Since 2003, the University Galleries Museum Education Program has trained Florida Atlantic University students in interactive educational theories and techniques related to teaching and learning in museum environments. The program has served school-age children through schools, after-school programs and an ongoing partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of both Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Museum education and exhibition specific training for FAU students is provided through the Museum Studies and Gallery Practices course (ARH 0497) taught by the University Galleries director while also including sessions with art education expert Susannah Brown, FAU’s College of Education professor, and field experiences led by education curators at the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the Norton Museum of Art. This training is put into practice when middle and high-school children come to FAU for student-led tours of selected exhibitions. Outreach and related hands-on art activities are also part of the program. Each academic year, a University Galleries student employee serves as the Museum Education Program Coordinator, planning and implementing education programs in close consultation with the University Galleries Director.
Since 2005, the Museum Education Program has been recognized by the School District of Palm Beach County as an approved field experience provider. Each academic year, the program produces lesson plans and teaching activities that contain a variety of approaches and cross-disciplinary content suggestions that allow teachers to plan field trips to University Galleries’ exhibitions. The Museum Education Program also benefits from collaboration with the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s Cultural Educators Committee, an alliance of educators that meet monthly for networking and professional development. Through FAU’s School of the Arts, the University Galleries are part of a national partnership with the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education that includes the School District of Palm Beach County and the Education Program at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Arts integration and teacher/artist training are the focus of this partnership.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Museum Education Program developed and delivered outreach and gallery tours related to the Biennial Faculty Exhibition, consisting of art by the faculty memers at FAU, Figured Spaces: Selections from the John Morrissey Collection, an exhibition featuring contemporary figurative art, and Surfing Florida: A Photographic History. The Museum Education Program participated in the annual “Back to School Arts Showcase” and the “Learn Green: A Green Schools Conference and Expo and Lessons Learned Workshop”, for the School District of Palm Beach County, along with producing two exhibitions for the Boys and Girls Clubs of both Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Images (top to bottom): Museum Studies class students begin mock tour training exercises accompanied and advised by Dr. Susannah Brown. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County’s “Art with a Heart” fine arts program presented their annual National Fine Arts Exhibition, “Coexist” in the Ritter Art Gallery. Palm Beach Maritime Academy’s 7th grade guided tour of the Biennial Faculty Exhibition in the Schmidt Center Gallery. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s National ImageMakers Photography Exhibition.
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