Reader Guide


Thank you for your interest in the Journal of Museum Education (JME) Reader Guide! We hope that you find this new resource useful in exploring hot topics in museum education and sparking conversations with your colleagues.

If you have any questions or run into any problems, please contact us at [email protected].

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Activating Diversity and Inclusion: A Blueprint for Museum Educators as Allies and Changemakers

The Museum Education Roundtable re-releases its Reader Guide for “Activating Diversity and Inclusion: A Blueprint for Museum Educators as Allies and Change Makers,” by Wendy Ng, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Alyssa Greenberg for you to start conversations within your own spheres of influence. Published in the Journal of Museum Education issue 42.2, this article and the discussion questions in … Read More

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The Influence of Progressivism and the Works Progress Administration on Museum Education

On the first page of this issue, the Journal of Museum Education’s assistant editor, Nathaniel Prottas, poses the question, “Where does the history museum education begin?,” and while that is an important question, the larger question we can consider with this issue and reader guide article is, why does the history of museum education matter? Examining the field through … Read More
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A Tale of Technology and Collaboration: Preparing for 21st-Century Museum Visitors

In A Tale of Technology and Collaboration: Preparing for 21st-Century Museum Visitors, authors Allyson Mitchell, Sarah Linn, and Hitomi Yoshida share their work with readers—a project that demonstrates how museum professionals can successfully develop and implement a set of multi-modal, multi-layered sessions that are anchored by an interactive digital learning experience.  Utilizing content experts, educators, collections, and “live video … Read More
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Embracing Individualism and Encouraging Personal Style in Gallery Teaching

Museum educators use a variety of pedagogical practices to train and develop the gallery teachers on their team. The literature available on this topic reflects this including the wealth of content on the subject in this issue of the Journal of Museum Education. In “Embracing Individualism and Encouraging Personal Style in Gallery Teaching,” Amy Briggs Kemeza adds to this … Read More
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Migration, Politics, and the Limits of Multiculturalism in a Turkish Museum

This issue of the Reader Guide provides guiding questions to accompany the article “Migration, Politics, and the Limits of Multiculturalism in a Turkish Museum” by Irina Levin in JME 44.1. Levin’s close look at the Bursa Immigration History Museum in Bursa, Turkey provides a mirror both to that community and institutions facing similar issues in their own home communities. … Read More
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Visitor to Visitor Learning: Setting Up Open Ended Inquiry in an Unstaffed Space

The work of museum educators shines when it applies sound learning theory and pedagogy to practice. Phillippa Pitts’ article, “Visitor to Visitor Learning: Setting Up Open-Ended Inquiry in an Unstaffed Space,” offers readers creative, reflective, and practical examples of unstaffed, visitor-centered activities that are grounded within theoretical frameworks from the beginning. This work takes place in the Portland Museum … Read More
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Beyond the Male/female Binary: Gender Equity and Inclusion in Evaluation Surveys

This issue of the Journal of Museum Education explores gender in museum education through an intersectional lens, including the ways in which museums can be more inclusive in their evaluation practices. As a previous Reader Guide has explored, evaluation of museum programming is essential to measuring and improving the quality of these learning experiences, including the necessary task of … Read More
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Museums as Vital Resources for New Americans: The Citizenship Project

As museums seek to become vital resources to the communities that surround them amidst a time of great social turmoil, programs like the Citizenship Project at the New-York Historical Society provide strong models for blending museum education practice with services that directly support communities in need. In her article, “Museums as Vital Resources for New Americans,” Mia Nagawiecki argues … Read More
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Creating Safe(r) Spaces for Visitors and Staff in Museum Programs

In “Creating Safe(r) Spaces for Visitors and Staff in Museum Programs”, Katrikh, provides insights on the “five layers of taking care” developed for the Museum of Tolerance. Each layer represents a constituent considered in the process of gallery-based dialogue. This framework demonstrates the recognition that inviting challenging conversations takes thoughtful facilitation and support for all of these dimensions in … Read More
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Practice First: Flipped Training for Gallery Educators

In “Practice First: Flipped Training for Gallery Education,” an article in the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education, author Andrew Palamara shares how his side job as a high school soccer coach, where practice on the field rather than viewing player tapes was most effective in making players proficient, inspired him to “flip” the learning model for … Read More
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Does Museum Education Have a Canon?

Whatever its discipline, a museum can have a set of criteria or canon that underpins the intellectual worth of objects collected and placed on view. In his introduction to Does Museum Education Have a Canon?, the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education, guest editor Nathaniel Prottas suggests that a disciplinary or institutional canon based on aesthetic or … Read More
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Activating Diversity and Inclusion: A Blueprint for Museum Educators as Allies and Changemakers

In this article, the authors Wendy Ng, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Alyssa Greenberg provide a blueprint for a rigorous approach to how museum educators can activate diversity and inclusion to create social change. The authors critically analyze the problematic power dynamics that maintain white supremacy in museum work, and introduce guiding principles of allyship and practical reflection strategies for … Read More
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Social Media for Social Justice

In this article, Lanae Spruce and Kaitlyn Leaf discuss how the mission of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture inspires and influences their approach to social media management at the museum. The authors explore the connections between social media, storytelling, and educational strategies. This guide is designed to help you examine the relationship between social … Read More
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The Research Communication Continuum

In Carol Lynn Alpert’s article “The Research Communication Continuum: Linking Public Engagement Skills to the Advancement of Cross-disciplinary Research,” Alpert challenges the one-directional model of museum-university partnerships and makes a case for mutually beneficial and strategic collaborations. In a one-directional model, for example, scholarship comes from the academy to the museum where it’s then presented through storyline, objects and … Read More
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Green History: Reframing Our Past to Save the Planet

The themed section of this latest issue of the Journal of Musem Education examines ways in which history museums are refocusing their interpretive and educational work to be more relevant to new and existing audiences, a struggle shared by museums of all disciplines. Educators frequently find themselves grappling with the issue of relevance. What does it mean to be … Read More
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Health and Wellness in our Communities: The Impact of Museums

Health statistics and an overburdened medical care system indicate clear needs for health and wellness programs. In response to these needs, and in recognition that viewing each person as a whole is central to improving health and wellness, many museums have been considering what roles they might play to address community health care issues. The following questions, and the … Read More
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Making the Case for Transforming Training

In the guest editor introduction, Making the Case for Transforming Training, Jennifer DePrizio argues that we need to rethink our training practices for gallery guides. She asks us to align the training we oversee with adults to match with the demands of our changing audiences and evolving educational approaches. This Reader Guide encourages museum educators to take an inventory … Read More
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Finding Common Ground with the Common Core

More than five years since its rollout, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is still making headlines: “It’s Not Like a Switch That You Can Flick on Overnight: Four Teachers on Adapting to Common Core,” “The new Common Core lie: Parents who opt out are not the problem,” “Quell New York’s Education Firestorm.” These are just a sampling of … Read More
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Developing a Model for Technology-Based Museum School Partnerships

Collaboration and co-creation are essential for developing relevant and meaningful museum experiences whether onsite, offsite, or online. Digital tools offer practitioners new opportunities to innovatively partner and experiment with schools and communities across the globe. The following questions aim to foster dialogue and inspiration among colleagues, education departments, cross-functional teams, and teachers/community partners. You can download the guide here.
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The Ethics of Evaluation in Museums

Evaluation of museum programming is essential to measuring and improving the quality of these learning experiences. When implementing evaluation studies, it is necessary to consider the ethics of collecting information and opinions from participants, though this aspect of the task is often overlooked. The discussion questions posed in this Reader Guide have been developed in collaboration with the author … Read More
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Teaching the Museum: Careers in Museum Education

Teaching the Museum: Careers in Museum Education offers valuable advice to museum professionals at all points in their careers. The book contains personal essays by museum educators from a variety of international institutions. Each author portrays a career-changing situation and reveals lessons learned that shine a light on real-life job struggles and successes. In May I talked with author … Read More
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Why Creativity? Articulating and Championing a Museum’s Social Mission

In response to the field-wide call for inclusiveness, many museums are re-examining their social mission and exploring how creativity can be incorporated into the overall vision and values of the institution. The questions below were developed in conjunction with the author and are intended to foster conversations and dialogue among museum staff from across departments on the role creativity … Read More
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Before We Were Us, We Were Them: Curating Controversy

Prompted by the passage of Alabama House Bill 56, I organized the museum studies course I taught for Auburn University at Montgomery in the 2013 spring semester around an exhibition on immigration. The course offered the opportunity to engage students, faculty, and the community in discussion of an important, timely, and controversial topic. Collaborating with an upper-level communications course … Read More
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Raising Docent Confidence in Engaging Students on School Tours

Abstract Is a capability to engage students as fundamental to effective museum education as a working knowledge of the collections? What strategies can raise the level of engagement with students and sustain student engagement with works of art? What are the challenges that older students on school tours present to docents? This article highlights discussions with docents during and … Read More