Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Category: Professional Development (page 2 of 41)

Free Workshop at USS Constitution Museum

Join fellow museum and library professionals for an exciting day as experts from institutions around the country present their latest research on engaging families in libraries and museums. Learn how museums and libraries can work together and on their own to successfully train staff, design and facilitate intergenerational programs, and engage adults in their child’s learning and development. This day-long workshop will provide an opportunity for reflective practice, as well as introduce you to practical toolkits and resources you can begin implementing at your institution.

Fun For All Ages: Toolkits, Tactics, and Training
Friday September 22, 2017
USS Constitution Museum
Building 22
Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA 02129

Participants will:

  • Reflect on the important role that museums and public libraries play in their communities and be inspired by colleagues around the country who serve as resources for families.
  • Hear how libraries, museums, and early childhood organizations can work hand-in-hand to support families in their communities.
  • See staff training materials in action and try out some activities for exhibit and program facilitators.
  • Check out the latest reports and websites from family learning and engagement experts.


  • Jeri Robinson, Vice President of Early Learning Initiatives, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA
  • Sherri Killins Stewart, Director of Systems Alignment and Integration, BUILD Initiative, Hartford, CT
  • Kathleen Reif, Co-Chair, Family Engagement Task Force, Public Library Association, Baltimore, MD
  • Elizabeth Andanen, Assistant Manager, Museum Education, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR
  • Antonio Mendez, Countdown to Kindergarten Educator, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA
  • Sarah H. Watkins, Vice President of Visitor Experience, USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA
  • Robert Kiihne, Director of Exhibits, USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA

For more information and to register for this free workshop, visit the event page:

This workshop is presented by the Engage Families Project of the USS Constitution Museum and the NEMA Children’s Museum PAG.

Call for Articles: Emerging History Professional Takeover of History News Magazine

Call for Articles: Emerging History Professional Takeover of History News Magazine

Emerging History Professionals are taking over the Winter 2018 issue of AASLH’s History News magazine! The issue will be guest co-edited by emerging history professionals Hope Shannon and Hannah Hethmon. Features and articles will all focus on Emerging History Professionals and reflect their insights and opinions about the field.

Anyone in the early stages of a public history career, broadly defined, is an Emerging History Professional. This includes graduate and undergraduate students, hobbyists, early-career professionals, and any other AASLH members who identify as belonging to this community.

History News exists to foster publication, scholarly research, and an open forum for discussion of best practices, applicable theories, and professional experiences pertinent to the field of state and local history. History News is a quarterly membership publication of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a nonprofit educational membership organization providing leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.

The editors are seeking submission of article abstracts. Proposed articles must:

  • Be relevant to the theme of Emerging History Professionals. Articles by emerging professionals will be given priority over those with more time in the field.
  • Not have previously been published elsewhere.
  • Be 2,500-3,000 words in length and properly footnoted and cited in Chicago/Turabian style.

Instructions and Deadlines:

The deadline for submitting abstracts is August 15, 2017.

Authors of accepted articles will be notified by the first week of September 2017. They will then have until November 1 to submit a final edited and reviewed version of their article. At that time, the article must be fit for print.

Along with the abstract (500 words max), submission must include:

  • A brief paragraph explaining how the article is relevant to the early history career/emerging history professional issues and AASLH’s mission (200 words max)
  • A brief biographical statement (100 words max)

Questions about topics and submission guidelines should be directed to Hope Shannon (hopejshannon@gmail.comand Hannah Hethmon (

For more information including topic suggestions, click here.

Summer Museum Education Workshop in Portsmouth

The Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden Presents: Reaching for Truth: Exploring the Issue of Slavery in the Era of the American Revolution

Classroom and Museum Educators

Participate in an intensive three day workshop from August 1-3. Investigate slavery in Portsmouth and New England during the Revolution, explore the spaces in which the enslaved and enslavers interacted and discover how a brave group of enslaved men wrote the 1779 Petition of Freedom.

Presenters Include: 

Barbara M. Ward, Ph.D.
Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden. 
Barbara has an A.B. in history from Connecticut College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University in American and New England Studies. She has taught history, decorative arts, museum studies, and material culture at Boston University, Yale University, the University of Delaware, Salem State University, the University of New Hampshire, the Tufts University Museum Certificate program, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Keith Mascoll
Actor and Educator
Keith holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of Massachusetts.  Keith has worked as an actor in numerous theater and film productions.  He has won several awards and is best known in Portsmouth for his role as Prince Whipple, in two productions of A Chance at Freedom.

Robert Munro, Ph.D
Teacher, Middlesex School
Robert has a Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University.  He has worked as a History teacher at Middlesex School. His primary teaching interests include African and African American history, U.S. history, and the ancient world.

About the Program

Spend three days in Portsmouth exploring the genesis of the Petition of Freedom, slavery in New England and how you can use local resources to explore difficult subjects in your classroom.

The Program Schedule

The first day of the workshop participants will enjoy the same immersive experience within the house that students have had in our pilot program.   The second day  participants will learn about the history of slavery in New England, the material culture of the region, and also visit  sites on Portsmouth’s Black Heritage Trail to provide further context.  The third day we will focus on how to have comfortable discussions on difficult issues of class and race, and how historical context can help to facilitate those conversations.  Teachers will have an opportunity to share their curriculum ideas.
Participants will have the option of staying in Portsmouth for some planned activities and conversation in the evening. Those who are coming from out of town can either book their own accommodation or use the reduced rate we have negotiated at an area hotel.

Application Details

We have ten $250 stipends for secondary teachers who commit to creating a lesson plan based on their experience of this program.  The fee for those who do not want to create a lesson plan is $50 for all three days.  The Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden will post the lesson plans on its website to share with educators everywhere.
Teachers who are interested in this program should answer the question:

  •  Why are you interested in attending this workshop, and what skills or knowledge do you hope to gain from it?

RSVP and Questions

Please email responses and send queries to:
Jennifer Belmont-Earl
Education Coordinator

AASLH Annual Meeting Scholarship Opportunities

AASLH Annual Meeting Scholarships Available:  

Apply for a scholarship to attend the 2017 AASLH Annual Meeting. Scholarships are available for diverse attendees, employees of small museums, and new professionals in four states.

  • AASLH Douglas Evelyn Scholarship for Diversity (2)
  • AASLH Small Museum Scholarship (2-5)
  • 2017 Austin Diversity Scholarships (10)
  • Robert W. Richmond Scholarship for New Professionals in MO, KS, NE, IA
See the full list of scholarships, details, and deadlines here:

“Not One Size” at the AAM Conference

The next few weeks we will be posting reflections from students who attended the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting and Conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri, May 6-10. 

A few weeks ago, at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Conference, I attended a session titled ‘Not One Size: Interactivity at Small, Medium, and Large Museums.’ A panel of museum professionals at museums of each of these sizes outlined multiple types of interactive elements in their museums, describing the context and use of each. While many of us are familiar with interactive elements in museum exhibitions, I found this panel helpful in that it categorized a few different types of these elements and provided simple examples for producing them in museums with a variety of available resources. That being said, I thought I would relay some of their key points to you all!

Touchable Objects: While this is often difficult in museums, touching authentic objects is a great way to enrich the visitor experience. The biggest difficulties it provides involve collections management issues such as cleaning and durability. Important questions to consider include: where and how are people touching? Is there a way to protect a part of the object while allowing visitors to touch a less valuable part of it? The example given by the panel was of an original Apple 1 computer that is encased. Visitors are able to use an Apple 2 computer keyboard, which is much more replaceable, and still get the experience of manipulating the screen of an Apple 1.

Consumable Materials and Loose Parts: Benefits of these interactive elements include the ability of any staff member to easily replace cheap parts. These materials may not be as impactful as authentic, touchable objects, but they can still greatly enhance the visitor experience. A couple examples given at the session include drawing materials and fur pelts.

Social Interaction: This category refers to interactive elements that may or may not include objects but always involve interaction between visitors. Examples of this type include dance sections, lounges with conversation cards, a reproduced 1980’s living room, and a social engineering challenge.

Visitor Response: We are likely all very familiar with this type of interactive element – just think post-it notes. These spaces allow visitors to contribute their own ideas, opinions, or data in response to a prompt and can be done in many effective and creative ways.

Circularity: This can be a trait within multiple types of interactive elements and refers to the capability of an activity to reset itself for new visitors. One example provided by the panel was of a life-size buffalo puzzle. Visitors explore all the organs of buffalo and how they fit together. While this doesn’t reset itself per se, it is equally as fun for visitors to ‘unpack’ the buffalo as it is to put it back together. Thus, it resets itself in that it can be done effectively at whatever stage the previous visitor leaves it at.

Rock Paper Scissors Principle: Finally, the panelists provided an easy way to remember a common-sense concept; that is, that the most robust part of an interactive activity will degrade the least robust part. When thinking about durability, think about what element is the rock, or the paper, or the scissors, and where they are placed within the entire piece. That mental labeling can help construct a more economical, long-lasting activity.

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