Museums,the Media and Learning

By Bonnie Bracey Sutton

From Rome

Learning continues its change , while many try to keep it static. There are so many new ways to teach it makes those people who are afraid of change try even more to chain students to desks and the traditional ways of learning.

Outside of education, children are entranced by the media. But using the media and learning from the media are not enough. There was a time when the available media took part in education in a formal way.Some of those films still exist , you can probably find them on a special channel on your cable offerings.

Children enjoy interaction , and when the interaction is both STEM and art and music , or some representation of the same, that makes it all better.

For many years I worked with the group . an International one that was, ” World Summit on Media for Children” and we started before the Internet was well known. We included it as one of the tools of transition.

Museums have always had to give their programs in interesting ways , either to attract, assist, or involve an audience that may pay money to be involved in an experience.

I have several favorite museums, and the Smithsonian was the one that caught my attention early in life and almost through all of my teaching career. The school children and I could put on our Metro shoes and run to the Mall to find out what it was that the museum was offering. They carefully did professional development before their exhibits and it was fun to learn and to be up to date with the information. I don’t have a favorite Smithsonian Museum, I do have a favorite experience which took me to India from participation in an event.At the moment my favorite museum exhibit is the Sant Hall of Science where the Science is awesome.

Later in life I discovered teacher resources in lots of places, but often the teacher resources did not match outreach to the children. So when I found the Exploratorium it , a hands on minds on kind of place .. it suited me just fine.. except that it was in California. But the resources were great and actually using the resources of “ The Accidental Science of Cooking” I was invited to Milan, to Italy, to a forum in Lake Garda, ” You Are What you Eat”. Children and I had looked at the videos, cooked the foods and researched many of the questions on the topics. ¬†Who knew it would get me a trip to Italy and published.

Today I am back in Italy, and the museum of Explora for children with workshops and integrated learning activities. I am tired, I am happy to learn a new place to share and my Ragazzi friends were right. It is a great learning place. It is in Italy but often places that are successful are duplicated replicated and shared.

Being welcomed to the activities

Here’s to learning places that integrate art, STEM and the humanities .

Mucca - Learning about the Cow and Milk

Hands on Learning