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Schools and Museums: A Unique Partnership

Schools and museums have the potential to form unique partnerships, working collaboratively to expand and enrich a student's exploration of his world, both past and present. A museum is a multifaceted resource that can be used to teach the arts and humanities, language arts, and math and sciences. Together, the educator and the museum can create a complex learning experience that encourages the student to embrace abstract ideas and that fosters higher thinking.

New England is rich in its diversity of history museums ranging from local historical society to large institutions like Historic New England. Each offers opportunities for multi-disciplinary learning and distinctive perspectives on the past. Trained staff create engaging, hands-on experiences to teach facts, introduce ideas, and inspire students to investigate subjects on their own. While many of Historic New England's programs are on-site, more and more museums are reaching beyond their own four walls to the classroom with traveling kits and/or museum taught activities. Historic sites are rich repositories of information for the educator and the student. They serve as a resource for local history and primary sources, and as a link with other facilities. Workshops and seminars offered by museums support curriculum and professional development. Teacher training insures that the site and the classroom form integrated units of study to enable students to achieve a better understanding of the past through physical history and personal experience.

Programs such as these are available at most historic sites in New England. Many museums have an education department such as Historic New England's School and Youth Program Department. Museum educators are committed to reaching wide and diverse audiences and working with teachers to provide unique experiences that enhance student learning. Investigate museum web sites. Visit a museum that is relevant to your curriculum. Make a telephone call. Your local and regional museums offer exciting opportunities.

Schools and Museums: A Unique Partnership