continents/people groups that the museum covers...emphasizing STEM and PBL, I'm trying to tailor my curriculum to focus on those ideas, but want to incorporate Arts into it too (STEAM?)...International Museum of Culture...

Dear Andrea Simmons, Leon Van Dyke, and Josh Blum:

What a wonderful opportunity to begin a collaboration here at our Arts Group at Edutopia.org...

My name is Allen Berg (you can check my Profile and various postings at STEM {Yes! STEAM!}, PBL, and Arts groups...) to see some of my interests and enthusiasms in education...

I also have created a wikispace-in-progress that is exactly STEAM! :-)
https://hsgeometryadventure.wikispaces.com and I love museums (was a kid in NYC, which is a Universe of Museums and Fun)...

And We are the most recent colleague posters here (a college theater teacher/director, a middle school artist/puppeteer/blacksmith/architecture/designer/tinkerer,
and a museum curator: all backgrounds which are prologues to more Curators and Caretakers of Wonder...

So let's start talking together here at our Edutopia group and synergize the Magic among Us: We can create and publish something(s) Amazing...

Hey, it's Summer: Let's make magic for September's new school year...


Allen (Berg)

Elementary Music Teacher, Professional Clarinetist, Technology in the Class

Virtual Art World?

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I am an elementary music teacher who loves the digital world and art. My wife is an elementary art teacher!

As I read the posts here, my mind ran wild and thought:

I would LOVE to visit a virtual museum (maybe as an outreach from a real, major museum) where you entered the world of the artist! I would love to visit a room that I can walk around in that is as identical to the real room or place the work was created in! I would love to move around and see the things the artist saw and interacted with when they created the work. Let me see the materials used, the chair she sat in or the view from the window where they worked. Whatever was around them and the work when it was created!

I dunno...just thinking of visiting these virtual places and having he ability to point/click on things and have information about them pop-up is inspiring me right now.

If a museum could create these environments as models, there are absolutely wonderful digital programs for creating virtual worlds. Try Microsoft Photosynth for a beginning.

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Microsoft Photosynth

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Howdy Robert,

Thank you for your enthusiasm and great ideas and introducing me (us...?) to Microsoft Photosynth... I just visited your link there and it is astounding to experience the full 360 degrees = wrap_around views of some amazing historical and contemporary sites and rooms...

You are right on with your suggestion to incorporate this tool for a museum project such as Andrea's and using panoramic photographs to put viewers (and students) right inside the setting or scene they are studying and/or 'visiting'... creating real immersion spaces on the internet for everyone to experience is a great innovative media tool.

This is like my old "shoebox dioramas" becoming lifesize and real...
and the world's great museums and vistas now are available to visit and view...on our computers...

I will register at the Microsoft Photosynth website and see what I can try with my newbie tech skills and simple camera...and share anything that "materializes" with our group...

Thanks, and to be continued...

Allen, through the "view-finder"...

Education and Outreach - Arts for Social Change Director

Arts Integration in Informal Learning Environments

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There is something special about the bridge created between the formal learning environment of the classroom and the informal learning environment. I've been having this very discussion with teachers for about a year now with our Pop Goes the Classroom Initiative (www.popgoestheclassroom.com). What do they want? What do they need? While often they cannot articulate it clearly their responses to the elements we've made available makes it very clear where the challenge lies.

Teachers flock to our Media integration guides. The show a teacher in a very real way how a given artifact can be integrated across the entire curriculum. Where I face the challenge of supporting across states meaning I can't really standards align, you've got the luxury of standard aligning such a guide.

I start with the artifact. What is its history and its culture context both today and at the time it was created. Since I'm working most often with media, I then move on to the themes it addresses. From there I break out specific ways the artifact can be used in the different content areas. History, Science, Technology, English, etc. I try to give activities that are easily integrated into the classroom to expand on the informal learning experience.

If you

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The International Museum of Cultures website and blog

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Dear colleagues,

I just visited their website and it is quite wonderful: very Arts-focused with photographs and videos and new-media materials to engage students and visitors...


Their Exhibitions and Resources celebrate indigenous cultures from Asia, South Pacific, Europe, Mexico and South America, Africa, Native American peoples, etc.

Come join this exciting new curriculum conversation and enjoy the summer of creating a World Cultures internet curriculum here at Edutopia Groups...

(Allen Berg) with Andrea Simmons et al

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"The Spirited Earth- Dance, Myth, and Ritual from South Asia..."

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Dear Colleagues,

Having just visited the International Museum of Cultures website,
I would like to share one of my favorite books:

Victoria Ginn's spectacular large-format photography book:
"The Spirited Earth - Dance, Myth, and Ritual from South Asia to the South Pacific"


I discovered the book at a Berkeley, California bookshop about 20 years ago, and it changed my Life...what it did actually is Confirm my Life...

Some of you know that I am an arts & craftsman, dancer poet puppet-maker sociologist... what my university colleagues described as a
"phenomenological pantheist taoist" :-)

This book of stunning photographs brought me home to live in my own skin and soul...

The cover photo (as you can see at the amazon link) instantly cracked-open my conventional 'bodysuit' and exploded the real me... Joy poured out and I started dancing (slowly...so I wouldn't get arrested in a bookshop :-) and I've cherished the book and my 'heritage' eversince...

This is a book for everyone and especially the International Museum of Cultures...

availability might be limited...but many good libraries have the book in their collections...

Enjoy the Journey...

Allen Berg

social media and marketing manager of startup

As a former Program Manager

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As a former Program Manager for a museum, I spent time working with teachers and their projects related to history, culture, and sociology. Because not every teacher and student can come to the museum, a group of volunteers who are teachers crafted curriculum kits for schools. Here are two independent bookstores that I've seen, and one of which I used, to order resources for the curriculum kits.

1) Asian American Books (http://www.asianamericanbooks.com/)

2) Ashay by the Bay (http://www.ashaybythebay.com/)

7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

Thank You very much, Hubert.

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Thank You very much, Hubert. Great bookstores!

Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Project Muse

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Hi All,

I found Project Zero's "Project Muse" to be a great resource. MUSE in this case stands for Museums Uniting with Schools in Education. Check out their site. I first discovered it when attending a Harvard University summer institute. They offer materials you can purchase which are very teacher friendly. I especially love their Muse Quest booklets. The booklets help guide instruction with questions and interesting activities. The questions guide students while they examine works of art. The QUEST brings the students to understanding, exploring, seeing and thinking. http://pzweb.harvard.edu/research/MUSE.htm

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